I think that the world is here for us to live, and that is what I’m going to do is live.” From Soop on Wheels, a Documentary
In 1943, he was born on the Blood (part of the Blackfoot Confederacy) reserve in southern Alberta. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at birth.
In 1964 he took art courses at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, then spent a year at Brigham Young University in Utah, U.S.A. He then studied journalism at Mount Royal College in Calgary. For two years, he continued his studies at the University of Lethbridge and took summer courses at the Banff School of Fine Arts.
In 1968 he was hired by the newly launched Kainai News, to draw political cartoons and write columns. Other Indian publications throughout North America began publishing his cartoons. From 1976 to 1982 he wrote a regular column called “Gitskemp” (You Know). Unfortunately relations between Soop and the newspaper board slowly soured and he left.
He served on the Blood Tribal Council from 1982 to 1986. He was unemployed and in poor health from 1986 to 1989. In 1990 he briefly resumed working as a cartoonist for Kainai News.
He joined the Alberta Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. This culminated in Removing Barriers: An Action Plan for Aboriginal People with Disabilities in 1993. A documentary film on his life was made in 1998 during a time when his health was failing. He hoped to bring light to issues facing Aboriginal people with disabilities.
He died August 12, 2001. In 2006 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Decoration by Governor General Michelle Jean.
He satirized not only government agencies but also the foibles of his own community. Three books of his work were published: Soop Take a Bow, a selection of his cartoons; Another Bowl of Soop, and I See My Tribe Is Still Behind Me, a selections of his cartoons and columns. Selections of his cartoons are in the Library and Archives of Canada and the Glenbow museum.
He influenced other cartoonists like Lance Tailfaithers, a columnist/artists at Kainai News.
The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarates & Terry Mosher. McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1979: 251.
“Everett Soop.” Archives Canada. n.p. n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
“Everett Soop – Footprints.” Windspeaker. AMMSA. n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
Unidentified article written by Toronto freelance writer Sandy Greer.