Emma LaRocque


Dr. Emma LaRocque is a scholar, author, poet and professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.  Originally from northeastern Alberta, Emma grew up in a Cree Michif-speaking and land-based Metis family and community. For more than three decades she has lectured locally, nationally and internationally on Native/White relations, focusing on colonization and its currency in academia and society.  She has advanced an Aboriginal-based critical resistance theory in scholarship, and is one of the most recognized and respected Native Studies scholars today.  Her prolific career includes numerous publications in areas of colonization, Canadian historiography, misrepresentation, racism, violence against women, and  First Nation and Metis literatures and identities. Her poems are widely anthologized in prestigious collections and journals. She was the originator and key organizer of the “‘For the Love of Words’: Aboriginal Writers of Canada” Conference, held in Winnipeg in September 2004.

Dr. LaRocque has received national and international recognition and has presented papers and poetry in Australia, England, Hawaii and throughout North America. She has been recognized as an outstanding teacher and scholar, and in 2005 Dr. LaRocque received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Dr. LaRocque is author of When the Other Is Me: Native Resistance Discourse 1850 – 1990 (2010), which won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction, and Defeathering The Indian (1975).

LaRocque acquired a Bachelor of Arts (1973) degree in English/Communications from Goshen College, Indiana; a Master of Arts (1976) in Peace Studies from the Associated Mennonite Seminaries, Elkhart Indiana (for which she received a Rockefeller Fellowship), and an MA in History (1980) as well as a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies in History/English (1999) from the University of Manitoba. She remains active as a professor, researcher, writer and human rights advocate.

The Red in Winter

The blushing river the Cree called her
She wears no rouge today
She speaks no Cree
I ask about her other lifetimes
beneath her white mask.

  • Emma LaRocque from Native Writers and Canadian Writing: Canadian Literature Special Issue, UBC Press 1990