Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of young twins. Under the umbrella of her own business, Little Drum Consulting, she works as a consultant, writer and international speaker. Having been sober and involved in her healing journey for more than twenty years, she published her fictionalized memoir, Tilly: a Story of Hope and Resilience (Sono Nis Press 2013) and won First Prize in the Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature in 2014. The memoir recounts how she was able to overcome her parents' divorce, the loss of her grandmother, substance abuse, and fear of personal failure to discover more about her culture and herself. Through her writing she hopes to "help shift paradigms and perspectives of us as Indigenous peoples in Canada. I am always in awe of the strength of the human spirit."

Walking barefoot on grass. A hand to hold. Bannock baking in the oven. These are ways to find happiness as discussed in her board book for small children, My Heart Fills With Happiness (Orca $9.95), illustrated by Julie Flett. It was written to support the wellness of aboriginal families in particular but applies to all children.

Monique Gray Smith lives with her family on WSANEC territory in Victoria.

BOOKS:

Tilly: a Story of Hope and Resilience (Sono Nis Press 2013; 2014) $19.95 978-1-55039-209-8

My Heart Fills With Happiness Orca 2016) by Monique Gray Smith. Illustrated by Julie Flett. $9.95 9781459809574

Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation (Orca 2017) $29.95 978-1-459815834

You Hold Me Up (Orca 2017) $19.95 978-1459814479

My Heart Fills with Happiness (Orca 2018) $6.95 978-1-4598-2018-0 Illustrations by Julie Flett

You Hold Me Up (Orca 2018) $19.95 978-1-4598-2175-0 Illustrations by Danielle Daniel. Dual language with Plains Cree translation by Mary Cardinal Collins.

Tilly and the Crazy Eights (Second Storey 2018) $19.95 9781772600759

You Hold Me Up (Orca 2020) $19.95 978-1-4598-266-5-6. French translation by Rachel Martinez.

When We are Kind (orca 2020) $19.95 978-1-4598-2522-2. French translation by Rachel Martinez.

Tilly and the Crazy Eights (Second Story Press 2020) $19.95 978-1-77260-075-9

[BCBW 2020]