Programs / REVEAL - Indigenous Art Awards / Laureates

Troy Sebastian

Troy Sebastian

“Our stories and parables are fantastic, brutal and provide incredible inspiration...”

I am a Ktunaxa writer located in Ktunaxa amakis.

While I have always been writing, I became conscious as a writer in 2013. I was in the midst of a law degree struggling with questions of purpose, identity and direction. One night, I had the most powerful dream of my life. I dreamt of a novel that I had written about the residential school in my community and a cast of characters across decades. I could see all of the elements of the story as though I was watching it and living it. At the end of the dream, I read the final lines of the book, closed it and found written across the cover was my name and the title of the novel. I awoke, wrote the dream down in detail and felt a calmness of purpose that I had been seeking for a considerable time. Within the week I had withdrawn from law school and began to all the while feeling the echoes of that dream run through me.

My work is routed within Ktunaxa storytelling, tradition, land and language. Our stories and parables are fantastic, brutal and provide incredible inspiration in their longevity and meaning. I endeavor to serve that tradition. I write poetry, creative non fiction, fiction though I really do not believe those categories are commensurate with indigenous and Ktunaxa expression. I and am currently writing my first novel. It is set in a contemporary Ktunaxa community and is centered on the relationship between a mother and a son over a weekend at a casino in Idaho.  It is a black comedy of sorts with elements of surreal animism and explores matriarchy, tribal politics and gaming addiction.

Troy Sebastian is a Ktunaxa writer located living in Victoria, B.C.