New $6K literary award to honour YA books written in an Indigenous language

The CODE Burt Awards for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature are launching a new prize starting in 2019.
The logo for the CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature. (CODE Burt Award)

The CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature are launching a second prize in 2019, recognizing a YA book written or translated into an Indigenous language.

This new prize will be in addition to their English-language award, which is given to a young adult book written by a First Nations, Inuit or Métis writer. Both prizes will come with an award of $6,000.

"We know that Indigenous communities all across Canada are putting a tremendous amount of effort and resources into teaching and revitalizing Indigenous languages," said Scott Walter, executive director of CODE.

The award is currently accepting submissions for Indigenous-language books published between January 1, 2014 and April 30, 2019. Submissions must be accompanied by an English translation, published or unpublished.

In addition to the grand prize, the publisher of the book will be guaranteed a "purchase [of the winning book] appropriate to the size of the language community," according to the prize website. The books will be distributed to Indigenous communities, schools, libraries and friendships centres across Canada.

The organization says this new prize is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call for the "preservation, revitalization of Aboriginal languages," adding that 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

The 2018 CODE Burt Award winner was Cherie Dimaline for The Marrow Thieves.