Kat Norris is a Salish poet, writer, social activist and public educator. Born in British Columbia, Kat grew up in California before returning to BC when she was 19. Soon after moving back, Kat joined the American Indian Movement. Her first poem was published in the Indian World, a magazine published by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. She has contributed poetry to the Salish Seas Anthology. Her poems appear in the Prayers to the Four Directions an online initiative dedicated to recovering the spirituality of First Nations communities after the devastation brought by organized religion and Indian Residential Schools. Kat has presented readings at Rhizome Cafe and UBC’s coffeehouse events.
Kat wrote her first poem in California when she was 12 years old. The poem was about ‘cost of things’, and it did get published in a newspaper. But Kat began to write poetry in a conscious manner when she was 19 where she would write ‘romantic visions of Native Peoples’ without sharing with anyone till someone found them in her binder, and suggested to her to get them published, setting her on her journey as a poet.
Kat has since been a poet and a public educator, speaking on the impact of colonization and Indian Residential Schools for classes and student unions at UBC, SFU and Langara College, and is the founder and spokesperson for the Indigenous Action Movement, an active group which takes action and acts as a voice against injustice. Kat had previously worked as a support worker for First Nations youth on local schoolboards and has a background in family counselling and in broadcasting and theatre.
She has created a number of resources for First Nations communities affected by residential schools including a Facebook group on her own story of healing. She organizes pow-wows (‘gatherings’) for First Nations peoples where she is also active as a singer and a dancer.
At the July 26 Gathering of Surrey Muse, Kat will present a selection from her published and unpublished work including some of her Crow Poems. Below are links for more information on Kat Norris.
Prayers to the Four Directions
On My Healing Journey
Kat’s pow-wow page
More about the meetings