CRE­ATIVE VI­SIONS

Cel­e­brat­ing Canada’s tal­ented young In­dige­nous writ­ers and artists.

Canada's History - - CHRISTOPHER MOORE -

In­dige­nous Arts & Sto­ries in­vites In­dige­nous youth aged 9 to 29 from across Canada to sub­mit a piece of writ­ing or a work of art about a defin­ing moment or theme in In­dige­nous his­tory or cul­ture. Now in its four­teenth year, the pro­gram, for­merly known as Abo­rig­i­nal Arts & Sto­ries, is the largest and most rec­og­nized art and cre­ative writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion in Canada for In­dige­nous youth. The con­test is a na­tional fo­rum through which In­dige­nous youth can project their voices and share their vi­sions by ex­plor­ing and in­ter­pret­ing the di­verse his­to­ries of their com­mu­ni­ties and the sto­ries of cur­rent re­al­i­ties for In­dige­nous peo­ple in Canada.

The win­ning en­try in this year’s Ju­nior Writ­ing cat­e­gory was “Be­ing Creenuk” by Ju­lia Ge­orge, 18, of Ku­u­jjuaraapik, Que­bec. Ge­orge is of Inuit and Cree de­scent. The Se­nior Writ­ing win­ner was K Dawn Martin, 21, of Scot­land, On­tario. Martin is a mem­ber of the Six Na­tions of the Grand River, and her win­ning en­try was a poem ti­tled “Kah­nekanoron — Wa­ter is Life.”

In the Ju­nior Arts cat­e­gory, the win­ner was Macken­zie An­der­son, 16, of Win­nipeg, who painted Nikawiy Ni­ta­nis, a vis­ual ex­plo­ration of the re­la­tion­ship be­tween mother and daugh­ter, and a trib­ute to miss­ing and mur­dered In­dige­nous women. An­der­son is a mem­ber of Pi­nay­mootang First Na­tion in Man­i­toba. The Se­nior Arts win­ner was Alexan­der Ang­naluak, 24, of Iqaluit, Nu­navut. He was rec­og­nized for his draw­ing How the Nar­whal Came to Be.

His­tor­ica Canada, which runs the writ­ing and arts con­test, also rec­og­nized younger en­trants through Emerg­ing Artist and Emerg­ing Writer cat­e­gories. The win­ning en­tries were Spirit Within, by Nathaniel LeCamp, 10, of the Osoy­oos In­dian Band, Oliver, Bri­tish Columbia (arts cat­e­gory); and “Where is She?” by Sundance Mack-Matthews, 13, of Peawanuck Weenusk First Na­tion in On­tario (writ­ing cat­e­gory).

To date, nearly 4,000 young peo­ple have par­tic­i­pated in the con­test. Con­test win­ners re­ceive na­tional recog­ni­tion each year at the Gover­nor Gen­eral’s His­tory Awards, or­ga­nized by Canada’s His­tory So­ci­ety. For many, the con­test is an op­por­tu­nity to share per­sonal sto­ries of their com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies, en­cour­ag­ing con­fi­dence in their abil­i­ties as writ­ers and artists while of­fer­ing in­sight into the his­tory and cul­ture of In­dige­nous peo­ples for Cana­di­ans of all back­grounds. To ex­plore more win­ning art and writ­ing, visit Our-Story.ca.

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