It was with deep sadness that members of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) learned of the death of Gregory Younging on May 3, 2019. A member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation in northern Manitoba, Greg was Publisher at Theytus Books—the first Indigenous-owned publishing house in Canada—where he previously served as Managing Editor from 1990 to 2004. He returned as Publisher in 2015. Greg is remembered for Theytus’ ground-breaking publishing program; his vital contributions to Indigenous writing, editing, and publishing; and his scholarship in copyright, intellectual property, Traditional Knowledge, and Oral Tradition.
Greg volunteered his time and expertise with numerous organizations, including ACP’s board of directors. He was a driving force behind the association’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, and advised the Professional Development Committee on a progressive series of seminars on topics in Indigenous publishing, programmed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Greg did this work with generosity, good humour, patience, and persistence. His ACP colleagues knew him to be a trusted and knowledgeable advisor, and above all a great friend.
In addition to the books he published at Theytus, Greg’s influence is evident in the numerous books he edited or advised on for many Canadian publishers. His expertise is captured in his 2018 book, Elements of Indigenous Style, which has quickly become a leading resource on publishing works by and about Indigenous Peoples.
Greg earned an MA from the Institute of Canadian Studies (Carleton University), an MPub from the Canadian Centre for Studies in Writing and Publishing (Simon Fraser University), and a PhD in educational studies (University of British Columbia). He was a member of the Canada Council for the Arts Aboriginal Peoples Committee on the Arts (June 1997-June 2001), the British Columbia Arts Council (July 1999-July 2001), and was instrumental to the development of the Indigenous Editors Circle and organization of the Writing Stick Conference. He was assistant director of research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and taught Indigenous Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus.
The ACP board, membership, and staff will miss Greg enormously. We extend our condolences to Greg’s family, his colleagues at Theytus, and his many friends across the industry.
May 16, 2019