Stó:lō author Lee Maracle, a leading voice in Indigenous literature, dies at 71

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VANCOUVER — Stó:lō writer Lee Maracle, who championed the stories of Indigenous women to change the face of Canadian literature, has died.

Family friend Michaela Washburnsays the acclaimed author, poet and teacher died Thursday at a hospital in Vancouver at age 71.

Peers and admirers flooded social media with tributes to Maracle's writing, activism and mentorship, with many hailing her as a foremother of Indigenous feminist literature.

One of the first Indigenous authors to be published in Canada in the early 1970s, Maracle blended fiction, non-fiction, poetry and traditional storytelling to produce a prolific body of work, including such seminal titles as "Bobbi Lee," "I Am Woman" and "Ravensong."

She was unflinching in challenging the colonial and patriarchal underpinnings of the Canadian canon, with many of her books depicting Indigenous women straining against these cultural myths to reclaim their own stories.

She held posts at a number of Canadian universities, and won accolades including Ontario's Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Order of Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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