Leo Yerxa was an award-winning writer, illustrator and artist. His first book, Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall, was a finalist for the Governor General's Award for Illustration and Ancient Thunder won the Governor General's Award and many other accolades. Leo was born on the Little Eagle Reserve in northern Ontario. He studied graphic arts at Algonquin College in Ottawa, fine arts at the University of Waterloo, and worked with Tom Hill, a respected figure in Indigenous art in Canada. Leo was the first Indigenous person in Canada to design coins for the Royal Canadian Mint incorporating Indigenous design elements and First Nations athletes (Series IV 1975 Olympic Coins, Montreal Olympics 1976). A set of his murals can be seen at the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre on the Rainy River First Nations National Historic Site in Ontario. Leo provided illustrations for Halfling Spring by Joanne Arnott. He passed away in 2017.