Books

Meet the 20 authors and illustrators who made the graphic novel This Place: 150 Years Retold

Learn about the writers and artists who helped create the bestselling graphic novel anthology, which inspired the CBC Books podcast.
"Some stories were told but not through an Indigenous lens, so this an opportunity for us to share and tell our stories," This Place: 150 Years Retold contributor Brandon Mitchell said. (Logan Perley/CBC)

Have you listened to This Place?

The 10-episode podcast, adapted from the bestselling graphic novel anthology of the same name, launched this summer and the entire series is available on CBC Listen or wherever you get your podcasts.   

Hosted by Rosanna Deerchild, This Place tells 150 years of Canadian history through Indigenous stories, music and more. It features Indigenous creators — including David. A RobertsonRichard Van CampKatherena Vermette and Brandon Mitchell — and incorporates elements of fantasy and magical realism to examine Canadian history from Confederation to now.

A team of producers adapted each story within the young adult graphic anthology, This Place: 150 Years Retold, to create the episodic podcast. The anthology was published in 2019 by Highwater Press and paired Indigenous authors with illustrators to create 10 stories spanning 150 years of our shared history. In 2020, it won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Gene Day Award for Anthology Collections.

These are the writers and artists whose work features in This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Katherena Vermette 

Katherena Vermette is an award-winning writer who has published poetry, novels and children’s literature. Her film This River won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Short. (Vanda Fleury)

Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory, Winnipeg. She won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry for her first book, North End Love Songs, and her debut novel, The Break, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. It was defended by Candy Palmater on Canada Reads 2017.

Her latest is the novel The Strangers, which is currently longlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Vermette wrote Annie of Red River for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Annie Bannatyne was a formidable Métis business owner and important civic figure in Winnipeg who played an instrumental role in fundraising and founding the Winnipeg General Hospital. She also inspired a young Louis Riel with a public act of resistance — highlighted in this story.

Scott B. Henderson

Scott B. Henderson has illustrated several critically-acclaimed graphic novels. (Portage & Main Press)

Scott B. Henderson is an illustrator and comic book artist. He graduated from the School of Fine Art at the University of Manitoba and started as a digital colourist for comics. 

While working on his fantasy series, The Chronicles of Era, Henderson took on various projects that eventually led him to work with David A. Robertson on the graphic novel 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga. He has also illustrated Vermette's graphic novel series A Girl Called Echo as well as Robertson's books graphic novel series The Reckoner and graphic novel Sugar Falls.

Henderson illustrated Annie of Red River and Like a Razor Slash for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

It's 1975 in Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories, and a young Dene Chief named Frank T'Seleie is about to change the course of history. Follow Frank's fight to stop the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline — from his youth, to his days as a band administrator, to his celebrated speech at the Berger Inquiry, which is remembered as an integral part of the efforts to protect and defend the lands within the Northwest Territories.

Donovan Yaciuk 

Donovan Yaciuk is a comic book colourist. (Dave Swiecicki)

Donovan Yaciuk is a colourist from Winnipeg. He has done colouring work for books published by Marvel, DC, Dark Horse comics and HighWater Press. He began his career as a part of the legendary, now-defunct Digital Chameleon colouring studio.

Yaciuk's work includes Vermette's graphic novel series A Girl Called Echo and Robertson's The Reckoner trilogy.

He was the colourist of Annie of Red RiverNimkiiMigwite'tmeg: We Remember It and kitaskînaw 2350 for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

It's 1990 on the Wabaseemoong Reserve, and a group has just blocked the Children's Aid Society from entering their community and taking any more of their children. After the confrontation, Sixties Scoop survivor Nimkii shares with her daughter the story of her life, and the promise she made to a little boy.

Sonny Assu

Sonny Assu's work has been shown in places such as the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum and Vancouver Art Gallery. (Portage & Main Press)

Sonny Assu (Liǥwildaʼx̱w of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nations) is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. He was raised in North Delta, B.C., and uses his art as a means of exploring his family history and the experience of being an Indigenous person in Canada.

Assu received the B.C. Creative Achievement Award in First Nations art in 2011 and was one of the Laureates for the 2017 REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards.

He wrote Tilted Ground for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Author Sonny Assu explores the journey of his great-great-grandfather, Chief Billy Assu, who was one of the most respected and influential potlatch chiefs in Ligwilda’xw history.

Kyle Charles

Kyle Charles is a comic book illustrator in Edmonton. (Scott Neufeld/ CBC)

Kyle Charles is an illustrator living in Edmonton and a member of Whitefish Lake First Nation. In 2020, he was asked to illustrate Marvel's Indigenous Voices #1. His work includes Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection and the Roche Limit: Clandestiny and Her Infernal Descent series. He has written and drawn short stories for publications like Heavy Metal and OnSpec Magazine. 

Charles illustrated Tilted Ground for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

New Marvel comic highlights Indigenous artists, writers

2 years ago
Duration 7:19
Marvel has released a new comic series, Indigenous Voices, which features Indigenous superheroes, written and illustrated by Indigenous creators, including Kyle Charles from the Whitefish Lake First Nation, now based in Edmonton. His issue focuses on Dani Moonstar, a Cheyenne telepath from the New Mutants series. 

Scott A. Ford 

Scott A. Ford's work has been featured on book covers, beer cans and in galleries. (Portage & Main Press)

Scott A. Ford is a comic creator, illustrator and designer based in Winnipeg. His work puts an emphasis on atmosphere, drawing inspiration from video games, graphic design, film and animation.

His comics include Romulus + Remus, Ark Land and Giants' Well, which received a 2017 Manitoba Book Award for book design and illustration. 

Ford did the colour in Tilted Ground and Like a Razor Slash for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Through re-enactments and author interviews, This Place's 10-part series shares stories of Indigenous heroes, battles, triumphs and traditions. In this episode of Unreserved, you'll hear the story of Nimkii, a young girl who was taken from her family and who, years later, joined the resistance against the Children's Aid Society at Wabaseemoong in northwestern Ontario. And you’ll journey 330 years forward into an imagined Indigenous future.

Jen Storm 

Jen Storm is the author of Deadly Loyalties and Fire Starters. (Portage & Main Press)

Jen Storm is an Ojibway writer and artist from the Couchiching First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. She was born and raised in Winnipeg and completed her first novel, Deadly Loyalties, when she was 14 years old.

Storm was a 2017 recipient for CBC Manitoba's Future 40 Under 40 and in 2019, she served as the writer-in-residence for One Book UWinnipeg at the University of Winnipeg. Fire Starters is her first graphic novel.

Storm wrote Red Clouds and illustrated Nimkii with Ryan Howe for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

The story of Wahsakapeequay, a woman who was believed to have been possessed by windigo and the spiritual leader and his brother who were charged with her murder. Inspired by the 1907 arrest of Jack Fiddler, also known as Zhauwuno-geezhigo-gaubow, and his brother Joseph for the alleged murder of a windigo. The story is told by Wahsakapeequay and the windigo.

Natasha Donovan

Natasha Donovan is an illustrator who lives in Washington. (Lina Bell)

Natasha Donovan is a Métis illustrator who specializes in comics and children's books. Her illustrations have appeared in The Other Side: An Anthology of Queer Paranormal Romance, the Mothers of Xsan series by Brett Huson and the graphic novel Wonderful Women of History published by DC. 

Her most recent book is the graphic novel Borders, which was adapted from a short story by Thomas King.

Donovan did the illustrations and colour for the stories Red Clouds and Peggy in This Place: 150 Years Retold.

An Ojibwa from the Parry Island Band, Francis "Peggy" Pegahmagabow is one of the most decorated Indigenous soldiers in Canadian history. This story follows Peggy as he demonstrates bravery and skill on the battlefields of the First World War, only to return home and be denied fair treatment.

David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson is a Governor General's Literary Award-winning author. (Amber Green)

David A. Robertson is an author and graphic novelist of Swampy Cree heritage based in Winnipeg. He has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Aloneillustrated by Julie Flett, and the YA book Strangers.

In 2020 alone, Robertson published three books: the memoir Black Water, the graphic novel Breakdown and the middle-grade novel The Barren Grounds. He also hosted the CBC Manitoba podcast Kiwew.

Robertson wrote the story Peggy for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

The path to healing and reconciliation in Canada

1 year ago
Duration 2:21
A visual essay by award-winning Cree author David A. Robertson and Anishinaabe filmmaker Jordan Molaro reflecting on the path toward healing and reconciliation in Canada.

    Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley

    Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley have published several educational articles and books on Inuit culture and folklore. (Portage & Main Press)

    Husband and wife duo Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley are the authors of several young adult graphic novels and children's books. Their work includes Tanna's OwlStories of Survival and Revenge: From Inuit Folklore and Skraelings, which won the 2015 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature.

    The Qitsualik-Tinsleys wrote Rosie for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    GMB Chomichuk 

    GMB Chomichuk is an award-winning writer and illustrator. (Portage & Main Press)

    GMB Chomichuk is a writer, teacher and illustrator from Winnipeg. His work has appeared in film, television, books, comics and graphic novels like Cassie and Tonk, Midnight City, Will I See?, Automatic Age, Arena City and Good Boys.

    He did the illustrations and colour for the story Rosie in This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    Set in the early 1940s in Foxe Basin, Nunavut, "Rosie" is a nod to shamanism — a secret history of Inuit. A young Inuk girl is aided by her Watcher, a spirit protector, in claiming her place in the world through the many names given to her.

    Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm 

    Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is an Anishinaabe writer. (Portage and Main Press)

    Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm has written everything from radio plays and short stories to poetry and nonfiction. She taught creative writing and Indigenous literature at the University of Manitoba, the Banff Centre's Aboriginal Arts Program and the En'owkin International School of Writing in partnership with the University of Victoria. She is a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Saugeen Ojibway Nation on the Saugeen Peninsula in Ontario.

    Akiwenzie-Damm wrote the story Nimkii for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    Ryan Howe

    Ryan Howe is the creator of the webcomic Daisy Blackwood: Pilot For Hire. (Portage & Main Press)

    Ryan Howe is a comic artist, illustrator and graphic designer from Saskatoon. His work includes the Henchmen comics, Gun Street Girl: Volume 1, the Female Force collection and the ongoing Daisy Blackwood series.

    He illustrated Nimkii with Jen Storm for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    Author and Calgary Public Library’s storyteller-in-residence Richard Van Camp is helping people tell their own stories during the pandemic, as a way to stay connected and remember what it means to be human. He tells us why he's embraced this difficult moment.

    Richard Van Camp

    Richard Van Camp has published 26 books, including novels, short story collections and comics. (William Au Photography)

    Richard Van Camp is a Tlicho Dene writer from Fort Smith, N.W.T., who has written several books across multiple genres. His 1996 novel, The Lesser Blessed, was adapted into a film by First Generation Films. A Blanket of Butterflies, his graphic novel, was nominated for an Eisner Award and his children's book, Little You, illustrated by Julie Flett, was translated into Bush Cree, Plains Cree, South Slavey and Chipewyan.

    His other books include Angel Wing Splash Pattern, Night Moves, We Sang You Home and Gather

    Van Camp wrote Like a Razor Slash for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    Mi'kmaq comic writer remembers Listuguj salmon raids

    3 years ago
    Duration 1:00
    This Mi'kmaq comic writer chose the Listuguj salmon raids of 1981 for the story he contributed to This Place: 150 Years Retold, a collection of stories by Indigenous writers. Wolastoqi illustrator Tara Audibert drew the comics for Mitchel's story.

    Brandon Mitchell

    A member of Listiguj First Nation, QC, Mitchell knew he had to share story of the salmon raids of the 1980's that happened in his community in the graphic novel. (Logan Perley/CBC)

    Brandon Mitchell is an artist, writer and entrepreneur from Listuguj, a Mi'kmaq community located in southeastern Quebec. After studying animation, Mitchell returned home to teach art at Alaqsit'w Gitpu School. He began developing comic books as a way to teach Indigenous students about their culture.

    Mitchell wrote the story Migwite'tmeg: We Remember It for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    It’s the early 1980s in Listuguj, Que., a Mi’kmaw community nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the mighty Restigouche River. The Mi’kmaq have been fishing these waters since time immemorial, following the natural cycle of the salmon. The government seeks to disrupt that cycle, but the Mi'kmaq push back to defend their way of life.

    Tara Audibert

    Tara Audibert is an artist living in Sunny Corner, New Brunswick. (Kristen Mutch)

    Tara Audibert is a multidisciplinary artist of Wolastoqey and French heritage. She owns and runs Moxy Fox Studio, where she creates her award-winning works, including the animated short film The Importance of Dreaming, the comic Lost Innocence and the animated storytelling app Nitap: Legends of the First Nations.

    Audibert did the illustrations in Migwite'tmeg: We Remember It and kitaskînaw 2350 for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    This isn't your average coming-of-age story. It’s the summer of 1990 and apathetic Anishinaabe teen Washashk is on a road trip with his mom Raven. She wants to support the land defenders at Kanesatake. Washashk wants to go to the movies, but it's in The Pines that he'll find his place in the world.

    Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair

    Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is a professor at the University of Manitoba. (Kevin Settee)

    Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is an Anishinaabe writer and activist based in Winnipeg. He is an associate professor in the department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. He has co-edited three award-winning collections: Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories, Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water and The Winter We Danced: Voices of the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement.

    Sinclair wrote the story Warrior Nation for This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    The year is 2350 and the future is Indigenous. 15-year-old Wâpanacâhkos, a knowledge-keeper in training, is sent back in time by the Council of Elders to the 21st century. Her journey will shape Indigenous-settler relations on kitaskînaw — our Earth — for generations to come.

    Andrew Lodwick

    Andrew Lodwick is the illustrator of The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont. (Portage & Main Press)

    Andrew Lodwick is an illustrator from Winnipeg. He is the co-founder of Parameter Press, a collective that works with artists and arts organizations to create custom prints via risograph technology. He graduated with a BFA in printmaking from the University of Manitoba in 2005.

    Lodwick is the illustrator and colourist of the story Warrior Nation in This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    Chelsea Vowel

    Chelsea Vowel is a writer and educator from Alberta. (Merissa Daborn)

    Chelsea Vowel is a Métis writer and educator whose work focuses on language, gender identity and cultural resurgence. Vowel is mother to six girls, has a BEd and LLB and is currently a graduate student and Cree language curriculum developer. She is the author of Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, which addresses stereotypes and assumptions about Indigenous issues and offers insight into the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. She also co-hosts the podcast Métis in Space.

    Vowel wrote kitaskînaw 2350 in This Place: 150 Years Retold.

    Corrections

    • This post has been updated to reflect the correct bio for Chelsea Vowel
      Dec 17, 2021 2:33 PM ET

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