Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty is a northern Dene/Cree/Metis novelist specializing in intellectual property law with a focus on mitigating cultural appropriation and Indigenous victimization in storytelling narratives.
Her memoir Northern Wildflower (Fernwood/Roseway Publishing) published in 2018 was the top selling book in the Northwest Territories upon release and is used as a teaching tool in Indigenous literary studies across Turtle Island. Her recently released fictional novel Land-Water-Sky/Ndè-Tı-Yat'a (Fernwood/Roseway Publishing) was nominated for a 2021 Indigenous Voices Award.
Katłįà has been a bi-weekly columnist for her hometown newspaper Northern News Services since she was sixteen years old at a time when reporters produced their own photography in a dark room and editors chain-smoked cigarettes at their desks. Her freelance work has since been published nationally and internationally in the Toronto Star, National Geographic, CBC North, Briar Patch, the National Theatre of Canada, Council New Chapter, Grain Magazine, Reasons to Be Cheerful, Indiginews, and The Tyee. Katłįà’s third novel, This House Is Not A Home, is set for publication with Fernwood in the fall of 2022. Katłįà is working on two other novels. One with Fernwood currently in the structural editing stage and a non-fiction under Stephanie Sinclair at Cooke McDermid that will examine Indigenous knowledge system and the climate crisis.
Katłįà’s northern homeland and matrilineal lineage informs her storytelling. Much of her work is dedicated to informing readers on the importance of place-based teachings, caring for the land and water, and advocating on issues that impact Indigenous peoples most. Recently Katłįà has been appointed as the inaugural climate writer in residence at the West Vancouver Memorial Library where she will be facilitating an Indigenous climate panel, books clubs, working with patrons to create pieces that reflect nature as character and more while also working on her own individual writing project.
Katłįà is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation from Somba K’e (Yellowknife), Northwest Territories. Having grown up in Somba K’e, she currently splits her time between her northern homeland and the occupied and unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples in lək̓ʷəŋən territory where she is in her third year of the Juris Doctor in Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders with the University of Victoria.