Virtual Opening Plenary by Monique Gray Smith 

Indigenous Kid-Lit Novelist 

Bestselling author 

Monique Gray Smith is a proud mom of teenage twins, an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Monique’s most recent novel, Tilly and the Crazy Eights was long listed for Canada Reads 2021. 

Monique has 7 books ranging for readers across the life span. These include Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation; My Heart Fills with Happiness, You Hold Me Up, Lucy and Lola, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience and recently released, When We Are Kind. 

Coming in Fall 2022 is the Young Adult adaptation of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, with illustrations by Nicole Neidhardt. As well, a new picture book I Hope, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. Monique’s books are used to share wisdom, knowledge, hope and the important teaching that love is medicine. 

Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 30 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.