Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a writer, scholar, storyteller and activist of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg ancestry and is a member of Alderville First Nation.
She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, is an instructor at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge, Athabasca University. She has also lectured at Trent University, Ryerson University, the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning.
Leanne has worked with Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada and internationally over the past 15 years on environmental, governance and political issues.
She has published two edited volumes including Lighting the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Resurgence and Protection of Indigenous Nations (2008, Arbeiter Ring), and This is An Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Barricades (with Kiera Ladner, 2010, Arbeiter Ring). Leanne has published over thirty scholarly articles and written for Now Magazine, Spirit Magazine, Anishinabek News, the Link, Briarpatch Magazine and Canadian Art Magazine, Geist and among many others.
Her third book, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence was published in May 2011 and turns to Nishnaabeg theory and philosophy for guidance in building and maintaining resurgence movements. It is her hope that this work will inspire the regeneration Nishnaabeg systems of governance, language, and knowledge – systems that place women back at the centre of Kina Gchi Nishnaabeg‐ogaming.
Leanne is also a fiction writer and the 2012 winner of Briarpatch Magazine’s Writing from the Margins competition for short fiction.
Leanne is a traditional story-teller and spoken word artist. She has performed at the last four Ode’min Giizis festivals and at numerous story-telling events. Leanne’s work was a part of Mapping Resistances curated by Wanda Nanibush (with Rebecca Belmore, Archer Pechawis, James Luna, Tanya Lukin Linklater & Doug Williams) and ANDPVA’s Writer’s Room. She has performed spoken word with A Tribe Called Red as part of Nozhem First Peoples’ Performance Space All in the Family Residency, as part of gaabinjigabaa’aang where we come ashore and Zhishodewe…at the Water’s Edge (with artist/choreographers Rulan Tangen, Jerry Longboat, Norma Araiza, Sandra Lamouche and Waawaate Fobister) and at the Asinabka Indigenous Film and Media Festival. She is currently the co-director of Wii-Kendimiing Nishinaabemowin Saswaansing, a language nest for Nishnaabeg families and she is also a member of O’Kaadenigan Wiingashk artist collective.
Leanne’s fourth book, The Gift is in the Making, a collection of Nishnaabeg stories was published in May 2013 by the Debwe Series, Highwater Press. Her first book of short stories, Islands of Decolonial Love is now available from ARP Books and is accompanied by a full length spoken word album.