Memory Serves: Oratories

Memory Serves: Oratories

"Writer as Critic" series #13

by Lee Maracle
  • critically-acclaimed
  • feminism
  • from-british-columbia
  • indigenous
Memory Serves gathers together the oratories award-winning author Lee Maracle has delivered and performed over a twenty-year period. Revised for publication, the lectures hold the features and style of oratory intrinsic to the Salish people in general and the Sto: lo in particular. From her Coast Salish perspective and with great eloquence, Maracle shares her knowledge of Sto: lo history, memory, philosophy, law, spirituality, feminism and the colonial condition of her people. Powerful and inspiring, Memory Serves is an extremely timely book, not only because it is the first collection of oratories by one of the most important Indigenous authors in Canada, but also because it offers all Canadians, in Maracle’s own words, “another way to be, to think, to know,” a way that holds the promise of a “journey toward a common consciousness.”


Lee Maracle, author

Lee Maracle is a member of the Stó:lō nation. Born in Vancouver, she grew up on the North Shore. The author of many critically acclaimed novels, including Sundogs, Daughters Are Forever, Ravensong and Celia’s Song, she has also published short fiction, Sojourner’s Truth and Other Stories and First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style. The granddaughter of the renowned Chief Dan George, she is considered to be a “knowledge keeper” of her people’s history, and was one of the founders of the En’owkin Centre, the international school of Indigenous writing in Penticton, B.C. Widely published in anthologies and scholarly journals, she is also the author of Bent Box, a poetry book, the young adult novel, Will’s Garden, and the autobiographical narratives of Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel and I Am Woman. Currently an instructor and student mentor in the Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto, as well as the Traditional Teacher for First Nations’ House at Toronto’s Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Maracle’s writing and contributions to First Nations communities have been recognized by many awards, including the JT Stewart Award, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for Ontario.


  • "Memory Serves" is a gift to all Canadians. I urge you to unwrap it slowly and get ready for something unlike anything else. - Herizons
  • ["Memory Serves"] serves by writing down Indigenous “storying up” of events, and by providing Indigenous peoples with arguments for “rematriation” and Canadians with considerable insight into another way of being and creating. The book also richly serves scholars interested in memory; ecological thought; colonization and de-colonization; resilience and reconciliation; the interface between orature and writing; and Stó:lō philosophy and culture, especially the verbal arts. - Canadian Literature Link to review
  • "Memory Serves" is one of Maracle's greatest books. It is a read that imparts wisdom from a great writer and it will leave you feeling empowered knowing that the wisdom of Maracle's words are being shared with you. - Link to review
  • The topics she covers, the approaches she employs, and the strength of her language highlight the reasons the author has been a driving force in Canadian aboriginal culture for decades. "Memory Serves "adds to the vital canon of Canadian aboriginal literature. - Quill & Quire Link to review
  • [At] this fertile moment for change in the relationship between Canada’s indigenous and nonindigenous peoples, Lee Maracle’s new collection of oratories ... takes on even greater significance. - The Georgia Straight]] Link to review


  • Winner of Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the 2016 Alberta Book Publishing Awards

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: NeWest Press



rights available: World

Additional Information

publication date: 11/15/2015

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book