About Tyler Pennock

ONANANKKWAAP

“Tyler Pennock is a two-spirit adoptee from a Cree and Metis family around the Lesser Slave Lake region of Alberta. Tyler is a member of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. They are a Sessional Lecturer in the Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Toronto, and an Instructor at Fleming College (Peterborough). They graduated from Guelph University’s Creative Writing MFA program in 2013, and currently live in Toronto. Their first Book, BONES was published in 2020 by Brick Books”

Before you ask- my name means Star Watcher.

If you’re curious …

My 1st home is Faust, Alberta. It is my centre and my sky.

My name is Dwight Tyler James Pennock – I’m named after my Father. He is named after Eisenhower. I am also named after my Uncle. I think he is named after a Union general…

My family has never called me Dwight. When I was in grade school, I asked to be called Dwight outside the home – it stayed that way until I was 19, when I came out. I have friends who once knew me as Dwight and now call me Tyler.

Tyler is more personal for me.

Pennock is the name of my adoptive family. My parents are from Ottawa, and Winnipeg. Their roots are in France and England.

My adoptive sister is Anishinaabe (Keeseekoowenin). She is a most lovely person, by the way. She is my hero.

I was adopted at birth, and transferred from the Health Centre at 30 days old. I was transferred on halloween, coincidentally …

We spent my first 5 years in CFB Calgary before moving to other places (Ottawa, then Germany, and then back again). I haven’t lived in Alberta since then.

As for my biological family:

My birth name is Richard Lewis Wayne Mailhot. I am also named after uncles and other family.

(My uncle Richard was the third Mailhot I ever spoke to … )

My Mother’s family name is Mailhot. My Grandfather was a logger from Quebec, my Grandmother (Paquette) was from Slave Lake area (Nehiyaw – Big Stone).

I connected with my mother in 2006, and we’ve maintained contact. I’ve visited her a number of times. I have met almost all of my Aunts and Uncles in person or by phone, as well as many cousins. The Mailhots I’ve met are from many places, including Faust, Edmonton, McLennan, Prince George, Lamonte, and Seabird Island. There are many cousins I haven’t met yet …

My Father’s family name is Chalifoux. I connected with my father in 2006 and we’ve spoken a handful of times, though not regularly — and not lately. He’s a member of Sturgeon Lake CN, and also has roots in McLennan. I have spoken to one uncle (only once), and met 3 of my 15 sisters and brothers (in 2007).

I still send my father messages.

My second home is Toronto. It is my peace and my playground.

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