Feb 03, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Renowned writer Louise Bernice Halfe has been named Canada’s new parliamentary poet laureate.

The 67-year-old, also known by the Cree name Sky Dancer, was raised on a reserve in Alberta but when she was just six, Halfe and her siblings were sent to a residential school. She remembers the night she and her siblings were taken away in the middle of the night as part of the Sixties Scoop, where Aboriginal children were taken from their families often without the consent of their parents of bands.

She becomes the ninth poet to hold the two-year term position and the first from an Indigenous community.

The Saskatoon-area writer  weaves her Cree language and teachings into her works, and previously served as Saskatchewan’s second poet laureate.

A trained social worker, Halfe also works with Indigenous elders who support apprehended children and their families.

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