Member Profile

Katherine Palmer Gordon

Photo: Gary McKinstry 2010

The author of six non-fiction books, Katherine Palmer Gordon has been writing for publications in both Canada and New Zealand since 1995.

Born in England in 1963, her much-travelled family eventually settled in New Zealand. She moved to Gabriola Island, British Columbia, in 2004, where she spent the next 11 years writing about contemporary issues that face societyShe has covered some of the most beautiful regions of the planet; the people who live around us and what they do; and environmental, cultural, and business-related issues. Her first five books were published under the name Katherine Gordon. With the publication of her sixth book, she re-introduced her original name, Palmer, to her readers.

With more than twenty years experience working with First Nations on land claims and inter-governmental relations, Katherine also writes about the complex and human side of treaty negotiations, reconciliation, and the path to justice for First Nations. Her most recent book "We Are Born With the Songs Inside Us" (Harbour, September 2013) profiles a number of young First Nations men and women talking about their lives in 21st century BC and the importance of cultural connection to the successful path they are following (with a Foreword by Shawn A-in-Chut Atleo).

In spring 2016, her story entitled Mother Tongues appeared in a new anthology edited by Danielle Metcalf-Chenaille entitled: "In This Together: Fifteen True Stories of Reconciliation." Contributors are indigenous and non-indigenous writers from around the country, describing their personal experiences with reconciliation.

She is currently residing in New Zealand, where she is working on her next book as well as continuing her work in the Indigenous arena.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


A Curious Life: The Biography of Princess Peggy Abkhazi. Victoria, BC: Sono Nis Press, 2002.
The Slocan: Portrait of a Valley. Winlaw, BC: Sono Nis Press, 2004.
Made To Measure: A history of land surveying in British Columbia. Sono Nis Press, 2006
Nobody's Mother: Life Without Kids. anthology, Ed. Lynne van Luven, Touchwood, 2006
The Garden That You Are. Sono Nis Press, 2007
Imagining BC: Land, Memory and Place, Ed. Daniel Francis (anthology). Anvil Press, 2008
Maps, Mountains & Mosquitoes: The McElhanney Story 1910-2010. The McElhanney Group Ltd., 2010
We Are Born With the Songs Inside Us. Harbour Publishing, 2013
In This Together: Fifteen True Stories of Reconciliation. Brindle & Glass, 2016


Finalist, Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction, BC Book Prizes for The Slocan: Portrait of a Valley, 2005
Winner, Roderick Haig-Brown Prize, BC Book Prizes for Made to Measure: A History of Land Surveying in B.C., 2007
Axiom Business Books Awards: Corporate History Silver Medal for Maps, Mountains & Mosquitoes: The McElhanney Story 1910-2010, 2011