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 Finalists announced for the second annual Indigenous Voices Awards

May 14, 2019 (Vancouver B.C.): Seventeen finalists were announced today for the second annual Indigenous Voices Awards (IVAs), administered by Indigenous Literary Studies Association. The IVAs were established in 2017 to support and nurture the work of Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada. The awards honour the sovereignty of Indigenous creative voices and reject cultural appropriation.

The finalists represent emerging Indigenous voices, both published and unpublished. A total of $14,000.00 (CDN) will be given out to the winners on June 4, 2019. The finalists are recognized in seven distinct categories, reflecting the diversity and complexity of Indigenous literary art:

PUBLISHED PROSE IN ENGLISH

Lindsay Nixon nîtisânak (Metonymy Press)

Tanya Tagaq, Split Tooth (Viking Canada/Penguin Random House Canada)

Joshua Whitehead, Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press)

PUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH

Wanda John-Kehewin, Seven Sacred Truths (Talon)

Jules Koostachin, Unearthing of Secrets, Gathering of Truths (Kegedonce)

Smokii Sumac, You are Enough: Love Poems for the End of the World (Kegedonce)

PUBLISHED WORKS IN FRENCH 

Joséphine Bacon, Uiesh, Quelque Part (Mémoire d’encrier)

Pierrot Ross-Tremblay, Nipimanitu (Prise de parole)

WORK IN AN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE

Francine Merasty, Iskotew Iskwew

UNPUBLISHED PROSE IN ENGLISH

Francine Cunningham, selection from “Teenage Asylums”

Brittany Johnson, “Transit”

Blair Yoxall, “Little Bull”

UNPUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH

Craig Commanda, “My Ghosts Roam this Land” and other poems

Elaine McArthur, “Brush of a Bustle”

Autumn Schnell, “FemmNDN Commandments”

WORKS IN AN ALTERNATIVE FORMAT

Mich Cota, “Wàsakozi”

Tasha Spillett (with Natasha Donovan), “Surviving the City” (HighWater Press)

 

Warren Cariou (Metis), Juror: “This list is an inspiration, and another sign of the vibrance and originality of Indigenous verbal arts in this land. These artists—both new and established—show us in myriad ways how the stories live on and are made new.”

 

This year’s IVAs jurors are acclaimed and award-winning writers themselves: Jordan Abel; Jeannette Armstrong; Joanne Arnott; Warren Cariou; Margery Fee; Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill; Francis Langevin; and Jean Sioui.

 

The winners will be announced at the IVAs Gala on June 4, 2019, at the First Nations House of Learning, 1985 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2, Unceded Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Territory, UBC.

 

Gala tickets are free but must be reserved here.

 

The IVAs Gala will be the culminating event of a day of mentorship initiatives on June 4, supported by Penguin Random House Canada, designed to cultivate relationships among emerging and established Indigenous writers and to provide practical tools for professionalization.

With many thanks to the supporters of the IVAs: Scholastic Canada; Penguin Random House Canada; Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA); Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF); Pamela Dillon; Robin Parker; and the countless supporters who have donated to the IVAs crowd-sourced fund over the past two years. Further donations are always welcome and deeply appreciated: please visit indigenousvoicesawards.org for more information.

 

Contact:

Sam McKegney at ivawards@sfu.ca

Bios and photos of finalists available upon request.