Gregory Scofield is a poet, playwright, teacher, youth outreach worker. A Metis of Cree, Scottish and English decent, his ancestry dates back to the Red River Settlement and to Kinesota, Manitoba. He was raised primarily by his mother and aunt in the lower mainland of British Columbia, having also lived in northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba and the Yukon. A former outreach worker in Vancouver that dealt with youth at risk, Gregory Scofield has taught First Nations and Metis Literature at the Alberta College of Art & Design, Brandon University and Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, and he has served in Writer-in-Residence at the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba and Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Gregory Scofield’s skillful debut collection, The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel (1993), is emblematic of his poetry in that it incorporates Cree words and glossaries. Winner of the 1994 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, it was followed by an equally strong book, Native Canadiana: Songs from the Urban Rez (1996). Love Medicine and One Song (1997) is a collection of love poems and erotic verse. I Knew Two Métis Women (1999) celebrates the lives of his mother and aunt, and integrates songs by the Carter Family, Hank Snow, and other country-music artists. kipocihkân: Poems New & Selected (2009), is his first collection of selected poems that features previous works taught in university and high school curriculum, and Louis: The Heretic Poems (2011), is a skillful collection of poetry that explores the life and personal narrative of famed Metis leader Louis Riel.
Gregory Scofield is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. He continues to devote his time and energy to teaching First Nations and Metis literature and storytelling while also working with organizations such as the Gabriel Dumont Institute to develop and promote resource material on traditional Metis art practices.
Adapted from article by Brian John Busby. Gregory Scofield. The Canadian Encyclopedia, published by the Historica Foundation, 03/18/07.
About the Partners and Funders
Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF)
An Aboriginal-managed, national, Ottawa-based, not-for-profit private corporation established in 1998 and provided with funding by the federal government of Canada as part of Gathering Strength — Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan. The Aboriginal Healing Foundation was given a mandate to encourage and support, through research and funding contributions, community-based Aboriginal directed healing initiatives which address the legacy of physical and sexual abuse suffered in Canada’s Indian Residential School System, including inter-generational impacts. The AHF will cease operations in September 2014.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
AANDC supports Aboriginal people (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and Northerners in their efforts to:
• improve social well-being and economic prosperity;
• develop healthier, more sustainable communities; and
• participate more fully in Canada’s political, social and economic development – to the benefit of all Canadians.
AANDC is one of the federal government departments responsible for meeting the Government of Canada’s obligations and commitments to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and for fulfilling the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities in the North. AANDC’s responsibilities are largely determined by numerous statutes, negotiated agreements and relevant legal decisions. Most of the Department’s programs, representing a majority of its spending – are delivered through partnerships with Aboriginal communities and federal-provincial or federal-territorial agreements. AANDC also works with urban Aboriginal people, Métis and Non-Status Indians (many of whom live in rural areas).
The Department of Canadian Heritage delivers policies and programs related to broadcasting and interactive media, arts and cultural industries, heritage objects and spaces, official languages, citizenship participation and identity, human rights, Aboriginal Peoples, youth and sport initiatives, as well as national ceremonies and symbols.
The Canadian Heritage Portfolio includes the Department and major national cultural institutions. Together, they promote culture, the arts, heritage, official languages, citizenship and participation as well as Aboriginal, youth and sport initiatives.
About the LHF
The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Aboriginal charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the legacy of residential schools, including the effects and intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards reconciliation among generations of Aboriginal peoples, and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.
The LHF fulfills this mandate by: working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, communities and organizations across Canada; and undertaking communications, research and policy activities that support the development and implementation of our educational programming. All of these activities are informed by the experiences and stories of Residential Schools Survivors, their families and communities.
Our work is guided by ethical guidelines and principles for working with Survivors and Aboriginal communities. These ethical guidelines are based on:
1) a deep concern and compassion for, and honouring of, Survivors, their families and communities; and
2) a clear understanding of the need for and importance of the oral tradition of Aboriginal peoples. We take as our fundamental guiding principle that the work of the LHF must contribute to the health, safety, well-being and healing Survivors, their families and communities, and towards promoting reconciliation in Canada.