Maria Campbell, O.C., Cree-Métis writer, playwright, filmmaker, scholar, teacher and elder (born 26 April 1940 in Park Valley, SK). Campbell’s memoir Halfbreed (1973) is regarded as a foundational piece of Indigenous literature in Canada for its attention to the discrimination, oppression and poverty that some Métis women (and Indigenous people, in general) experience in Canada. Campbell has authored several other books and plays, and has directed and written scripts for a number of films. As an artist, Campbell has worked with Indigenous youth in community theatre and advocated for the hiring and recognition of Indigenous people in the arts. She has mentored many Indigenous artists during her career.
Métis writer Maria Campbell is best known for her important memoir, Half-breed which initiated a rebirth of Indigenous literature in Canada. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008. Campbell was born in 1940 in northwestern Saskatchewan on a trapline and grew up in a road-allowance community.
Campbell tells her story in the context of Métis culture and a forgotten history. She brings in myth and creates a distinctive voice for a people ignored by mainstream society. This book has been used as a texts in countless university and college courses across North America and translated in Europe.
Maria Campbell earned an M.A. in Native Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. She has received honourary doctorates from the University of Regina, York University, and Athabasca University. She has taught Métis history and the study of oral traditions at universities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. She is a visiting academic at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Athabasca University. (Joseph J. Pivato, 2009)