Tomson Highway, award-winning playwright and the author of The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, Rose, and Kiss of the Fur Queen, was born in a tent near Maria Lake, Manitoba in 1951. A full-blood Cree, he is a registered member of the Barren Lands First Nation, the village for which is called Brochet. He grew up in the spectacularly beautiful natural landscape that is Canada's sub-Arctic, an un-peopled region of hundreds of lakes, endless forests of spruce and pine, and great herds of caribou. His parents, with no access to books, TV or radio, would tell their children stories, and Tomson fell in love with the oral tradition of storytelling. When he was six, he was taken from his family and placed in residential school in The Pas. Although he resented being taken away from his parent and family, he did learn music, and had plans to become a concert pianist. He traveled to London to study, and earned his music degree in 1975 and a Bachelor’s of Arts in 1976 from the University of Western Ontario. But instead of becoming a professional concert musician, Highway instead decided to dedicate his life to the service of his people.
Subsequently, for seven years, he immersed himself in the field of Native social work, working on reserves and in urban centres across Ontario and, later on, Canada. He then decided it was time to put all this extraordinary artistic training and this extraordinary Native social work experience together – he started writing music, plays, and, later, novels. After years of working in the Toronto theatre industry, he achieved national and international recognition in 1986 with his sixth play, the multi-award-winning The Rez Sisters.
He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1994 and his latest award is a winner of the 2022 Governor General's Performing Arts Award.
For many years, he ran Canada’s premiere Native Theatre Company, Native Earth Performing Arts, in Toronto, out of which has emerged a generation of professional Native Theatre artists. He now splits his time between homes near Sudbury, Ontario and Gatineau, Québec.
For more information on Tomson or his work:
Visit his website: www.tomsonhighway.com
Books by TompsonSort By
Author Tomson Highway Illustrated by John Rombough$14.95 ISBN: 9781927083499 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 2016-08-30
The Dispossessed : Life and Death in Native Canada
Author Geoffrey York Foreword by Tomson Highway$14.95 ISBN: 9781552780619 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Geoffrey York Publication Date: 2013-09-17
Author Tomson Highway Illustrated by Julie Flett$14.95 ISBN: 9781897252642 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 2018-12-21
Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing
Author Tomson Highway$14.95 ISBN: 9781897252833 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 2010-12-20
Fox On the Ice : Maageesees Maskwameek Kaapit
Author Tomson Highway Illustrated by Brian Deines$12.95 ISBN: 9781897252666 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 2010-11-30
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito
Author Tomson Highway Illustrated by Sue Todd$16.95 ISBN: 9781927083383 Binding: Trade Cloth Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 2016-09-07
Iskooniguni Iskweewuk : The Rez Sisters in its original version: Cree
Author Tomson Highway$16.95 ISBN: 9781897252529 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 2010-06-28
Paasteewitoon Kaapooskaysing Tageespichit : Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing in its original version: Cree
Author Tomson Highway$16.95 ISBN: 9781897252802 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 2010-11-02
The Rez Sisters
Author Tomson Highway$12.95 ISBN: 9780920079447 Binding: Trade Paper Publisher: Fifth House Publication Date: 1992-12-15