Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | 7 PM
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
16 Spadina Rd
PAY WHAT YOU CAN: $10–$20 | Students/Seniors: FREE | Individuals who identify as First Nations/Inuit/Métis: FREE

Co-presented by Diaspora Dialogues


The Koffler’s Books & Ideas Series is proud to present the Toronto launch of two powerful debut books by Indigenous women authors – Francine Cunningham & Helen Knott, in conversation with Jennifer Brant.

Francine Cunningham is constantly reminded that she doesn’t fit the desired expectations of the world as a white-passing, city-raised Indigenous woman with mental illness. In her debut poetry collection On/Me, Cunningham explores, with keen attention and poise, what it means to be forced to exist within the margins. In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience is Helen Knott’s unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.

Francine Cunningham is an award-winning Indigenous writer, artist, and educator originally from Calgary, Alberta but who currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. Francine is a graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from UBC.

Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro-descent woman living in Fort St. John, British Columbia. In 2016 Helen was one of sixteen global change makers featured by the Nobel Women’s Initiative for being committed to end gender-based violence. Helen was selected as a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author.

Jennifer Brant belongs to the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk Nation) with family ties to Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, and is an Assistant Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She is the co-editor of Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.

Presented with the support of University of Regina Press, and Judith Moses & Peter Lyman.

Koffler Centre of the Arts’ Books & Ideas series spotlights provocative writers, artists and thinkers, celebrating literary excellence and fostering critical dialogue through compelling book launches, author talks and on-stage interviews.

With a thematic focus on counter-narratives, the fall series features books that employ memoir, poetry, and the graphic novel form as tools of resistance.

Books & Ideas Fall season presented in partnership with:




With generous support from Dorothy Shoichet & Family, the Estate of Joseph Koenig, the Koffler Family Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council and CIBC Wood Gundy. 

Books & Ideas Media Partner:

Flowers at the event generously provided by: