Young artists’ creativity expressed through inspiring stories and moving works of art
For their inspiring stories and moving artwork, Mackenzie Anderson, Alexander Angnaluak, Julia George, and K. Dawn Martin are receiving the Indigenous Arts and Stories Award. The awards will be presented in Rideau Hall on November 22 by her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, as part of the official Governor General’s History Awards ceremony. Presented in partnership with Historica Canada, this award encourages Indigenous youth to excel in the fields of writing and visual arts.
In the Indigenous Arts category for 14-18 year-olds, Mackenzie Anderson, age 17, from the Pinaymootang First Nation (Winnipeg, MB), is receiving the award for a painting that moved the competition’s judges. Her piece, Nikawiy Nitanis, represents the connection between mother and daughter. Through her work, Mackenzie hopes to raise awareness of the reality of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
In the Indigenous Arts category for 19-29 year-olds, the winner is Alexander Angnaluak, age 24, from Cold Lake, Alberta. His drawing is a sensitive illustration of an Inuit story on the themes of family, vengeance, and ties to nature; the work is entitled How the Narwhal Came to Be.
The Indigenous Writing Award in the 14-18 year-old category is going to Inuit/Cree writer Julia George, age 19, (Kuujjuarapik, QC) who wrote a hard-hitting text on racism and on being different, Being Creenuck, in which she discusses the obstacles she has had to face as a bi-cultural Indigenous person.
The Indigenous Writing Award in the 19-29 year-old category is being presented to K. Dawn Martin, age 21, from the Six Nations of the Grand River (Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, ON). She has won the award for her inspiring poem Kahnekanoron – Water is Life, which was written to be performed and sung, celebrating the communion between man and nature.
For more information on this year’s award recipients, please visit CanadasHistory.ca/Awards
About the Governor General’s History Awards
The Governor General’s History Awards were established in 1996 to recognize excellence in teaching Canadian history. In partnership with Canada’s leading national history organizations—including the Canadian Historical Association, the Canadian Museums Association, Historica Canada, and Experiences Canada—, Canada’s History has worked to expand the awards to recognize the many different ways history is taught, communicated, and celebrated by Canadians. The Governor General’s History Awards now provide an annual opportunity to bring together students, teachers, historians, museums, community organizations, writers, and media producers to celebrate Canadian history and to learn from one another.
About Canada’s History
Canada’s History is a national charitable organization whose mission is to promote greater popular interest in Canadian history, principally through its publishing, education, and recognition programs. In addition to administering the Governor General’s History Awards and publishing Canada’s History magazine (formerly The Beaver) and Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids, Canada’s History produces a number of educational and online programs to further encourage the exploration and understanding of our shared culture and history.
About Historica Canada
Historica Canada offers programs that allow us to explore, learn, and reflect on our history and on what it means to be Canadian. Indigenous Arts and Stories is a competition born in 2005 out of the success of Our Story: Aboriginal Voices on Canada’s Past, published by DoubleDay Canada. In 2010, the competition was made available to a new audience of Indigenous youth—those who, in addition to writing, express themselves through painting, drawing, and photography. Since 2005, over 3,000 emerging Indigenous writers and artists from every province and territory in Canada have taken part in the competition.
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