Photo of Ashley Callingbull from Chatelaine

You may or may not know who this woman is, but she’s the reason I am writing the Karen Yellowtail novels. If you want to change the world, you have to be brave. The truth is no place for cowards.

The moment I saw Ashley Callingbull and heard her story, she became a shining light to me. She IS a shining light to girls and women around the world, especially Native women, and she is true grace and strength in adversity. When I’m stuck writing a scene for Karen, I’m always thinking what would Ashley do? And having been lucky to talk with her on social media, I know that Ashley would be honored to have the role of Karen Yellowtail (and really, there’s no one else I would ever accept if it ever came down to it).

On International Women’s Day, this woman, this Enoch Cree woman, is the epitome of what it means to come up out of the darkness and succeed. She is true First Nations power. She walks in beauty. Thank you, Ashley Callingbull