M.L. Smoker is a citizen of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation in north-eastern Montana. Her family home is on Tabexa Wakpa (Frog Creek).
She holds an MFA from the University of Montana in Missoula, where she was the recipient of the Richard Hugo Fellowship.
Her first collection of poems, Another Attempt at Rescue, was published by Hanging Loose Press in the spring of 2005. In 2009, she co-edited an anthology of human rights poetry with Melissa Kwasny entitled, I Go to the Ruined Place. She has served as a writer/consultant on the PBS documentaries, Before There Were Parks and Indian Relay, the latter earning her a regional Emmy award.
Smoker currently resides in Helena, Montana, where she serves as the Director of Indian Education for the Office of Public Instruction.