Born in Merritt, B.C., Shirley was a member of the Interior Salish Nation of British Columbia. She earned a Bachelor of Education and a doctorate on oral traditions and the transmission of culture. She wrote My Name Is Seepeetza, which is based on her own childhood experiences at an Indian residential school. Acclaimed in both Canada and the United States, the book has won the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize. She also won the Laura Steiman Award for Children's Literature.
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