Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler and jaye simpson are among the emerging writers who won honours at the Indigenous Voices Awards.
Organizers doled out a total of $39,000 in prizes across nine categories during an online celebration on National Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday.
Adler, who is Jewish and Anishinaabe and a member of Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation in northwestern Ontario, received the $5,000 prize for published prose in English for his book of interconnected short horror stories, "Ghost Lake," from Kegedonce Press.
The $5,000 prize for published poetry in English went to simpson, a two-spirit Oji-Cree writer with roots in the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation in Manitoba, for "it was never going to be okay," from Nightwood Editions.
Bevann Fox, a member of Pasqua First Nation near Regina, took home the $5,000 prize for English-language published creative non-fiction for "Genocidal Love: A Life After Residential School," from University of Regina Press.
In the category for published graphic novels, comics and illustrated books, the $5,000 prize went to Winnipeg's Brianna Jonnie with Nahanni Shingoose and illustrator Neal Shannacappo for "If I Go Missing," from James Lorimer.
The $5,000 prize for published work in an Indigenous language went to "The Shaman's Apprentice: Inuktitut," from Inhabit Media, by Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith.
Montreal's Émilie Monnet received the $5,000 honour for published prose in French for "Okinum," from Éditions Les Herbes Rouges.
The winner of the $5,000 award for French-language published poetry was Shayne Michael of Madawaska Maliseet First Nation in New Brunswick for "Fif et sauvage," from Éditions Perce-Neige.
Two writers were also awarded $2,000 apiece for unpublished works. Amanda Peters of Glooscap First Nation in Nova Scotia took the English-language prose prize for "Waiting for the Long Night Moon," and the English-language poetry honour went to Samantha Martin-Bird of Peguis First Nation in Manitoba for "the indian (adultery) act & other poems."
The Indigenous Voices Awards were established in 2017 with the support of a fundraising campaign launched in response to the online furor over an editorial in Write magazine proposing a Canadian literary prize for cultural appropriation.
All finalists and applicants are eligible to receive mentorship from established Indigenous writers as part of a program supported by Penguin Random House Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2021.