Languages of Our Land/Langues de notre terre is a collection of poems and stories by twelve emerging and established Indigenous writers living in Quebec and writing in French. These writers all participated in either the Aboriginal Emerging Writers Program (now the Indigenous Writing Program) at The Banff Centre, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, or the francophone chapter of this program, Programme à l'intention d'écrivains autochtones en début de carrière, in Quebec. The writing within Languages is presented in English translation alongside the French original and interlaced with words in the writers' ancestral Indigenous languages--Innu-aimun, Wendat, Cree, and Algonquin--glossed at the end of the anthology. Editor Susan Ouriou, a Governor General's Award-winning translator and former French-English interpreter and translator for the Aboriginal Emerging Writers Program, states in her preface, "in these poems and stories, as they face the tragedies of the past, demand the righting of wrongs, and prompt change to create a better future, we see a reflection of transformation being wrought in the wider world." This anthology presents readers with an opportunity to experience the rich multiplicity of languages, intonations, and images within the stories and poems authored by those influenced by the languages they've inherited, writing in a language they've embraced.
About the authors
Susan Ouriou is an award-winning literary translator who has translated the fiction of Quebec, Latin-American, French and Spanish authors. She won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2009 for Pieces of Me by Charlotte Gingras, after first being shortlisted for The Road to Chlifa by Michèle Marineau and then for Necessary Betrayals by Guillaume Vigneault. The Road to Chlifa was also awarded an honour list placing by IBBY (International Board of Books for Youth) as were Naomi and Mrs. Lumbago by Gilles Tibo, This Side of the Sky by Marie-Francine Hébert and Pieces of Me. Necessary Betrayals was also voted one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Globe and Mail. Another translation, The Thirteenth Summer by José Luis Olaizola, was runner-up for the John Glassco Translation Prize. She has worked as the director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and as faculty for the Banff Centre's Aboriginal Emerging Writers residency. She is the editor of the 2010 anthology Beyond Words – Translating the World.
Christelle Morelli is a French-English literary translator and teacher in the Francophone school system. She has translated the anthology Languages of Our Land: Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec and the children’s book Blanche Hates the Night. She has also co-translated 15 fiction, non-fiction and children’s books with Susan Ouriou. Her French to English co-translations other than Winter Child are: Against God, Sand Bar, Jane, the Fox and Me, Millions for a Song, Once Upon a Rainy Day, Stolen Sisters, Louis Undercover and Hunting Houses. Her English to French co-translation titles are: La toute dernière première fois, Chin Chiang et la danse du dragon, Lune jaune, à bientôt, Le chandail d’Amos, Une musique du ciel, Leçons de la Mère-Terre and Un saumon pour Simon. Her co-translation with Susan Ouriou, Stolen Sisters, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Translation in 2015.
"By giving the French language--the white language--a transfusion of red blood, aren't we, thanks to the generosity of nations, regenerating that same language?" - Jean Sioui, Francophone mentor, Aboriginal Emerging Writers Program, The Banff Centre, 2006 to 2011,Director, Programme à l'intention d'écrivains autochtones en début de carrière, 2012-Present.