Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning is creating an open access online publication. The first edition is set to be released in early 2019, with a focus on the topic of Elders.
Since Elders are a most vital part of our community, Dechinta will honour them by publishing stories from students and Indigenous northerners that reflect and cherish our Elders. Dechinta will publish three pieces written by our students during their semester on the land this fall. These students are receiving the first-ever Certificate in Dechinta Community and Land Based Research, offered through the University of British Columbia.
Dechinta will also collect stories and artwork from our KidsU Chekoa Nı̨ htł’èkǫdeè program, which is bursting with energetic children who accompanied their mothers in their educational journey on the land.
A committee, of three established Indigenous writers and Dechinta alumni, will select other submissions through a blind process. Dechinta is honoured to have outstanding selection committee members.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, of Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg affiliation, is a captivating multi-talented storyteller. She is widely recognized for her honest and unapologetic advocacy for Indigenous rights and her groundbreaking work as a Faculty and Board member at Dechinta. She has many award-winning works and is admired as the voice of her generation.
Siku Allooloo is an Inuk/Haitian Taino writer and community builder from Denendeh and Pond Inlet, Nunavut. She is an alumna of the first Dechinta program, and has led resurgence-based work on the land in Denendeh since 2014. Siku also writes creative non-fiction and poetry focusing on the delicate work of resurgence and transformation through artistic collaborations with Indigenous artists across the country.
Richard Van Camp has many accolades and 22 books in print, ranging from children’s bedtime stories to graphic novels and comic books. Richard is a beloved author from the Tłı̨chǫ Nation who dedicates much of his time to mentoring writers from the north.
Last but not least, is our outstanding alumna Savannah Sine Lantz, a queer youth leader who has shown remarkable writing skills through her studies at Dechinta. Savannah was born and raised in Somba K’e, Denendeh. She is Chipewyan Dene, a member of the Łutselk’e Dene First Nation. Savannah successfully completed three semesters at Dechinta and one year at the University of Alberta where she was enrolled in Native Studies. Savannah has a keen passion for writing on subjects such as gender identity.
Our selection committee will be tasked with choosing up to three public submissions by northern Indigenous artists in the form of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction up to a maximum of 5,000 words for publication in the first edition of Dechinta Publications. The committee will randomly select one submission to be translated into one of the NWT’s 11 official Indigenous languages.
The Dechinta Publications initiative provides a platform to celebrate and inspire Indigenous writers in the north, and share their work. Our goal is to help northern Indigenous writers to receive recognition while ensuring that their intellectual knowledge and cultural voice remains within their control.
Catherine Lafferty’s first book, Northern Wildflower: A Memoir, was published this year. Contact Catherine@dechinta.ca to submit your work to the Dechinta Publication.