Recipients announced for the third annual Indigenous Voices Awards
June 21, 2020: Jesse Thistle, Arielle Twist, Michelle Sylliboy, and Elaine McArthur were among this year’s Indigenous Voices Awards (IVAs) recipients announced during an online gala hosted by past IVAs recipient Smokii Sumac. Including this year’s combined prize money of $30,000 (CAD), the IVAs have awarded a total of $70,000 over the past three years to Indigenous writers for published and unpublished writing in a variety of genres and in English, French, and Indigenous languages. A recording of the gala is available now on the IVAs social channels.
Awards have been offered in at least seven different categories each year, in efforts to transcend the individualism of prize culture and to encourage community building. All finalists are invited to participate in mentorship initiatives, designed to cultivate relationships among emerging and established Indigenous writers and to provide practical career and creative support.
The third annual Indigenous Voices Awards were administered by the Indigenous Literary Studies Association, a scholarly body based in lands claimed by Canada that focuses on the teaching and study of Indigenous peoples’ literatures.
IVAs finalists this year were recognized in eight distinct categories, reflecting the diversity and complexity of Indigenous literary art.
PUBLISHED PROSE IN FRENCH
2020 Recipient: Naomi Fontaine, Shuni — Ce que tu dois savoir, Julie (Mémoire d’encrier)
2020 Nominee: J.D. Kurtness, Aquariums (L’instant même)
PUBLISHED PROSE IN ENGLISH
2020 Recipient: Jesse Thistle, From the Ashes (Simon & Schuster)
2020 Nominees: Helen Knott, In My Own Moccasins (University of Regina Press); Kaitlyn Purcell, ʔbédayine (Metatron Press)
PUBLISHED POETRY IN FRENCH
• Maya Cousineau-Mollen, Bréviaire du matricule 082 (Éditions Hannenorak)
• Marie-Andrée Gill, Chauffer le dehors (La peuplade)
PUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH
• Michelle Sylliboy, Kiskajeyi—I am Ready (Rebel Mountain)
• Arielle Twist, Disintegrate/Dissociate (Arsenal Pulp Press)
2020 Nominees: Brandi Bird, I Am Still Too Much (Rahila’s Ghost Press); Francine Cunningham, On/Me (Caitlin Press)
WORKS IN AN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE
• Rene Meshake, Injichaag: My Soul in Story (University of Manitoba Press)
• Cole Pauls, Dakwäkãda Warriors (Conundrum)
UNPUBLISHED PROSE IN ENGLISH
2020 Recipient: Cody Caetano, Excerpts from “Half-Bads in White Regalia”
2020 Nominees: Treena Chambers, “Forest Fires and Falling Stars”; Steven Hall, “Gatzi Naka”
UNPUBLISHED POETRY IN ENGLISH
2020 Recipient: Keely Shirt, “Two Little Foxes, Buttertown Beach, I Will Never be Happier”
2020 Nominees: David Agecoutay, “Willow A Quartet”; Corri Daniels, “A Memory of Mary”
WORKS IN AN ALTERNATIVE FORMAT
2020 Recipient: Elaine McArthur, Elizabeth Dances Pow-wow (Independently published)
2020 Nominee: Phyllis Webstad, Phyllis’s Orange Shirt (Medicine Wheel Education)
This year’s IVAs jurors are acclaimed and award-winning writers themselves: Jordan Abel; Jeannette Armstrong; Joanne Arnott; Francis Langevin; Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley; Pierrot Ross-Tremblay; and Richard Van Camp.
The Indigenous Literary Studies Association acknowledges IVAs support from: Penguin Random House Canada; Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA); Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF); Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival; Pamela Dillon; Sylvia Moreno-Garcia; Robin Parker; and the countless supporters who have donated to the IVAs crowd-sourced fund over the past three years. Further donations are always welcome and deeply appreciated: please visit indigenousvoicesawards.org for more information.
Connect and Share:
Read Indigenous! Check out the published works of IVAs nominees and recipients: indigenousvoicesawards.org/read-indigenous
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