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Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle

Maracle in 2009
Maracle in 2009
BornMarguerite Aline Carter
(1950-07-02)July 2, 1950
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DiedNovember 11, 2021(2021-11-11) (aged 71)
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
SpouseRaymond Bobb
Dennis Maracle
Children3, including Columpa Bobb and Sid Bobb
RelativesChief Dan George (grandfather)
Joan Phillip (sister)

Bobbi Lee Maracle OC (born Marguerite Aline Carter; July 2, 1950 – November 11, 2021) was an Indigenous Canadian writer and academic of the Stó꞉lō nation. Born in North Vancouver, British Columbia, she left formal education after grade 8 to travel across North America, attending Simon Fraser University on her return to Canada. Her first book, an autobiography called Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, was published in 1975. She wrote fiction, non-fiction, and criticism and held various academic positions. Maracle's work focused on the lives of Indigenous people, particularly women, in contemporary North America. As an influential writer and speaker, Maracle fought for those oppressed by sexism, racism, and capitalist exploitation.

Early life and education

The granddaughter of Tsleil-Waututh Chief Dan George,[1] Marguerite Aline Carter was born on July 2, 1950, in North Vancouver, British Columbia.[2][3][4] "Lee" was a nickname for "Aline".[2] She grew up in North Vancouver,[5] raised mainly by her mother, Jean (Croutze) Carter.[2]

Maracle dropped out of school after grade 8[3] and went from California, where she did various jobs that included producing films and doing stand-up comedy,[6] to Toronto.[7] After returning to Canada, she attended Simon Fraser University.[4] In the 1970s, she became involved with the Red Power movement in Vancouver.[3]


Maracle's writing explores the experience of Indigenous women, critiquing patriarchy and white supremacy.[6] Her first book was an autobiography: Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, published in 1975. The book began as an assignment in a course about writing life histories.[7] Critic Harmut Lutz describes Indian Rebel as "a celebration of Native survival", comparing it to the works of Maria Campbell and Howard Adams.[5] Indian Rebel was "one of the first Indigenous works published in Canada".[6]

I Am Woman (1988) applies feminist theory to the situation of Indigenous women, describing women's sexual victimization at the hands of Indigenous and white men alike while reflecting on her own struggle for liberation.[7] Sojourner's Truth (1990), a collection of short stories, describes the everyday lives of Indigenous people dealing with a "Eurocentric culture".[7] Her poetry book, Hope Matters, was written in conjunction with her daughters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, and was published in 2019.[8]

Sundogs, 1992, Maracle's first novel, touches on remembering Native heritage and recollecting cultural roots.

Ravensong, (1993), speaks of blending oral tradition and holistic oneness with living while tackling the barriers of racism, sexism, and class.

Academic positions

Maracle was one of the founders of the En'owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, British Columbia.[6][5] She was the cultural director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, from 1998 to 2000.[3]

Maracle taught at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and Southern Oregon University, and was a professor of Canadian culture at Western Washington University. She lived in Toronto, teaching at the University of Toronto First Nations House. She was the writer-in-residence at the University of Guelph.[6]

Personal life

Maracle belonged to the Stó꞉lō nation and had Salish and Cree ancestry.[9] She has been described as Métis.[3] She was married to Raymond Bobb and later to Aiyyana Maracle.[2] She and Raymond had two daughters, including Columpa Bobb, and one son, actor Sid Bobb.[2][5]

She died on November 11, 2021, at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey, British Columbia.[1]

Awards and honours

Maracle was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2018.[10] In 2017, Maracle was presented with the Bonham Centre Award from the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for her contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.[11] She delivered the 2021 Margaret Laurence Lecture on "A Writing Life".[12] In 2020, she was named finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for "Celia's Song".[13]



  • Sojourner's Truth and Other Stories (1990)[14]
  • Sundogs – 1992[15]
  • Ravensong – (Press Gang Publishers, 1993)[16]
  • Daughters Are Forever (2002)[17]
  • Will's Garden (2002)[9]
  • First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style (Theytus Books Publishing, 2010)[18]
  • Celia's Song. Cormorant Books. 2014. ISBN 978-1-77086-416-0.[16]


  • Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel (1975, reissued 1990)[5]
  • I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism (1988; Press Gang Publishers, 1996)[5]
  • Oratory: Coming to Theory (1990)[19]
  • Memory Serves: Oratories (2015) ISBN 9781926455440
  • My Conversations with Canadians (2017)[20]


  • Bent Box (2000)[9]
  • Talking to the Diaspora (2015) ISBN 9781894037655
  • Hope Matters. Book*hug. 2019. ISBN 9781771664974. (with Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter)[21]


See also


  1. ^ a b Brend, Yvette (November 11, 2021). "Lee Maracle, revolutionary Indigenous author and poet, dead at 71". CBC News. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e Traub, Alex (November 14, 2021). "Lee Maracle, Combative Indigenous Author, Dies at 71". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Sonneborn, Liz (May 14, 2014). "Maracle, Lee (Bobbi Lee)". A to Z of American Indian Women. Infobase Publishing. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-1-4381-0788-2.
  4. ^ a b Estlin, Lara; Fee, Margery (April 2019). "Lee Maracle". The People and the Text. Simon Fraser University. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Lutz, Hartmut (1993). "Maracle, Lee [Bobbi Lee]". In Bataille, Gretchen M. (ed.). Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. Garland Publishing. pp. 163–164. ISBN 0-8240-5267-6. OCLC 26052106.
  6. ^ a b c d e Bonikowsky, Laura Neilson (August 12, 2019). "Lee Maracle". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d Wenning, Elizabeth (1996). "Maracle, Lee". In Edgar, Kathleen J. (ed.). Contemporary Authors. Vol. 149. Gale. pp. 284–286. ISBN 0-8103-9347-6. ISSN 0010-7468. OCLC 34539955.
  8. ^ "20 works of Canadian poetry to check out in spring 2019". CBC Books. April 11, 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e Wilson, Sheena (2007). "Maracle, Lee". In McClinton-Temple, Jennifer; Velie, Alan R. (eds.). Encyclopedia of American Indian Literature. Facts on File. pp. 220–222. ISBN 978-0-8160-5656-9. OCLC 70707792.
  10. ^ "Lee Maracle". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  11. ^ "Decolonizing sexuality: U of T recognizes Indigenous educators and advocates for sexual diversity". University of Toronto News. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  12. ^ "Margaret Laurence Lecture". Writers' Trust of Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  13. ^ "L'écrivaine autochtone Lee Maracle n'est plus". Le Devoir (in French). November 17, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Batty, Nancy (January 1991). "Lee Maracle, 'Sojourner's Truth and Other Stories'". Canadian Ethnic Studies. 23 (3): 181–183. ProQuest 1293216001.
  15. ^ Lyon, George W. (1995). "Sundogs". Canadian Ethnic Studies. 27 (1): 174–175. ProQuest 215641002.
  16. ^ a b Fraile-Marcos, Ana María; López-Serrano, Lucía (June 17, 2021). "Stories as 'med-sins': Lee Maracle's Ravensong and Celia's Song". Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 57 (6): 738–751. doi:10.1080/17449855.2021.1934517. hdl:10366/154221. ISSN 1744-9855. S2CID 237877370.
  17. ^ Coleman 2012, p. 53.
  18. ^ Jacobs, Madelaine (2014). "Healing Imagination". Canadian Literature. 222: 142–144, 205. ProQuest 1799550480.
  19. ^ Juricek, Kay; Morgan, Kelly J. (1997). Contemporary Native American Authors: A Biographical Dictionary. Fulcrum. pp. 152–153. ISBN 1-55591-917-0. OCLC 35305089.
  20. ^ Al-Solaylee, Kamal (January 4, 2018). "My Conversations with Canadians; Blank: Essays and Interviews". Quill and Quire. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  21. ^ Janssen, Jessica (2020). "Voices of Trauma and Hope". Canadian Literature. 240. Gale A635140080.

General sources

  • Coleman, Daniel (2012). "Epistemological Crosstalk: Between Melancholia and Spiritual Cosmology in David Chariandy's Soucouyant and Lee Maracle's Daughters Are Forever". In Brydon, Diana; Dvorak, Marta (eds.). Crosstalk: Canadian and Global Imaginaries in Dialogue. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. pp. 53–72. ISBN 978-1-55458-309-6. OCLC 759669241.

Further reading

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Lee Maracle
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