In 2008, Joseph Boyden cemented his status as a rising literary star in Canada when his second novel Through Black Spruce
was awarded that year's Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Raised in the Toronto suburb of Willowdale, Boyden first made a splash in 2005 with his critically acclaimed debut novel Three Day Road
, about two Cree snipers in the First World War. Through Black Spruce
, on the other hand, was a contemporary tale following a Cree woman's search for her missing sister.
Boyden, whose mixed heritage includes Irish, Scottish and Métis, said that winning the prestigious Canadian literary prize "means that I am allowed to continue writing and I will always write about the First Nations of Canada and I will always celebrate and be behind the First Nations of Canada."
In the audio clip below, The Morning Edition replayed part of Boyden's emotional acceptance speech at the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala.
2008 Shortlist:Joseph Boyden - Through Black Spruce
Anthony De Sa - Barnacle Love
Marina Endicott - Good to a Fault
Rawi Hage - Cockroach
Mary Swan - The Boys in the Trees