National Treasure #171: Thomas King

A Member of the Order of Canada and two-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award,
King is often described as one of the finest contemporary Aboriginal writers in North America.
The Canadian Encyclopedia

We share Thomas King with the Americans, both by citizenship and by residency. He was born in Sacramento, CA and lived in the USA for his first 37 years (excepting 3 years in New Zealand), but he’s lived in Canada for his second 37 years. I haven’t heard what he plans to do with his third 37 years.

Of Cherokee, German, and Greek descent, King developed an interest in aboriginal story-telling when he was about 28, eventually becoming a professor of Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge. The academic morphed into a practitioner; his books include:

He is also a commentator on aboriginal policy and issues, and wrote “The Inconvenient Indian,” which won the 2014 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction as well as the RBC Taylor Prize.

King was chosen to deliver the 2003 Massey Lectures, entitled The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. King was the first Massey lecturer of self-identifying aboriginal descent. King explored the Native experience in oral stories, literature, history, religion and politics, popular culture and social protest in order to make sense of North America’s relationship with its aboriginal peoples. – Wiki


Read more:

Thomas King talking about how he wrote “The Inconvenient Indian”


Thomas King interview with Huffington Post – 5:11

King’s 2003 Massey Lecture podcast – 5 lectures, each 54 minutes long


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6 Responses to National Treasure #171: Thomas King

  1. Tom Watson says:

    The Inconvenient Indian was a great book. It should be required reading in our schools.

    Thomas King was also among those introducing the five finalists at this year’s Giller Prize Gala.

  2. Judith Umbach says:

    Well deserved recognition for Thomas King. My favourite of his was the Dead Dog Cafe on CBC radio – wished it could have gone on forever.

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    I haven’t tried this link, but it says that the Dead Dog Cafe can still be heard here:

    Google also has a scathing review of it here:
    which includes these lines
    “a hopelessly idiotic Canadian attempt at a humorous radio series, the touted popularity of which mystifies the Yank. In a mythical cafe, three American Indians cavort amateurishly from lame scripts, at times interviewing prominent Native Americans and slipping in some bona fide lore…”

    I guess I must be a Canadian. I loved it.
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – Thanks for the link. Humour is inextricable from culture, although I have met Americans who love The Red Green Show.

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