Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, she grew up in the neighbouring city of North Vancouver and attended Simon Fraser University. She was one of the first Aboriginal people to be published in the early 1970s.
Maracle is one of the most prolific aboriginal authors in Canada and a recognized authority on issues pertaining to aboriginal people and aboriginal literature. She is an award-winning poet, novelist, performance storyteller, scriptwriter, actor and keeper/mythmaker among the Stó:lō people.
Maracle has given hundreds of speeches on political, historical, and feminist sociological topics related to native people, and conducted dozens of workshops on personal and cultural reclamation. She has served as a consultant on First Nations’ self-government and has an extensive history in community development. She has been described as “a walking history book” and an international expert on Canadian First Nations culture and history. Her views (as broadcast 18 May 2014 on CBC Radio) are that the Canadian people (not the government, because Canada is an "illegitimate state") should accept responsibility for cultural genocide and the theft of the whole land from its aboriginal inhabitants.
Maracle has taught at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, Southern Oregon University and has served as professor of Canadian culture at Western Washington University. She currently lives in Toronto, teaching at the University of Toronto First Nations House. She most recently was the writer-in-residence at the University of Guelph.
- Sojourner's Truth and Other Stories - 1990
- Sundogs - 1991
- Ravensong - (Press Gang Publishers)1993
- Daughters are Forever - 2002
- Will's Garden - 2002
- First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style - (Theytus Books Publishing) 2010
- Celia's Song. Toronto, ON: Cromorant Books. 2014. ISBN 978-1-77086-416-0.
- Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel - 1975 (revised 1990)
- I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism - 1988; Press Gang Publishers 1996
- Oratory: Coming to Theory - 1990
- Bent Box - 2000
- My Home As I Remember
- We Get Our Living Like Milk from the Land
- Telling It: Women and Language Across Cultures - 1990 (with Betsy Warland, Sky Lee and Daphne Marlatt) Press Gang Publishers
- Reconciliation: The En'owkin Journal of First North American Peoples Vol 13
- Gatherings, The En'owkin Journal of First North American Peoples Vol 2
- Gatherings, The En'owkin Journal of First North American Peoples Vol 3
- Gatherings, The En'owkin Journal of First North American Peoples Vol 10
- Satin Shorts
- Returning the Gaze: Essays on Racism, Feminism and Politics
- Giving Back/First Nations Perspective on Cultural Practice
- An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English
- Frictions: Stories by Women
- First Peoples Voices
- Children of the Dragonfly
- Our Bit of Truth: An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature
- Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native American Women's Writings of North America
- First Fish, First People: Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim - 1999 (American Book Award 1999, Before Columbus Foundation)
- 75 Readings Plus
- Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literature
Essays and criticism on the writing of Lee Maracle
- Contemporary American Indian Literatures and the Oral Tradition Susan Berry Brill de Ramirez
- Contemporary American Indian Writing: Unsettling Literature Dee Horne
- "Raven's Plague: Pollution and Disease in Lee Maracle's Ravensong" Judith Leggatt in "Mosaic" 33.4. December 2000. pp. 163–178
- "Storying the Borderlands: Liminal Spaces and Narrative Strategies in Lee Maracle's Ravensong" Karen E. Macfarlane in "Creating Community: A Roundtable on Canadian Aboriginal Literature" ed. Renate Eigenbrod and Jo-Ann Episkenew. 2002, Theytus Books. pp 109–123.
- Columpa Bobb, daughter (actor/playwright/poet)
- Sid Bobb, son (actor)
- Chief Dan George, grandfather (Salish Chief/actor)