Clayton Thomas-Müller, Activist and Transmedia Storyteller

august 17, 2018

We are thrilled to announce that we are working with Clayton Thomas-Müller, activist, facilitator, public speaker, and poet, on his forthcoming publication, Life in the City of Dirty Water—his memoir of healing trauma and escaping violence by embracing his Cree heritage and emerging as a leading campaigner in frontline resistance against fossil fuels.

Thomas-Müller is a member of the Treaty #6–based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan, located in Northern Manitoba, Canada. For more than twenty years, he has been working within an inclusive movement to address the climate crisis and our over-reliance on fossil fuels. Thomas-Müller has been fighting on the frontlines for Indigenous rights and environmental justice domestically and internationally, as co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign of the Polaris Institute in Canada, the Native Energy organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network based in the States, an organizer with the Defenders of the Land Idle No More campaign, and now as the “Stop it at the Source” campaigner with He was dubbed a “Climate Hero” by Yes! magazine and as one of the United States’ top 30 activists under 30 by Utne Magazine.

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the activist and writer is currently producing Life in the City of Dirty Water, a transmedia storytelling project based on the philosophy that stories aren’t meant to be two-dimensional, but also shared through immersive oral storytelling practices. The book component of this storytelling project, his propulsive memoir, is set to be released through Page Two Books in May 2019, and praise is already pouring in . . .

“Clayton Thomas-Müller—Cree poet and environmental warrior dedicated to decolonization—has crafted an awesome, lyrical memoir that captures the experiences of urban Indigenous youth facing poverty, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, and juvenile detention. Most, like Clayton, inherited the intergenerational trauma of residential schools. Clayton found a way to escape trauma and poverty in order to fight for his people. This beautifully written book is required reading for everyone who cares about justice for the survivors of genocide who continue to survive in colonized conditions. It offers a path to liberation that may also be the way to saving the earth and humanity itself.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

“This book is an adventure story in every way. There’s the adventure of a very tough beginning, a life of drug dealers and crackhouses and guns; there’s the adventure of leaving that behind for a remarkable time of spiritual and personal growth; and there’s the ongoing adventure of working desperately to protect the planet and its sacred places. Clayton Thomas-Müller relates these adventures in ways that will help everyone through unfamiliar terrain—he’s a trustworthy guide and an authentic storyteller. In a moment when Indigenous people around the world are coming to the very fore of the most crucial fights, this volume will broaden your understanding in powerful ways. And you won’t forget its scenes any time soon.”—Bill McKibben