February 04, 2023

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Toronto, June 18, 2015 – Playwright, poet and essayist Daniel David Moses is the 2015 recipient of the Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award. Created in 2012, this award celebrates the work of Aboriginal artists and arts leaders who have made significant contributions to the arts in Ontario. The $10,000 prize will be presented at an event this summer.

The Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award also honours the next generation of artists: each year, the award recipient is invited to nominate an emerging Aboriginal artist to receive a $2,500 prize. Daniel has selected actor, playwright and dramaturge Falen Johnson as this year’s emerging Aboriginal artist.

Daniel David Moses
Daniel David Moses | Photo by: John Reeves


  • Daniel, a Delaware, hails from the Six Nations of the Grand River and lives in Kingston, Ontario.
  • He has worked in the arts for more than three decades, first as a poet, and subsequently as a playwright, dramaturge, editor, essayist and artist-/playwright-/writer-in-residence. In 2003, he joined the Department of Drama at Queen’s University as a Queen’s National Scholar.
  • Daniel co-edited Oxford University Press’s An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, a founding text for the study of Canadian Indigenous literature. The fourth and 20thanniversary edition appeared in 2013.
  • His 13 produced and/or published plays includeCoyote City, The Dreaming Beauty and Almighty Voice and His Wife – the only Canadian work featured in The Norton Anthology of Drama, Volume Two (Second Edition). His most recent poetry collections are River Range (a CD with original music by David Deleary) and A Small Essay on the Largeness of Light and Other Poems.
  • Daniel has worked with organizations as varied as Theatre Passe Muraille, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the University of British Columbia, the Sage Hill Writing Experience (Saskatoon, SK), Concordia University, the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre and the Institute for American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM). He has also served on the boards of the Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts, Native Earth Performing Arts, and the Playwrights Guild of Canada.
  • He holds an Honours BA in General Fine Arts from York University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.


“Daniel is very deserving of this prize,” noted the jury. “He is one of the key figures of Aboriginal theatre, both artistically and academically, and is developing an essential Indigenous archive. He is committed to telling the stories that created this country and is an advocate for Aboriginal culture.”

“We are delighted to recognize Daniel with this year’s Aboriginal Arts Award,” said
Peter Caldwell, Director & CEO, Ontario Arts Council. “With his high standards and a long list of accomplishments, Daniel exemplifies the fine qualities that this award celebrates.”

Falen Johnson
Falen Johnson | Photo by: Liz Beddall


  • Falen is Mohawk and Tuscarora from Six Nations of the Grand River (Bear Clan), based in Toronto.
  • A graduate of George Brown College’s School of Performing Arts, she has worked as a performer, producer, creator and administrator with numerous Indigenous arts companies and organizations across the country and abroad.
  • Falen’s first play, Salt Baby, has been staged with Ontario’s Native Earth Performing Arts, Planet IndigenUS and Next Stage Festival, as well as at Saskatchewan’s Globe Theatre and the Talking Stick Festival in British Columbia.
  • She is currently an artistic associate at Harbourfront Centre, working on the Planet IndigenUS Festival. She is also a board member for the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance.


  • The Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award is a $12,500 award program:$10,000 is awarded to the laureate, $2,500 to the emerging artist.
  • The laureate and emerging artist are announced in June each year to mark National Aboriginal History Month.
  • Jurors for the 2015 award were Lee-Ann Martin (Carp), Alejandro Ronceria Perez (Toronto) and Rosary Spence (Toronto).
  • Learn about the 2014 laureate, Christi Belcourt, the 2013 laureate, Basil Johnston, and the 2012 laureate, Shelley Niro.
  • Nominate an Aboriginal artist or Aboriginal arts leader for the 2016 award – forms are available here. Nominations can be made by anyone, regardless of Nation or citizenship.
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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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