Published on September 12, 2013 by Amy
Thomas King, CM (born 24 April 1943) is a noted novelist and broadcaster who most often writes about North America’s First Nations. He is an advocate for First Nations causes. He is of Cherokee and Greek descent. In 2003, King was invited to give the Massey Lecture, the first person of aboriginal descent to be chosen.
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Born in Sacramento, California, King is of Cherokee, Greek and German-American descent. As an adult, he migrated to Australia, where he worked for years as a photojournalist.
After moving to Canada in 1980, King taught Native Studies at the University of Lethbridge in the early 1980s. King also served as a faculty member of the University of Minnesota’s American Indian Studies Department. King is currently an English professor at the University of Guelph and lives in Guelph, Ontario. He is also the creator of The Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour, a CBC Radio One series.
King was chosen to deliver the 2003 Massey Lectures, entitled The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. King was the first Aboriginal Massey lecturer. In the series, King examined the Native experience in oral stories, literature, history, religion and politics, popular culture and social protest in order to make sense of North America’s relationship with its Aboriginal peoples.
In April 2007 King announced that he would be seeking the New Democratic Party (NDP) nomination for Guelph in the next federal election. On March 30, 2007 King was acclaimed as the NDP candidate for Guelph. Present at the nomination meeting was NDP leader Jack Layton. A by-election was called in the riding due to the resignation of incumbent Liberal Member of Parliament Brenda Chamberlain effective April 7, 2008. Scheduled for September 8, 2008, the by-election was cancelled with the calling of the October 14, 2008 federal general election. King finished fourth behind Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote, Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach and Green candidate Mike Nagy.
In July 2007, King made his directorial debut with I’m Not The Indian You Had In Mind, a short film for which he was also the screenwriter.