David A. Robertson and Michelle Good among writers longlisted for First Nation Communities Read Awards
David A. Robertson and Michelle Good are two of the 53 authors longlisted for the 2021/22 First Nation Communities Read Awards.
The awards celebrate the best of Indigenous literature in Canada. There are two award longlists featuring nominated YA/adult and children's titles.
The winning titles will be distributed in libraries across Ontario and programming will be developed to encourage reading and literacy.
Black Water is structured around a father-son journey to the northern trapline where Robertson and his father will reclaim their connection to the land. It chronicles the journey of a young man seeking to understand his father's story, to come to terms with his lived experience with anxiety and to finally piece together his own blood memory.
The Barren Grounds is an epic middle grade fantasy series where Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations. Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, find the secret portal to another reality.
Robertson is a Swampy Cree author and graphic novelist based in Winnipeg. He has published more than 20 books across a variety of genres. He is the winner of the 2021 Freedom to Read Award.
Good is nominated for the YA/adult category for Five Little Indians.
Five Little Indians tells the story of five Indigenous children, barely out of childhood and released after years of detention in residential school, as they struggle to overcome trauma and find their way in a world that doesn't want them. The book won the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.
Joseph A. Dandurand is longlisted for both categories. Two of his books, I Will Be Corrupted and The East Side of It All, are nominated for the YA/adult category, and The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets for the children's category.
Dandurand is an author and poet from the Kwantlen First Nation. He was the Vancouver Public Library's 2019 Indigenous storyteller in residence. The East Side of It All is one of the three Canadian finalists for the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize.
When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt, is longlisted for the children's category.
The book celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives.
Gray Smith is an author of mixed-heritage — Cree, Lakota and Scottish — who often writes and speaks about the resilience of Indigenous communities in Canada.
Gray Smith was also the 2019/20 First Nation Communities Read YA/adult award winner for Tilly and the Crazy Eights.
Cindy Blackstock won the children's category last year for Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams.
The nominated titles for the YA/adult category are:
- Ghost Lake by Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler
- What I Remember, What I Know: The Life of a High Arctic Exile by Larry Audlaluk
- People Like Frank and Other Stories from the Edge of Normal by Jenn Ashton
- A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
- Spirits of the Coast: Orcas in Science, Art, and History by Martha Black et al.
- I Will See You Again by Lisa Boivin
- How to Lose Everything by Christa Couture
- I Will Be Corrupted by Joseph A. Dandurand
- The East Side of It All by Joseph A. Dandurand
- Genocidal Love: A Life after Residential School by Bevann Fox
- Dreaming in Colour by Melanie Florence
- Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
- Home Waltz by G. A. Grisenthwaite
- Blue Marrow by Louise Bernice Halfe
- The Eagle Mother by Hetxw'ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson)
- The Case of the Missing Auntie by Michael Hutchinson
- My Big Family by Brennor Jacobs and Brendan Bomberry
- Cry Wolf by Harold R. Johnson
- The Shoe Boy by Duncan McCue
- Before the Usual Time by Darlene Naponse
- Journal of a Travelling Girl by Nadine Neema and Archie Beaverho
- Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane
- Approaching Fire by Michelle Porter
- Bones by Tyler Pennock
- Black Water by David A. Robertson
- The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson
- In Memory of Feast-Memories of the Residential School Survivors by Judy Reuben
- it was never going to be okay by jaye simpson
- Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
- From the Roots Up by Tasha Spillett-Sumner
- Storying Violence: Unravelling Colonial Narratives in the Stanley Trial by Gina Starblanket and Dallas Hunt
- I Place You into the Fire by Rebecca Thomas
- Mnidoo Bemaasing Bemaadiziwin: Reclaiming, Reconnecting, and Demystifying Reciliency as Life Force Energy for Residential School Survivors by Theresa Turmel
- Angel Wing Splash Pattern by Richard Van Camp
- A Girl Called Echo by Katherena Vermette
- Orange Shirt Day, edited by Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley
- Love After the End, edited by Joshua Whitehead
The nominated titles for the children's category are:
- Kamik Takes the Lead by Darryl Baker
- Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life by Charlene and Wilson Bearhead
- Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance by Charlene and Wilson Bearhead
- Siha Tooskin Knows the Strength of His Hair by Charlene and Wilson Bearhead
- We Learn from the Sun by David Bouchard
- The Train by Jodie Callaghan
- The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets by Joseph A. Dandurand
- It's a Mitig by Bridget George
- When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt
- Please Don't Change My Diaper! by Sarabeth Holden
- Raven Rabbit Deer by Sue Farrell Holler, Illustrated by Jennifer Faria
- Life Cycles of Caribou by Monica Ittusardjuat
- How I Survived: Four Nights on the Ice by Serapio Ittusardjuat
- The Most Amazing Bird by Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak
- ᓇᑦᑎᖅ Nattiq and the Land of Statues by Barbara Landry
- Kits, Cubs, and Calves: An Arctic Summer by Suzie Napayok-Short
- I Am Loved by Kevin and Mary Qamaniq-Mason
- Nibi is Water by Joanne Robertson
- Nuttah and Kitchi by Sandra Samatte
- Swift Fox All Along by Rebecca Thomas
- Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert "Lucky" Budd
- If You Want to Visit A Sea Garden by Kay Weisman, illustrated by Roy Vickers
The winners will be announced ahead of First Nations Public Library Week, which is held in October.
The winners will be selected by a jury comprised of representatives from the Ontario First Nations public library community.
First Nations Communities Read is an annual program organized by Ontario Library Service and funded by the Government of Canada.
Public libraries, communities and individuals across Canada can participate in the program.