Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga wins $3K Indigenous Literature Award

The $3,000 prize represents the best of Indigenous literature, as well as encourage family literacy, intergenerational storytelling and information sharing.
Tanya Talaga highlights the lives of seven Indigenous students in Seven Fallen Feathers. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star/House of Anansi)

The winners of the Indigenous Literature Awards, part of the First Nation Communities READ 2018-2019 program, have been revealed. Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga was selected as the young adult/adult winner and The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson as the children's book winner.

Seven Fallen Feathers investigates the deaths of seven Indigenous students in Thunder Bay, Ont. The students were hundreds of kilometres away from home, forced to attend school in an unfamiliar city and were ultimately found dead in the region. Seven Fallen Feathers previously won the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize. Talaga is an investigative journalist with the Toronto Star and will be giving the 2018 Massey Lectures.

The Water Walker, a picture book written and illustrated by Joanne Robertson, tells the story of the Mother Earth Water Walkers, an initiative designed to bring awareness to the importance of clean water in Indigenous communities.

First Nations Communities Read is an annual reading program launched in 2003 by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. 

The titles selected for the program are written and/or illustrated by a First Nation, Metis or Inuit creator and contain Indigenous content.

The awards are worth $3,000 each and are chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario. They are said to represent the best of Indigenous literature, as well as encourage family literacy, intergenerational storytelling and information sharing.

The winning authors will receive the Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award on June 27, 2018, in Toronto as part of National Indigenous History Month.

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