Raised as a member of the Seabird Island Band in B.C., Terese Mailhot graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an MFA in fiction. The recipient of several fellowships-SWAIA Discovery Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, Writing by Writers Fellowship, and the Elk Writer's Workshop Fellowship-Terese Mailhot was subsequently named the Tecumseh Post Doctoral Fellow at Purdue University. She has been a Saturday Editor at The Rumpus and a columnist for Indian Country Today. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Carve Magazine, The Offing, The Toast, Yellow Medicine Review and elsewhere.

In 2017, as a resident of West Lafayette, Indiana, Mailhot published her first memoir, Heart Berries (Doubleday $25), about coming of age on the Seabird Island Reservation after overcoming a dysfunctional family. Hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II, she writes her way out of trauma. It's a memorial for her mother, a social worker and prisoners' rights activist, and a coming to terms with her abusive and often drunken father who was murdered under mysterious circumstances. This book was nominated for a Governor General's Award in Non-Fiction in 2018.