Author Spotlight for September: Albert Dumont

Albert Dumont is Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, and has dedicated his life to promoting Indigenous spirituality and healing and to protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, particularly the young. He is a Spiritual Advisor and since October 2016 he has been serving his community as one of 13 Elders on the Elders Advisory Committee of the Ministry of the Attorney General. In recognition for his work as an activist and volunteer on his ancestral lands (Ottawa and Region) Albert was presented with a Human Rights Award by the Public Service Alliance of Canada in 2010. In January 2017 he received the DreamKEEPERS Citation for Outstanding Leadership. From 2021 to 2023 Albert was the English-language Poet Laureate for Ottawa.

In 2022, Albert was invited to speak at the national commemorative service in honour of Queen Elizabeth II shortly after the monarch’s death. As is his way, he took this opportunity to offer some meaningful reflections on the monarchy and colonialism in Canada. You can find more of Albert’s thoughtful and moving writings on his website.

In 2018, Albert published Sitting by the Rapids with Kegedonce Press. The book is a deeply personal, deeply emotional poetry collection resonant with an Elder’s wise reflections on healing from addiction, facing the ongoing effects of colonialism, and connecting with the profound spirituality of his people.

Albert writes of Sitting by the Rapids: “The ancestors, living at the time of European contact had a way with words. Poetry spilled effortlessly from their lips because the spirit of the land guided their words. I take seriously my belief that medicine of extraordinary healing power is found in the verses of a poet who puts words together for the purpose of bringing peace and serenity to people in want of it. The counsels and poetry of a person living with pain are special and more meaningful to an individual in the throes of heartache.”

Maria Campbell, celebrated author of Halfbreed, writes of Sitting by the Rapids, “These gentle words full of love and powerful energy are like Albert himself. They encourage and guide the way for all who read them and are prepared to move on.”

The striking cover art for Sitting by the Rapids is by Catherine Dallaire.

You can find a full list of Albert Dumont’s books on his website.

Albert reads poems from Sitting by the Rapids on our Kegedonce Press YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esk95JXd5vA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZj7hBCeNiU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs4MbXbpDY4

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