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Many Mothers, Seven Skies

Scenes for Tomorrow

by (author) Joan Crate, Cheryl Foggo & Tchitala Nyota Kamba

Freehand Books
Initial publish date
Jul 2023
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2023
    List Price

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About the authors

Joan Crate was born in Yellowknife, N.W.T., but moved to Vancouver after her miner father decided to become a teacher. Because her father taught on various Reserves in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Joan grew up in a variety of Metis and Native cultures. She graduated from the University of Calgary with an Honours BA in English and a Masters in English (with Distinction). Her Honours Project, a poetry collection entitled Pale as Real Ladies, was published by Brick Books. She has also published a first novel, Breathing Water, with NeWest Press. She taught literature, including Native writers, for over twenty years at Red Deer College. Crate drew on her first-hand knowledge of and sympathy for Native cultures to write Black Apple, in addition to researching the history of residential schools and interviewing survivors. She lives with her husband and children in Calgary.

Joan Crate says that while her family history is not entirely clear, she believes her ancestors may have been Metis from Manitoba who dispersed east and west after the Riel Rebellion. In her own words: “My dad brought us up with exposure to First Nations and Metis cultures, no matter where we were living, so my sister and I were taken to potlatches, pow-wows, art exhibitions and political rallies from an early age. I would have to say that it’s the cultural exposure rather than the racial and, to a lesser extent, the political that makes me identify with First Nations/Metis cultures.”

Joan Crate's profile page

Cheryl Foggo is a multiple award-winning playwright, author and filmmaker, whose work over the last thirty years has focused on the lives of Western Canadians of African descent. Recent works include the release of her NFB feature documentary John Ware Reclaimed, available on, as well as the thirtieth anniversary edition of her book Pourin' Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West. Her plays Heaven and John Ware Reclaimed have received multiple productions, including at The Citadel in Edmonton, Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary, at the Blyth Theatre Festival and in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre. Cheryl is the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Outstanding Artist Award, the Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award and the Arts, Media and Entertainment Award from the Calgary Black Chambers, all in 2021. She is a 2022 inductee into the Alberta Order of Excellence.

Cheryl Foggo's profile page

Tchitala Nyota Kamba is a Calgary-based writer, actor, poet, drummer and educator, as well as the founder of Miabiwood Film Production (MFP) Ltd. (formerly Apapi Film & Theatre). Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she has a PhD in French Studies from the Université de Montréal and has published poetry collections, written for the theatre, most recently for the 2021 Ethnik Festival for the Arts, and acted in and directed performances for Calgary's Alliance Française, among others. Her next book, Kayowa wa Bayombo, will be published by France's Éditions Amalthée in 2023.

Tchitala Nyota Kamba's profile page