About Us

oteh nîkân is a digital magazine that was born out of a desire to make the publishing world more accessible to LGBTQ2S+ Indigenous writers in North America and beyond, as well as to build on an already-burgeoning body of LGBTQ2S+ Indigenous writing. It was founded by Billy-Ray Belcourt in 2023 and is funded by his Canada Research Chair in Queer Indigenous Cultural Production, which he holds in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

From Billy-Ray: “The magazine’s name is oteh nîkân, a Cree phrase my mosum translates to “in the near future.” When I was considering what to name the magazine, I called my kokum and asked if there was a word or phrase involving the future that might be applicable; she asked my mosum in the background and he suggested oteh nîkân. I immediately loved it, both because writing and publishing are activities that are situated in the near future (work is always to-come) and because it gestures to the ways LGBTQ2S+ Indigenous writers practice and theorize modes of living that seek to make the near future more livable, that seek to remake the world into one we can inhabit fully and beautifully. oteh nîkân serves as a digital space to house these kinds of rebellious imaginings.”

Billy-Ray Belcourt, Founder & Editor

Assistant Editors

Brandi Bird

Photo credit: Heather Saluti.

Brandi Bird is an Indigiqueer Saulteaux, Cree and Métis writer and editor from Treaty 1 territory. They currently live and learn on Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh & Musqueam land. Their work has been published in Catapult, Poetry is Dead, Room Magazine and others. Their first book of poetry “The All + Flesh” is coming out with House of Anansi in Fall of 2023. They like to listen to the same song over and over again and love their three cats Babydoll, Burt and Etta.

jaye simpson

jaye simpson (she/they) is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. simpson is a writer, advocate and activist sharing their knowledge and lived experiences in hope of creating utopia. 

she is published in several magazines including Poetry Is Dead, This Magazine, PRISM international,  SAD Magazine: Green, GUTS Magazine, SubTerrain, Grain and Room. They are in four anthologies: Hustling Verse (2019), Love After the End (2020), The Care We Dream Of (2021), and Queer Little Nightmares (2022). Their first poetry collection, it was never going to be okay (Nightwood Ed.) was shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award and a 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize Finalist while also winning the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English. their next collection of poetry, a body more tolerable, is forthcoming Fall 2024.

she is a displaced Indigenous person resisting, ruminating and residing on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories, colonially known as Vancouver.