Reviving Indigenous Spaces: Echoes of a Native Spirit - An Interview with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson


  • Sayan Dey Amity University, Noida and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Jonnelle Walker University of Minnesota



Nishnaabeg, indigenous, musician, decolonize, knowledge.


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is an indigenous (Missisuaga Nishnaabeg) writer, musician and academician. She is notable as the author of several books and papers on indigenous issues in Canada, and for her work with the 2012 'Idle No More' protests. Leanne released her first album of poetry and music called Islands of Decolonial Love in conjunction with a book of poetry and short stories of the same name in 2013 with ARP Books. She signed with RPM records, the first indigenous contemporary music label in June 2016, and her second album Flight released on September 30, 2016. Simpson is a member of Alderville First Nation. She writes about contemporary indigenous issues and realities, particularly from her own 'Anishinaabe' nation across a variety of genres. Simpson has collaborated with a variety of indigenous and non-indigenous musicians to record and perform stories as song. She regularly performs live with a core group of musicians consisting of Cris Derksen Nick Ferrio and Ansley Simpson. In this interview she talks about the importance of preserving and reviving indigenous geo-political spaces to decolonize the global contemporary patterns of knowledge production. 

Author Biographies

Sayan Dey, Amity University, Noida and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

Sayan Dey is a Visiting Faculty at Amity Institute of English Studies and Research, Amity University, Noida and Research Scholar at Department of English, Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. Belonging to the ‘Bangal’ community of immigrants, his area of research interest lies in decolonizing the post-colonial historical gazes of India from both inside and outside the national geo-political space. 

Jonnelle Walker, University of Minnesota

Jonnelle Walker in an American Studies student at the University of Minnesota. As a biracial Ojibwe and white woman, she focuses on the hybrids place in the decolonial revolution and utilizes Marxist and decolonial theory to engage in the importance of decolonial praxis in the education system and physical environment.