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Joseph Kakwinokanasum is a member of James Smith Cree Nation. A graduate from Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio, Kakwinokanasum’s manuscript Woodland Creatures was shortlisted for the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize. In 2022, he was selected by Darrel J. McLeod as a Writers’ Trust Rising Star. His debut novel, My Indian Summer, was the winner of the 2023-2024 First Nations Communities READ Awards and shortlisted for the 2023 ReLit Award for fiction. Kakwinokanasum was the 2024 Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library. He lives on Vancouver Island, BC.

Program History

2022 Rising Star

Rising Stars

Selected by

Darrel J. McLeod


"Joseph Kakwinokanasum’s writing is deliberate and skillful, magical and meticulously raw. In a lyrical style that is both intimate and hypnotic, Kakwinokanasum breathes life into his characters at their first mention and draws you into the gossamer web of his vibrant storytelling, from which there is no escape other than to read a story through to its end. The blank page is Kakwinokanasum’s canvas; his artistry is resplendent. Look forward to reading so much more from this gifted and passionate author."