Historica Canada has announced the 2017 winners of the annual Indigenous Arts & Stories contest. The contest is the largest art and writing contest for Indigenous youth in Canada, and provides a forum for Indigenous youth to explore their heritage, identity, and culture. Winners were selected from more than 550 submissions from across the country:
- Junior (14-18): Mackenzie Anderson, “Nikawiy Nitanis,” Age 16, Winnipeg, MB
- Senior (19-29): Alexander Angnaluak, “How the Narwhal Came to Be,” Age 24, Iqaluit, NU
- Junior (14-18): Julia George, “Being Creenuk,” Age 18, Kuujjuaraapik, QC
- Senior (19-29): K Dawn Martin, “Kahnekanoron – Water is Life,” Age 21, Peterborough, ON
The junior and senior category winners will be honoured at the Governor General’s History Awards taking place in Ottawa in October. Emerging artist and writer categories (age 9-13) will be announced later this month.
Winners were chosen by a jury composed of renowned Indigenous artists, writers and community leaders, including John Kim Bell, Ryan Rice, Drew Hayden Taylor, Barbara Van Haute, Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley, Shirley Moorhouse, Brian Maracle and Maxine Noel.
“We have learned from this program that Indigenous youth have strong views and powerful stories to share,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada. “Those stories are crucial to fostering intercultural understanding.”
The contest, now in its 13th year, has been known as Aboriginal Arts & Stories. Going forward, the program will be renamed Indigenous Arts & Stories to reflect the increasingly preferred way to refer to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people.
Indigenous Arts & Stories invites First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists (ages 9-29) to interpret an aspect of their culture and heritage through literary and visual arts for a chance to earn prizes and national recognition. A jury of accomplished Aboriginal authors, artists, and community leaders select the winning submissions.
Supporting sponsors include Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, TD Bank, Canada’s History, and Aboriginal Link.
Historica Canada is the country’s largest organization dedicated to enhancing awareness of Canada’s history and citizenship.
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