Writer Wisdom

Secondary - Adult

Richard Van Camp: Fort Smith or Fiction?

On this episode of the Root & STEM podcast, Richard Van Camp, shares experiences growing up as an Indigenous person in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and how those experiences helped shape him into the successful author he is today. He begins by describing how a nearly fatal emergency led to his obsession for comics and reading. Richard explains how he identified a flaw in literacy education in his northern hometown as a young child, before describing how he embodies his Indigenous values in his writing. Richard remembers an example of poor teaching from his past and how it inspired him to use his literacy skills to better educate future learners. He explains why Indigenous writing is so rewarding for the creators and why the opposite can be true in the filmmaking industry. Lastly, Richard offers advice to aspiring authors, before describing what literary success means to him.

Watch Dene Chief Frank T’Seleie’s 1975 speech in protest of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline on YouTube.

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