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Indigenous Children's Literature

Canadian Indigenous Literature Awards

International Indigenous Literature Awards

Recent Award Winners

"The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are presented every two years. The awards were established as a way to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Books selected to receive the award present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and in past contexts. Honor Books are also selected in each category."

2018 AILA Best Middle School Book: Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers, Volume 1
Edited by Arigon Starr (Kickapoo), featuring Theo Tso (Las Vegas Paiute) et al. Albuquerque: Native Realities, 2016.

2018 AILA Best Picture Book: Shanyaak'utlaax: Salmon Boy
Edited by Johnny Marks (Tlingit) et al, illustrated by Michaela Goade (Tlingit). Juneau: Sealaska Heritage Institute, 2017.

Governor General’s Literary Awards

The Governor General's Literary Awards, run by the Canada Council of the Arts, "recognize Canada’s best English and French books in 7 categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature – Text, Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books and Translation (from French to English and vice-versa). The awards promote Canadian literature, and encourage Canadians to read. They provide valuable recognition to finalists and winners from peers and readers across the country." [x]

2017 Young People's Literature - Text Award: The Marrow Thieves.
By Cherie Dimaline (Métis-Anishnaabe). Toronto: Cormorant Books Inc., 2017.

2017 Young People's Literature - Illustrated Books Award: When We Were Alone
By David Alexander Robertson (Cree), illustrated by Julie Flett (Cree-Métis). Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2017.

Other Children's Literature Awards

While these awards are not specifically Indigenous, they often feature books by Indigenous writers. 

Second Story Press Indigenous Writers and Illustrators Contest

Second Story Press, a feminist publisher based in Toronto, runs an Indigenous Writers and Illustrators Contest for Indigenous creators with unpublished manuscripts. Winners to date include:

  • 2018: Jodie Callaghan (Mìgmaq), The Train
  • 2018: Michael Hutchinson (Misipawistik Cree), The Case of Windy Lake
  • 2018: Niki Wattas (Cree), illustrations
  • 2015: Melanie Florence (Cree), Stolen Words
  • 2015: Susan Currie (Cayuga), The Mask that Sang