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Indigenous Voices Awards

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The Indigenous Voices Awards (IVAs) were established in 2017 to support and nurture the work of Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada.


Nipimanitu: L'Esprit de l'Eau
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Nipimanitu (L’esprit de l’eau) offre une poésie spirituelle et mystique de l’effondrement, écrite dans l’urgence de tout dire. En trois mouvements – amour intégral, chute et trahison, puis résilience et retour à la vision claire –, il livre un chant révolutionnaire, puisant aux sources de la conscience, du rêve et de la mémoire, qui appelle à une transformation radicale de notre regard sur le monde.

La poésie symboliste de Ross-Tremblay traduit une métaphysique profondément innue qui repousse les limites du langage. L’auteur y exprime une cosmogonie qui aspire à l’immanence et à l’osmose entre l’humain et ce qui fonde sa vie.

Awards

  • 2019 Indigenous Voices Award winner for Published Works in French

Educator Information
Genre: Poetry

Subjects & Themes: Indigenous Canadian; Nature

Additional Information
134 pages | 5.51" x 8.50" 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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Split Tooth
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

From the internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer who has dazzled and enthralled the world with music it had never heard before, a fierce, tender, heartbreaking story unlike anything you've ever read.

Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them.

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us.

When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this.

Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals, and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.

Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine readers will never forget.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Awards for Published Prose in English.
  • Winner of the 2018 Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design – Prose Fiction

Reviews
“Tagaq’s surreal meld of poetry and prose transmutes the Arctic’s boundless beauty, intensity, and desolation into a wrenching contemporary mythology.” –The New Yorker

“Though the protagonist’s coming-of-age story, generously and lovingly documented by Tagaq, is the anchor, Split Tooth is not a book that can be fully absorbed in one sitting. It’s possible to sink deeper and deeper into the narrative with each successive reading. Like a smirking teenager, Split Tooth blithely gives typical literary expectations the finger, daring us to see and experience narrative as chaotic, emotional, and deeply instinctive. And it succeeds.” –Quill and Quire

“Tanya’s book is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever read. It’s deeply profound, emotional and personal, and furthers her artistic experimentation and genius into a new realm. I love her even more after reading it, and I’m once again awed by her talent.” –Jesse Wente, CBC Broadcaster

"[A] forceful coming-of-age tale.” –Toronto Life magazine

Additional Information

304 pages | 5.18" x 8.00"
Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.99

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Surviving the City
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel debut, Surviving the City, is a story about womanhood, friendship, colonialism, and the anguish of a missing loved one.

Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape – they’re so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can’t stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez’s community find her before it’s too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don’t?

Awards

  • Winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award for Works in an Alternative Format
  • Co-winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book by a Manitoba Author
  • Winner of the Manuela Dias Design and Illustration Award, Graphic Novel category

Educator & Series Information
Recommended Grades: 7-12.

This graphic novel is part of the Debwe Series.

Recommended in the Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2019-2020 resource list for grades 10 to 12 for English Language Arts and Social Studies.

This book could be triggering for some readers as it focuses on topics of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People and mature content.

Additional Information
56 pages | 6.50" x 10.00" 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$18.95

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This Wound is a World
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to “cut a hole in the sky to world inside.” Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.”

Awards

  • 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize
  • 2018 Indigenous Voices Award - Most Significant Work of Poetry in English

Reviews
"In This Wound is a World, love answers heartbreak, “history lays itself bare” (42) and a world glimmering with decolonial love and queer, Indigenous possibilities is split open. This is poetry at its brightest. It is electric, profound, necessary work. Belcourt bends genre, challenging the cage of colonialism through a poetics of intimacy. It is a collection unafraid to ask questions, exploring grief, desire, queer sexuality and Indigeneity with tender honesty. Belcourt asks us to consider the ways Indigenous bodies can be simultaneously unbound and “rendered again,” (40) how worlds can be made and unmade. These are poems to be returned to again and again with reverence." - PRISM International

Additional Information
64 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Those Who Run in the Sky
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

This teen novel, written by Iqaluit-based Inuit author Aviaq Johnston, is a coming-of-age story that follows a young shaman named Pitu as he learns to use his powers and ultimately finds himself lost in the world of the spirits. After a strange and violent blizzard leaves Pitu stranded on the sea ice, without his dog team or any weapons to defend himself, he soon realizes that he is no longer in the world that he once knew. The storm has carried him into the world of the spirits, a world populated with terrifying creatures---black wolves with red eyes, ravenous and constantly stalking him; water-dwelling creatures that want nothing more than to snatch him and pull him into the frigid ocean through an ice crack. As well as beings less frightening, but equally as incredible, such as a lone giant who can carry Pitu in the palm of her hand and keeps caribou and polar bears as pets. After stumbling upon a fellow shaman who has been trapped in the spirit world for many years, Pitu must master all of his shamanic powers to make his way back to the world of the living, to his family, and to the girl that he loves.

Award

  • 2018 Winner of Indigenous Voices Award for Most Significant Work of Prose in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer

Educator Information
Recommended in the Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2019-2020 resource list for grades 7 to 10 for English Language Arts.

Additional Information
208 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$13.95

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you are enough: love poems for the end of the world
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In his debut poetry collection you are enough: love poems for the end of the world, Smokii Sumac has curated a selection of works from two years of a near daily poetry practice. What began as a sort of daily online poetry journal using the hashtag #haikuaday, has since transformed into a brilliant collection of storytelling drawing upon Indigenous literary practice, and inspired by works like Billy Ray Belcourt's This Wound is a World, and Tenille Campbell's #IndianLovePoems.

The poems follow the haiku format, often stringing together three lines to tell a story. With sections dealing with recovery from addiction and depression, coming home through ceremony, and of course, as the title suggests, on falling in and out of love, Sumac brings the reader through two years of life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person. This collection will move you as Sumac addresses the grief of being an Indigenous person in Canada, shares timely (and sometimes hilarious) musings on consent, sex, and gender, introduces readers to people and places he has loved and learned from, and through it all, helps us all come to know that we are enough, just as we are.

Awards

  • 2019 Indigenous Voices Awards Winner for Published Poetry in English

Additional Information
108 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$15.00

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