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NEYAASHIINIGMIING, Ontario (Feb. 11, 2016) – Basil H. Johnston is cherished as an esteemed Anishinaabe writer, storyteller, teacher and scholar. With well over 20 publications to his name, Johnston was prolific. Candies: A Humour Composite was in mid-publication at the time of his passing in September 2015. The book, now available for readers, serves as a tribute to Johnston, who worked to preserve and share Anishinaabe culture while providing laughs and insight through his writings.

Candies is a collection of 34 humourous essays and stories, many of which are tales drawn from Johnston’s life experiences. The pieces touch on a variety of topics; from Santa’s visit to Cape Croker and tales of teaching students to the saga of a one-legged frog. Readers will recall Indian School Days, a classic title by Johnston which included
comedic stories about life in Residential School. Candies is his first published collection of humourous works in decades.

“Basil Johnston will always be one of our nation’s great minds and storytellers. To have known him was to know a man who understood the great medicine in humour. I urge you to read this book. You will laugh out loud and maybe learn a thing or two as you do.” – Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda

“Everyone who met Basil Johnston found him not only ingenious and sharp, but hilarious. Every single narrative he told – indeed every single word – was selected for meaning and layer. Spend time with him now in the pages of Candies, and find out why he is one of the best storytellers ever.” – Niigaan Sinclair, Head, Department of Native Studies, University of Manitoba

Having received numerous awards over his career, Basil Johnston was honoured with the 2013 Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award for his significant contributions to the arts in Ontario.  Johnston also received the Order of Ontario; an Aboriginal Achievement Award for Heritage and Spirituality; an Anskohk Aboriginal Literary Lifetime Achievement Award; and honorary doctorates from University of Toronto, Laurentian University and Brandon University.  The International Board of Books for Young People, based in Switzerland, named Basil on their 2012 Honour List for The Gift of the Stars.

Basil Johnston was born in Wasauking First Nation, and he was a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.  Candies: A Humour Composite is available for purchase at,, through LitDistCo, or by ordering at a local book store. To request a review copy, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Renée Abram
Publishing Manager, Kegedonce Press
Kegedonce Press
11 Park Road
Neyaashiinigmiing, ON, N0H 2T0

Kegedonce Press gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its Funders:

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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