Photo: Ann Doyon

A Penticton-based Cree matriarch has been chosen to be a participant in the Audible Indigenous Writers Circle for 2022.

Ann Doyon, of the Peepeekisis First Nation, was chosen from over 200 applicants to be one of 19 writers in the six-month program.

The Audible Indigenous Writers’ Circle initiated programming in 2021 to support new literary voices and projects originating from First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities across Canada.

Doyon has worked for Theytus Books, based in Penticton and Canada’s oldest Indigenous publisher, for more than a decade.

She spent her time with Theytus growing through all levels of publishing Indigenous authors, finally landing as production coordinator, before asking herself: “What stories do I need to tell?”

“For me it’s the stories of my family and my people’s history in Canada. It’s the little details, the tragedy and the triumph as we continue to grow stronger and healthier as people and heal our Nations. I want to write down the stories that have not been told or were not told because of the fear of the power that they hold,” Doyon said.

“Imagine recording history as we see it. The lenses in which we see the world is so different than other Canadians. Our stories and our truths must be told in our own ways.”

Her work, which featured personal reflections, resonated with the program’s mentorship team, including Dr. Jas M. Morgan, an award winning Cree, Saulteaux and Me?tis writer, artist and professor in the Department of English at Ryerson University.

“Though Ann’s strength in creative nonfiction prose is what initially caught my attention, in our time working together, Ann has been developing a science fiction story that pushes the boundaries of Indigenous literature.” Said Dr. Morgan.

“Ann reminds me that emerging does not necessarily mean youth. Indigenous literary communities see emerging talent at all ages, especially among Indigenous aunties who have heavy responsibilities on their shoulders.”

Together, Morgan and Doyan are working on polishing a science fiction piece. In the meantime, Doyon says she is still searching for a publisher who likes “strange tales and captivating Indigenous stories.”

This content was originally published here.