Maria Campbell is a writer, playwright, and teacher. She started her career in 1973 when she published her first book, Half-breed. That book has become a literary classic and continues to be one of the most widely taught texts in Canadian literature. Professor Campbell has also written four children’s books. Her most recent book, Stories of The Road Allowance People, translates oral stories into print and is being re-published.
Maria Campbell’s first professional play, Flight, was the first all-Aboriginal theatre production in Canada. Flight brought modern dance, storytelling, and drama together with traditional Aboriginal practices. Professor Campbell went on to write and direct other plays, some of which toured Canada and abroad. In 1984, she co-founded a film and video production company with her brother and daughter. With this company, Campbell produced and directed seven documentaries and produced with CTV Canada’s first weekly Aboriginal television series entitled ‘My Partners, My People.’
Professor Campbell has received numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gabriel Dumont Order of Merit, the Chalmers Award for best new play, and a national Dora Mavore Award for playwriting. She has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Theatre Hall of Fame and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.
Maria Campbell has recently retired from the University of Saskatchewan where she taught native studies, creative writing and drama. She is currently the Elder in Residence at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Athabasca University. She holds four honorary doctorate degrees and has served as writer and playwright in residence at numerous universities, public libraries, and theatres. On October 2, 2012, Maria Campbell was named as the Trudeau Foundation Visiting Fellow for 2012–2013 by the University of Ottawa.
She has worked as a volunteer with women and children in crisis for over forty years and is co-founder of a halfway house for women in Edmonton as well as an emergency crisis centre for women and children Until recently, Maria Campbell’s home was a safe house for youth. She is a mom, grandma and great-grandma.