Leo Yerxa

Leo Yerxa was born of Ojibwa parents in 1947 on the Little Eagle Reserve in northwestern Ontario. He is an award-winning writer, illustrator and artist who studied graphic arts at Algonquin College in Ottawa and fine arts at the University of Waterloo. He has written Last Leaf, First Snowflake to Fall, which won the 1994 Mr. Christie's Book Award. He received the Governor General's award for illustration in 1996 for his exceptional book Ancient Thunder.

Ancient Thunder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: First Nations;

A beautiful and visionary book, Ancient Thunder celebrates wild horses and the natural world of the prairies. Using an extraordinary technique, Leo Yerxa, an artist of Ojibway ancestry, makes paper look like leather, so that his illustrations seem to be painted on leather shirts. The art is accompanied by a rich song of praise for the wild horses that came to play such an important role in the lives of the First Peoples. 

Years in the making, the book is truly a work of art — one that reflects Yerxa's sense of nature and the place of the First Peoples within it.


  • In 2008, Ancient Thunder was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.
  • Winner of the Governor General's Award

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.30" x 10.80"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork


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