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Indigenous Author Spotlight: Naomi Fontaine

Image shows the author and some of her books

Fri, May 14, 2021

Naomi Fontaine is a French teacher and Innu author from Uashat, Quebec.

Her first book poetry novel called Kuessipan, published in 2011, revolutionized the Indigenous literature as she was the first Innu writer to tell a contemporary story. Additionally, this story was recently adapted in movie format; we can now see on big screen the up and downs of two childhood best friends whose priorities shift with time. 

Her second novel, Manikanetish was published in 2017. This time, we see the life a French teacher facing the harsh reality of returning to her childhood reserve. If everything goes according to plan, this novel will also be adapted but this time, as a Tv show.

Her last book, called Shuni, is a long letter to her Quebec friend (Shuni means Friend in Innu) who comes to her community for a humanitarian mission. Through history and little stories, she welcomes the stranger, warning her about the reality of a reserve.   

We can tell that the writing of Naomi Fontaine is a strong claim to her identity as Innu, while keeping this poetic sensibility that makes it a very interesting read. Watch this videoclip to learn tips on how to write with Naomi Fontaine.

Image: Shuni

Shuni

ce que tu dois savoir, Julie
By Fontaine, Naomi
Image: Shuni

Shuni

ce que tu dois savoir, Julie
By Fontaine, Naomi
Image: Manikanetish

Manikanetish

Petite Marguerite
By Fontaine, Naomi
Image: Kuessipan

Kuessipan

À toi : roman
By Fontaine, Naomi
Image: Kuessipan

Kuessipan

By Fontaine, Naomi
Image: Tanite nene etutamin nitassi?

Tanite nene etutamin nitassi?

Qu’as-tu fait de mon pays?
By Antane Kapesh, An