Work by Métis artist Leah Marie Dorion. To discover the artist click here.
Each edition of the Blue Metropolis Festival includes an Indigenous Voices series, showcasing the richness of Indigenous literatures and their voices and inviting us to look at the world from different perspectives. These diverse voices contribute to a renewal of the literary landscape and speak of the beauty of life, of its grandeur and fragility. The Blue Metropolis Festival is pleased to provide an opportunity for them to be heard.
Learn more about our most recent events and some of the most memorable moments of our previous editions here.
RELIVE SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR INDIGENOUS PROGRAMMING FROM THE PAST 3 YEARS
In Canada, September 30 is the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. To mark the occasion, let’s relive the visit to Montreal of Cree and Métis poet Ducan Mercredi, at the Blue Metropolis 2023 Festival from 27 to 30 April. He received the Blue Metropolis 2023 First Peoples Award, presented in partnership with the Indigenous Voices Award (IVA), and took part in the Blue Met Talks. Some great moments of reflection.
DUNCAN MERCREDI, WINNER OF THE FIRST PEOPLES PRIZE
Winnipeg Cree and Metis poet, writer and storyteller Duncan Mercredi receives the 2023 Blue Metropolis First Peoples Prize (English category) for his body of work, including Spirit of the Wolf: Raise Your Voice and The Duke of Windsor: Wolf Sings the Blue. The award ceremony will be followed by an onstage interview with the laureate and book signing
Participant: Duncan Mercredi
Host: David Bradford
Interview: Sarah Henzi
BLUE MET TALKS – DUCAN MERCREDI
Literature is constantly changing, including through heritage. In Montreal, Friday April 28, 2023, during the opening ceremony of the 25th edition of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, five writers attempt to answer the question: What colour will the future be? Relive on stage Duncan Mercredi (Canada), winner of the 2023 First Peoples Prize.
INTERVIEW WITH DUNCAN MERCREDI, WINNER OF THE 2023 FIRST PEOPLES LITERARY PRIZE
Short interview of Duncan Mercredi, winner of the 2023 First People Literary Prize.
Participant: Duncan Mercredi
Host: Sarah Henzi
PRIX DES PREMIERS PEUPLES HOMMAGE À JOSÉPHINE BACON
La poète innue Joséphine Bacon reçoit le prix des Premiers Peuples hommage, décerné par Metropolis bleu et l’organisme Indigenous Voices Award, pour l’ensemble de son œuvre et pour son importante contribution au rayonnement des littératures et des cultures autochtones. Aux remerciements de la lauréate s’ajouteront les témoignages de Sarah Henzi, coordonnatrice du Prix, et des membres du jury, Maurizio Gatti, Marie-Andrée Gill, Joëlle Papillon.
This event was made possible thanks to the financial support of Port of Montreal.
AWARD CEREMONY_40 minutes
Participants: Joséphine Bacon, Maurizio Gatti, Marie-Andrée Gill, Joëlle Papillon
Host: Marie-Andrée Lamontagne
Interview: Sarah Henzi
CONTES ET CHOCOLAT CHAUD : CONTES AUTOCHTONES
Racontés par Soleil Launière et Marco Collin
Mise en lecture et montage : Sylvain Massé
Captation images et son : Yannick Laperrière
Enregistrement : Studio 300 du Bureau de la culture de Longueuil
Production : À voix haute pour Metropolis bleu
Language : Français
TIO’TIA:KE/MONTRÉAL WALKING TOUR
Tio’tia:ke, meaning “where the rivers meet” in Mohawk, has had many names, been a gathering place for many First Nations, and is now a point of confluence for Indigenous people and many other peoples alike. And yet, the history of Tio’tia:ke/Montreal most of us know is a white settler story—an often selective, sometimes doctored, at best incomplete account. In Tio’tia:ke/Montreal, Indigenous and settler of colour authors, members of communities underrepresented by the telling of that story, begin to contribute necessary perspectives, personal records, and missing chapters to the history of the place they’ve called home.
Failure to recognize
AN ORIGINAL TEXT WRITTEN AND NARRATED BY TARA MCGOWAN-ROSS
LIFE… AS A SONG / LA VIE… COMME DANS LES CHANSONS
The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s literally revolutionized the musical landscapes of Canada and Quebec.
Now at the beginning of the 2020s, the Blue Metropolis Foundation, with the support of Canadian Heritage, has decided to pay tribute to them.
Ten anglophone and francophone poets delighted at the challenge of writing, as in a mirror, an original poem inspired by one of these timeless songs. Taking from their teenage memories, from their innermost worlds, or from their singular perspective, they offer their particular responses to the lyrics written by their elders.
The La vie… comme dans les chansons – Life… as a Song project celebrated them in three ways: a one-off poetry and song performance, podcasts, and video shorts.
Discover the podcasts, poems and videos here.
Maya Cousineau Mollen / Richard Séguin
SUJETS PERMIS, SUJETS INTERDITS. LES ÉCRIVAINS PEUVENT-ILS PARLER DE TOUT ?
On dit parfois de l’œuvre d’un.e écrivain.e qu’elle n’aborde au fond qu’un seul sujet. C’est là, sans doute, un autre nom donné à ce qui constitue son univers. Il est des sujets, dit-on aussi, qui ne peuvent être abordés qu’en toute connaissance de cause. Où un écrivain trouve-t-il ses sujets ? Comment et pourquoi s’en emparent-il ? En quoi est-il crédible pour les traiter? Qu’est-ce que l’univers d’un.e écrivain.e ? Est-il en train de rétrécir face à la multiplication d’injonctions morales, éthiques, politiques, voire idéologiques, susceptibles d’instrumentaliser l’œuvre littéraire ?
Participants : Nicholas Dawson, Monique LaRue, Stéphane Martelly, Jean Sioui
Animateur : Guillaume Asselin
Langues : français
Rencontre littéraire organisée par l’Académie des lettres du Québec, en partenariat avec BanQ, le Festival littéraire international Metropolis bleu et le Salon du livre de Montréal, et présentée dans le cadre de la vitrine de Metropolis bleu au Salon du livre de Montréal 2021.
RICHARD VAN CAMP RECEIVES THE 2021 BLUE METROPOLIS FIRST PEOPLES LITERARY PRIZE
An internationally renowned storyteller and best-selling author, Richard Van Camp was born in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and is a member of the Dogrib (TłĮchǫ) Dene Nation. He is the author of dozens of books, including The Lesser Blessed, a Canadian classic that has been adapted into a feature film. Van Camp uses his oral story-telling skills and traditions to braid together pop culture with TłĮchǫ Dene culture and some Fort Smith grace in his new short story collection Moccasin Square Gardens. He lives in Edmonton, AB, with his family.
The Blue Metropolis First Peoples Literary Prize aims to increase national and international exposure to writers from Indigenous communities in order to highlight the work of novelists, playwrights, poets and other writers. The prize is sponsored by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Chadha Family Foundation, Concordia University, the Zeller Family Foundation and the Cole Foundation.
Word of support by Ms. Lili-Anna Peresa, President and CEO, The McConnell Foundation.
Participant : Richard Van Camp
Host : Shelley Pomerance
Interviewer : Rosanna Deerchild
PENSER L’APRÈS : DU SOMBRE AU LUMINEUX ?
Comment envisage-t-on l’Après en science-fiction, cette période qui suit la Fin du monde… ou la fin d’un monde? Quatre écrivaines parlent de ces futurs, proches ou lointains, sombres ou lumineux, qu’elles ont créés : dystopiques, utopiques, postapocalytiques, hopepunk, solarpunk. Doit-on se restreindre aux pôles lumineux et sombre, ou peut-on en explorer les différentes nuances ?
Participants : Geneviève Blouin, J.D. Kurtness, Su Sokol, Élisabeth Vonarburg
Animateur : Anaïs Paquin
SCOTT, SCOFIELD AND MIHESUAH ON ART AND ACTIVISM
Autonomy, systemic racism, climate change: Indigenous peoples worldwide grapple with these issues. Three acclaimed authors discuss art and activism: Kim Scott, descended from the Noongar people of Western Australia, Gregory Scofield, Métis from British Columbia, and Devon A. Mihesuah, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation in the US. With CBC host and author Duncan McCue.
Participants: Kim Scott, Gregory Scofield, Devon A. Mihesuah
Host: Duncan McCue
AUTOCHTONIE : COMMENT FAIRE CONNAÎTRE ET PROMOUVOIR LES AUTEURS AUTOCHTONES D’OCÉANIE?
Sites, monuments, histories: New ways of talking about events and symbols from the past are emerging. Three writers explore these evolving conversations, how they’re taking shape, what’s being said. A Blue Metropolis virtual event with Nova Scotia poet and activist El Jones, Anishinaabe writer Waubgeshig Rice, and Canadian-American novelist Deni Ellis Béchard. Moderated by Edmonton-based writer and filmmaker Omar Mouallem.
Participants: El Jones, Waubgeshig Rice, Deni Ellis Béchard
Host: Omar Mouallem
YOUR OPINION IS IMPORTANT TO US!
BLUE METROPOLIS FIRST PEOPLES PRIZE / PRIX LITTÉRAIRE DES PREMIERS PEUPLES METROPOLIS BLEU
The Blue Metropolis First Peoples Literary Prize aims to increase national and international exposure to writers from Indigenous communities in order to highlight the work of novelists, playwrights, poets and other writers. The prize is sponsored by Concordia University, the Zeller Family Foundation and the Cole Foundation.
In partnership with the Indigenous Voices Awards (IVA).
The winner of the 2023 edition is Ducan Mercredi.
The winner of the First Peoples Literary Prize – Tribute 2023 is Joséphine Bacon.
(First Peoples Prize – Tribute)
RICHARD VAN CAMP
TERESE MARIE MAILHOT
MARIE ANNHARTE BAKER
AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN INDIGENOUS STUDIES
The Blue Metropolis Awards for Excellence in Indigenous Studies are an initiative of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival and the McConnell Foundation. They are part of an expansive social innovation program dedicated to the promotion and bolstering of Indigenous values and cultures. The program includes the First Peoples Literary Prize, a prize awarded annually to an Indigenous author of international renown, an Indigenous storytelling series for children and parents alike, professional meetups focused on the publishing of Indigenous works, and the Awards for Excellence.
The Awards, an important part of this programming, recognize two students, one anglophone and one francophone, studying or holding a degree in Indigenous Studies, Indigenous Literatures, or anthropology with a link to Indigenous Studies. The student candidates presented here have been recruited by seasoned professors at participating universities, and each candidate for the awards presents their strong vision for a better, further inclusive, and further responsible world.
Université de Montréal
Je suis une maudite sauvagesse
de An Antane Kapesh
Bianca Launière est une Innue de Mashteuiatsh, au Lac-Saint-Jean. Elle a grandi sur le territoire non cédé de Kanien’kehá:ka (aujourd’hui Montréal), puis elle a déménagé à Saguenay et obtenu un baccalauréat en psychologie à l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Elle a ensuite entrepris, à partir de son territoire de Mashteuiatsh, des études à distance afin d’obtenir un DÉSS en récits et médias autochtones de l’Université de Montréal.
University of New Brunswick
This place 150 Years Retold
Spencer Isaac is from Listuguj First Nation, a Mi’gmaq community within Gesgepewa’gi (7th district in Mi’gma’gi) and is the third born of four brothers. He is currently a guest within Wolastoqey territory, and is grateful for their hospitality.
Isaac holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison University (2018) and is completing the 10-month B.Ed. program at the University of New Brunswick in 2021. His passion is education and he hopes to make meaningful change for Wabanaki learners. He aspires to earn his Master’s degree in education within the next five years.
A culmination of a year-long, Blue Metropolis-supported collaboration between Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) fibres arts project Gaude et Garance and Indigenous poet and essayist Tara McGowan-Ross, the Poetic Fibres project presents a meeting place of emerging artistic, ethical, and decolonial processes. Presented as part of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival’s NEXT programming, this interdisciplinary literary event features a reading of a series of poems written by McGowan-Ross in response to the work of Gaude et Garance and a live performance of the processes Gaude et Garance artists Armen Keuchguerian and Alexandrine Capolla Beauregard employ in making their naturally dyed, locally sourced, handmade alpaca yarns and wool pieces. Exploring textures of land and the landed, of the natural and the naturalized, of slowness and slowing down, this event is presented in conjunction with an online exhibition of the poetic and process documentation works created by the artists, which took place last fall during the Salon de livre de Montréal 2021.
OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Neptune calls on history, science, reading and technology, to seek out the greatest inventions of all time. The project is funded by Canadian Heritage and runs within the second-language curriculum of participating schools. This year, French immersion students at L’École de la Seigneurie in Blainville, and students in Anglais intensif at Allion Elementary School in LaSalle, climbed aboard Neptune’s shuttle to unleash their imagination, to invent and innovate. With the help of cartoonist Laurence Dea Dionne and multimedia artist Tara McGowan-Ross, our young participants came up with inventions to make life better and, ultimately, to save the world!
Thanks to the financial support of the Ministry of Education and higher learning, Quebec Roots has given a voice to anglophone Quebec schoolchildren since 2005 and encouraged them to speak out on issues as serious as bullying, homophobia, and more recently, eco-anxiety and the distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is designed, first and foremost, to promote an interest in writing. It is aligned with the school curriculum in order to develop cross-disciplinary skills. The ultimate goal is to keep kids in school. It also fosters intercultural understanding through its exhibitions, by introducing texts and photographs produced by young Anglo-Quebecers to the general public.
THE SECRET IS IN THE SAUCE
In the pursuit of the finer recipes there is in the Quebec English-speaking communities, Monique Polak, author, blogger, moderator and journalist, has crisscrossed Quebec with photographer Monique Dykstra to meet with 20 anglophone seniors. The seniors share family recipes, talk about their lives, feast days, and explain how traditional know-how and culture are passed down through the generations. The 21 recipes are available here: https://bluemetropolis.org/educational-project/secret-sauce/
READING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADULTS
READING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHILDREN
THANKS TO THE BLUE METROPOLIS FOUNDATION’S MAJOR PARTNERS WHO SUPPORT THE 2022 FESTIVAL AND OUR 2021-2022 EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS
MERCI AUX PARTENAIRES MAJEURS DE LA FONDATION METROPOLIS BLEU QUI SOUTIENNENT LE FESTIVAL 2022 ET NOS PROGRAMMES ÉDUCATIFS ET SOCIAUX 2021-2022