Larry Loyie

Larry Loyie was born in Slave Lake, Alberta. He lived a traditional Cree life until he was eight years old, learning from his elders, many of whom he has written about in his children’s books. He has a website abailable here:

The “Lawrence Series” books are based on Larry Loyie’s traditional Cree childhood. The Moon Speaks Cree (Theytus, 2013) is a winter adventure, a traditional time of family, learning and imagination, when toboggan dogs were part of everyday life.

From the age of eight to 14, Larry Loyie attended St. Bernard Mission residential school in Grouard, Alberta. At 14, he entered the work force, fighting fires, working in an oil camp and a mountain sawmill.

He writes about his years in residential school and moving on in Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus, 2008). This engaging chapter book is the sequel to As Long as the Rivers Flow (Groundwood), winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction. Goodbye Buffalo Bay is a popular choice for novel and classroom study.

Larry Loyie is an invaluable resource on the history of residential schools in Canada. He is a survivor who has spent many years researching and writing about this hidden chapter in Canadian history.

When the Spirits Dance, A Cree Boy's Search for the Meaning of War (Theytus, 2010) , set during the Second World War, is based on the author’s traditional Cree childhood when his father left the family to serve with the Canadian Army. It is a family story of universal interest in the discussion of the effects of war.

The Gathering Tree (Theytus, 2005) is a bestselling work of fiction informed by Larry Loyie’s first-hand knowledge of Aboriginal culture and approaches. Winner of the 2012 Silver Medal (Health Issues) from Moon beam Children's Book Awards, The Gathering Tree encourages HIV awareness and prevention. Impressive, authentic illustrations by Heather D. Holmlund enhance the story. Included are 15 questions and answers in reader-friendly language prepared by Chee Mamuk, the Aboriginal education arm of the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Larry Loyie’s books have been honoured by the First Nation Communities Read program and other awards and award-nominations. They are Highly Recommended by CM Magazine, Books in Print and other publications. His books are found on curriculums and recommended reading lists across Canada. Study material for each book is included on his website:

Larry Loyie went back to school at the age of 55 to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a writer. He is an active proponent of literacy and learning. With his partner, writer and editor Constance Brissenden, he launched Living Traditions Writers Group in 1993 to encourage Aboriginal writing. Together Larry and Constance have given more than 1,400 workshops, talks and presentations in schools, libraries, at writer’s festivals and conferences. Larry Loyie is also available for Skype school visits.