“I’ve spent too many years explaining who and what I am repeatedly, so as of this moment I officially secede from both races. I plan to start my own separate nation. Because I am half Ojibway and half Caucasian, we will be called the Occasions. And of course, since I’m founding the new nation, I will be a Special Occasion.” – Drew Hayden Taylor
Ojibway writer Drew Hayden Taylor is from the Curve Lake Reserve in Ontario. Hailed by the Montreal Gazette as one of Canada’s leading Native dramatists, he writes for the screen as well as the stage and contributes regularly to North American Native periodicals and national newspapers. His plays have garnered many prestigious awards, and his beguiling and perceptive storytelling style has enthralled audiences in Canada, the United States and Germany. His 1998 play Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth has been anthologized in Seventh Generation: An Anthology of Native American Plays, published by the Theatre Communications Group. Although based in Toronto, Taylor has travelled extensively throughout North America, honouring requests to read from his work and to attend arts festivals, workshops and productions of his plays. He was also invited to Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute in California, where he taught a series of seminars on the depiction of Native characters in fiction, drama and film. One of his most established bodies of work includes what he calls the Blues Quartet, an ongoing, outrageous and often farcical examination of Native and non-Native stereotypes.
Among Taylor’s many awards are: the Indspire Awards in Arts (2021); the Canada Council Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Theatre (2009); the Governor General’s Award for Drama, Nominee (2006) In a World Created by a Drunken God; the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, Nominee (2005); James Buller Aboriginal Theatre Award for Playwright of the Year (1997) Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth; and the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, Small Theatre Division (1996) Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth.