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Publishing contract for 2011 grad


International Indigenous Studies graduate and Métis author Vicki Bouvier signs with Pemmican Publications.

In a collection of beautiful rocks kept safe within a buffalo hide pouch, a Mosom and Cree elder keeps stories, age-old gifts from the spirit world. Every day, the children of the village gather round and listen. But one boy, Nipin, is not content to leave the story rocks with Mosom. He covets their beauty and, in a moment of greed, steals them while Mosom sleeps.

So begins Nipin and the Rocks, a children’s book by 2011 International Indigenous Studies graduate and Métis author Vicki Bouvier. Written in 2009 for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge – in which it took 4th place – Nipin began as a bedtime story for her son, then 4. This April, Pemmican Publications offered Bouvier a contract to have her story published as a book.

Although Bouvier is happy to have Nipin on its way to publication, her future plans are to focus on oral storytelling, and working to benefit the Métis community. “A sense of orality, that aspect of dialogue between individuals, has helped me reconnect as a Métis person. Writing has helped in a sense, but it’s more about speaking and sharing. Oral tradition is the basis of Aboriginal culture, and for myself the foundation of our Métis-specific ways of knowing. The skill of listening is so important as a human being.”

The International Indigenous Studies program helped Bouvier reconnect to her identity as a Métis woman. “It opens up a space within the institution to have Aboriginal worldviews acknowledged and recognized. What it did for me was to open the door for me to be a Métis person within the institution, and to be proud of being a Métis person.”

Bouvier, who is hoping to next get her Master of Education at the U of C, thinks the International Indigenous Studies program is “a huge asset” for the school. “It does both indigenous and non-indigenous students a great benefit.” She hopes the program will expand in future years, opening up more possibilities for Aboriginal research. Bouvier plans to use her MEd to become an educator and a teacher, pushing for the acknowledgement of a Métis worldview within the school system.

Nipin and the Rocks is available to read here.