Ottawa, September 13, 2016 — CODE is proud to announce the finalists for 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, Métis and Inuit creators.
This year’s shortlisted titles were selected by a peer assessment committee administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. In alphabetical order by title, they are:
THE EDUCATION OF AUGIE MERASTY: A RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL MEMOIR
Written by Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty and David Carpenter
University of Regina Press
THE OUTSIDE CIRCLE
Written by Patti LaBoucane-Benson
Illustrated by Kelly Mellings
House of Anansi Press
“CODE is thrilled to once again recognize works of excellence by First Nations, Métis and Inuit creators,” said CODE Executive Director, Scott Walter. “Both of the shortlisted titles take an unflinching look at the terrible challenges that Indigenous youth have faced and continue to face in Canada. They are deeply moving stories that are important to share with young people as we as a country begin working towards healing, reconciliation, and meaningful change. But these books are more than their message: they are also beautifully and powerfully written and illustrated.”
The winners will be announced on October 13, 2016, at an awards ceremony held on the Regina campus of First Nations University. The ceremony will be emceed by CBC’s Shelagh Rogers and CTV’s Nelson Bird.
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, Métis and Inuit 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