Julie is a multi-disciplinary First Nations Anishinaabe (Ojibway) artist / illustrator and registered citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. She is also a mental health consultant and advocate, specializing in trauma. Julie is represented by Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency of New York City.
Ogichida Waawaashkeshi’kwe is the Ojibway (Chippewa) name given to her by her First Nation Elders. It means Brave Deer Woman.
Both of her parents are incredible artists and mentored her since the age of 7.
Since 1992, she has worked with vulnerable populations in various settings (nationally and internationally). She is a former Domestic Violence Centre Executive Director, and currently an advocate, writer, illustrator, sensitivity reader, speaker and a mental health consultant in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada and New York City. She works primarily with Indigenous youth and families with complex trauma histories. Prior to her current work, she lived and worked with charitable organizations in Switzerland, impoverished Indigenous populations in Mexico, and refugees in Canada.
Creative endeavors have always been her passion. Her work speaks to the relationship between Indigenous people and the reality of the world they live in. She comments on the boundaries that humans create (borders, reservations) as juxtaposed with the natural boundaries of nature (airflow, water-flow). Her message often speaks to the idea that we are all connected. She is interested in the ways that indigenous and non-indigenous people's interpretations of her work differ, specifically with regards to the treatment of land and nature: on the one hand respected and imbued with spiritual qualities and on the other looked at as a resource. Without judgement, she says, humans can feel that all things are ultimately intertwined.