Regina, October 13, 2016 —At a morning ceremony held at First Nations University of Canada in Regina and hosted by CBC’s Shelagh Rogers and CTV’s Nelson Bird, CODE proudly announced the winners of its 4th annual Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature.
Established by CODE—a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for over 55 years—with the generous support of William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the award recognizes excellent, engaging and culturally-relevant books in English for young adults that are written, illustrated and/or translated by First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators.
This year’s first and second place winners were selected by a peer assessment committee administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. In first place:
THE OUTSIDE CIRCLE
Written by Patti LaBoucane-Benson
Illustrated by Kelly Mellings
House of Anansi Press
In second place:
THE EDUCATION OF AUGIE MERASTY: A RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL MEMOIR
Written by Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty and David Carpenter
University of Regina Press
Scott Walter, Executive Director of CODE, spoke at the event and had this to say: “The deeply moving and powerful stories and characters that these authors and artists have created will continue to inform and inspire Canadians of all ages for generations to come. Both winning books – one a memoir derived from a collection of poignant, hand-written letters; the other a boldly illustrated graphic novel – depict in their own unique ways the deplorable challenges Indigenous youth have faced and continue to face in Canada. They are not only beautifully written and illustrated but are significant agents of change as Canada as a country begins working towards healing and reconciliation.”
Up to five titles may be shortlisted and up to three prizes are awarded to the creators of the winning titles each year: a first prize of $12,000, a second prize of $8,000 and a third prize of $5,000. The peer assessment committee is under no obligation to name the maximum number of finalists and winners.
In addition, publishers of the winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of a minimum of 2,500 copies, which will ensure that First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth across Canada will have access to the books through their schools, libraries, as well as Friendship Centres. Last year’s winning titles were distributed to more than 800 locations across the country.
The award is the result of a close collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Association of Canadian Publishers, the Canada Council for the Arts, GoodMinds and Frontier College.
CODE’s Burt Award is a global readership initiative and is also currently running in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and the Caribbean.
For further details on the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature, please visit codecan.org/burt-award-canada
For more information, please contact:
Geneviève “Vivi” Spicer
Manager, Integrated Marketing and Communications
613-232-3569, ext. 252