Writing a Book and Starting a New Chapter: Author Ariana Roundpoint Shares About Her Life
She wrote a story to give voice to Indigenous perspectives on climate change, and now she’s exploring her life’s next chapter. Ariana Roundpoint is a Mohawk author of children's books who helps school boards expand their knowledge on culture and art from an Indigenous perspective. She also works at a pharmacy while she’s building her business and her career as an author. When she pictured herself writing all day, putting her stories onto a page or a screen, she realized she could do that for the rest of her life and that it was her passion.
In the process of writing the book with Shelby Angalik and Lindsay Dupré, she formed a strong friendship with them. The book was supported by her peers in high school, her teachers and her local school board. The story was inspired by what the women witnessed in their own communities, the voices of the youth they knew, the stories that had been passed on, and their own upbringings.
Through common ground, they found perspective and relatable characters which embodied lessons they learned growing up about gratitude, taking only what you need, humility, kindness and generosity. The storyline came together easily and five years later, Roundpoint talks about the book with kids through school visits. She’s already started writing her next book.
One of the biggest lessons she’s learned is how all of her experiences have worked together to bring her to a new level and that the journey isn’t always linear. In fact, it can be completely chaotic. “You do have to embrace that chaos to an extent… and learn with it. Once you figure that out, it's a tool that you'll forever have, whether it's physical, mental, emotional, you learn to navigate that chaos. You become almost unbeatable,” she confides.
Sharing about her book helped Roundpoint get comfortable public speaking. Her first book release became somewhat of a book tour, with teachers reaching out and asking her to come in and with her travelling to teacher conferences with her own teacher. The experience helped her stretch into who she would become.
The years that came after her book release had Roundpoint steady on the go, and she didn’t realize what a toll it was taking on her body. She did well in high school, was busy with extracurriculars but found university wasn’t for her. She could see all she was accomplishing and didn’t want to be held back to learn how to do what she was already doing someone else’s way. “I will pursue my passions in my time,” she declares.
Roundpoint admires the way her sister has been thriving in university and how much fun she is having learning. Formal education is one path to success and one she advocates for students who want to pursue it to chase their dreams. Mostly, she wants youth to have a choice and know there are options and that their path doesn’t have to look the same as everyone else’s to be valid.
Her upbringing prepared her to speak on what she believes in, with traditions, politics and culture discussed around the dinner table. She was inspired by her parents and their solutions-oriented, calm approach to life. “I was able to understand where I came from, why we're still able to be here today, why I'm still able to speak. We're bringing back languages, and we're bringing back culture and traditions. There isn't as much fear as there was before with who we are. There is a power when we fight back, and when we literally say, ‘Enough is enough,’” Roundpoint explains.
Her hope for the future is that everyone can look at what they've done as leaving the world better than how they found it. That doesn’t have to look like big changes and big impact, but a way of being in the world where people are doing what they need to do to be happy on their own terms without second guessing themselves so they can be their best self and live their dreams. She hopes youth can live in a world where their intuition is embraced and they can be themselves. Roundpoint also hopes her work will be a foundation others can build on for a brighter future.
Having kids of her own to share her experiences with is something she’s looking forward to. The ripple effect of sharing knowledge excites her, knowing that wisdom comes back around, creating new hope for the future. She knows what she shares during school visits will come around someday too. Sitting in the classrooms, she’s reminded about what excited her as a kid and she’s constantly intrigued by the creativity and curiosity of the kids she meets and learns from as an author.
Her advice to those who want to write a book or have a story to share is to always remember the first story that comes to mind, or the snippet of it that inspired them, and to anchor themselves to that as a bearing of their soul. “Believe in that gut feeling, believe in that intuition, believe in that story that you really want to tell…, I always say if I can imagine it, then it will come to life in one way or another, whether it's on a screen, whether it's on a page, whether it's real life, and we create this different reality for them for ourselves. Always go with that gut feeling and that intuition because it was planted there for a reason,” she urges.
After writing a story to give voice to Indigenous perspectives on climate change, Ariana Roundpoint is exploring her life’s next chapter. With another book on the horizon and many more lives to touch with her wisdom and creativity, she’s sure to keep making an impact in the world. In writing Sila and the Land, she’s broken new ground and has started creating a foundation others can build on as they build their own stories and find their own ways to care for the earth and solve the challenges of their generation.
Thanks to Alison Tedford Seaweed for authoring this article.
Future Pathways Fireside Chats are a project of TakingITGlobal's Connected North Program.
Funding is generously provided by the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch, and the Government of Canada's Supports for Student Learning program.