Congratulations are in order!
Transatlantic client, Joseph Kakwinokanasum has been chosen as the 2024 Indigenous Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library!

The VPL Indigenous Storyteller in Residence program was created in 2008 in recognition of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the importance of storytelling as a way to learn about and from Indigenous communities in Vancouver. Through the Storyteller in Residence, we seek to honour Indigenous cultures and to promote intercultural understanding and communication. Storytelling can happen through a variety of mediums and narrative practices, and therefore this residency is open to all Indigenous storytellers who wish to share their knowledge and history.

Joseph Kakwinokanasum is a member of the James Smith Cree Nation and grew up in the Peace region of northern B.C. His debut novel, My Indian Summer, is loosely based on his own childhood and was the winner of the 2023-2024 First Nations Communities READ Award and shortlisted for the 2023 ReLit Award for fiction. Other accolades include being named one of The Writers Trust of Canada’s Rising Stars of 2022 and a finalist for CBC’s Nonfiction Prize in 2020.

“As storytellers, we honour our ancestors with the legends and tales passed down to us. No matter what culture you come from, storytelling has always been a social tool that builds community and understanding…” – Joseph Kakwinokanasum.

In his role as the Indigenous Storyteller in Residence, Kakwinokanasum will spend part of his time developing a new writing project – a dark, gritty, horror fantasy that builds upon some of the Indigenous ghost stories he learned as a child. Kakwinokanasum also plans on hosting writing workshops, consults and events to support emerging writers and storytellers in developing their craft.

Learn more:

Joseph is represented by Carolyn Forde.