Turtle Island – Dorothy Visser

Turtle Island


Dorothy Visser


Natasha Donovan


Research Cluster Leads:
Shannon Leddy (PhD) and Elizabeth Biz Nijdam (PhD)
Community Liaison:
Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (UBC)


Shannon Leddy first met Dorothy Visser around 2015 when she was invited to join a beginner Cree class at the Native Education Centre in Vancouver. Since then, she has returned to Dorothy’s classes as often as she can, but the two have also built a friendship that extends beyond language lessons. We are deeply grateful for Elder Dorothy’s willingness to share her story with us and join us in this important work.

All members of the Vancouver Turtle Island project met in early November to establish the timeline for their collaboration. Gathering at a White Spot in Surrey, over the course of lunch we shared stories, many of which were accompanied by a lot of laughter. We did accomplish our agenda, deciding that interviews will begin in April, with the final draft of the graphic novel due in the fall. We also hope to share initial drafts of Natasha’s work at our AGM in June, which will be hosted at UBC and centred on the graphic novelists engaged in this work with us.


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