Yesterday, members of the University of Toronto community gathered to honour the legacy of Lee Maracle, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 71. Lee was a long-time instructor at U of T, a member of the University’s elder circle, and a venerated writer. Without Lee’s writerly contributions, the Indigenous literary scene would not be in the place it is today.
First Nations House organized a ceremonial fire that burned from sunrise to sunset at the north courtyard of the Earth Sciences building. Community members huddled around the fire to share stories about Lee and her impact on the classes of University of Toronto students and faculty.
In the outpouring since her passing, it’s been remarkable to see how pervasive her influence has been in the Indigenous community. Seemingly every Indigenous writer and academic has had an experience or relationship with Lee.
Through her seminal writings and willingness to mentor creatives, Lee has shaped an era of Indigenous identities. Thank you for what you have given us, Lee, and you will be dearly missed.