From grandmother’s stories comes a book of poems exploring the relationships and experience of a Cree woman. nipê wânîn: my way back is a poetic journey of one woman discovering her heritage and how it has shaped her. Moving between Lafond’s own Cree language and her adopted English language, the poems create a kind of cultural dialogue, on facing pages, that invests heavily in the close relationship she had with her grandmother and the teachings that were offered to her. The descriptions of the natural world — the rain and snow, the sage and sweetgrass, and the wind and clouds — serve her poems, as do the memories of her grandmother’s life and the day-to-day rituals that shaped it. Stylistically emotive but never maudlin, Lafond recreates those energies that now give her strength.
Mika Lafond is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. She took a great interest in creative writing while she attended ITEP at the University of Saskatchewan through a mentorship with author Bill Robertson. Lafond and her cousin Joi Arcand started Kimiwan Zine in 2012 as an outlet for Indigenous visual artists and creative writers. Lafond has worked in education for ten years, has written resources for teachers, and began teaching at the U of S in 2015. Her writing is influenced by her love for her culture, language, and the importance of education. This is her first book. Lafond lives in Saskatoon.