- contact Heather O’Connor or Darcy Whitecrow
- Heather’s bio
- honours and awards for Runs with the Stars
- quotes and reviews
- backgrounder on the Ojibwe Horse (Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony)
- high-res images of Heather and her coauthor Darcy Whitecrow, book covers, Ojibwe Horses
About Heather M. O’Connor, author of Runs with the Stars
Heather M. O’Connor is an award-winning children’s author and freelance writer, based in Peterborough, Ontario.
Heather has coauthored two stories about the Ojibwe Horse with Darcy Whitecrow. In RUNS WITH THE STARS / WIIJIBIBAMATOON-ANANGOONAN, a grandfather shares the history of the Ojibwe Horse with his granddaughter as they await the birth of a new foal. This intergenerational picture book with versions in English and English/Ojibwe, was illustrated by Lenny Lischenko. It was published in 2022 by Second Story Press.
ACROSS THE ICE: HOW WE SAVED THE OJIBWE HORSE, illustrated by Natasha Donovan, will be published by Candlewick Press in 2025.
Heather’s debut picture book FAST FRIENDS, published by Scholastic Canada, was the winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and the 2022 TD Grade 1 Book Giveaway. The sequel, FRIENDS FIND A WAY, hit the shelves in 2023.
Heather is represented by Hilary McMahon of Westwood Creative Artists
Honours and awards for Runs with the Stars / Wiijibibamatoon-Anangoonan
- Selected for IBBY CANADA’s From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books catalogue, 2023
- Shortlisted for 2023-2024 First Nations Communities Read
- Recommended Read for TD Summer Reading Club, 2023
- OLA Best Bets List, 2022
- FOLD Kids 2022 Reading List
- Toronto Public Library New and Noteworthy, 2022
- 49th Kids Summer Reading List, 2022
- Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Fall 2022
“I discovered the story of this Indigenous-bred horse when Ontario Parks asked me to write a blog post about the annual Ponies in the Park event at Quetico Provincial Park. Wild ponies that once ran in the forest like deer? I was hooked.”
“I learned about the ponies, about their past, about their role in the Indigenous Heritage program at Grey Raven Ranch. And the more I learned, the more I knew I had to see them for myself.”
Where is Quetico Provincial Park? Outside Atikokan, 2 hours west of Thunder Bay.
Media kit backgrounder on the Ojibwe Horse
Runs with the Stars tells the story of the Ojibwe Horse, a small, resilient Indigenous-bred horse that once roamed wild in the boreal forests of northwestern Ontario and northern Minnesota. In 1977, when the government announced plans to destroy the last four ponies living in the woods surrounding Lac La Croix First Nation, the horses were spirited across the border to safety. Breeders in Canada and the U.S. have worked hard to help the breed recover to its present-day population of about 175.
My Canadian Encyclopedia entry about the Ojibwe Horse (Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony)