Tanya Ta­gaq and oth­ers take home prizes at Indige­nous Voices awards

The Prince George Citizen - - A&e -

VAN­COU­VER — Inuit throat singer and author Tanya Ta­gaq was among the win­ners at the sec­ond an­nual Indige­nous Voices Awards.

The IVAs handed out a to­tal of $16,000 in hon­ours to eight emerg­ing Indige­nous writ­ers at a Van­cou­ver gala on Tues­day.

The prizes, each worth $2,000, rec­og­nize pub­lished and un­pub­lished works in a range of lan­guages, gen­res and me­dia.

Ta­gaq won the award for prose pub­lished in English for her de­but novel Split Tooth (Vik­ing Canada).

Smokii Su­mac, a two-spirit mem­ber of the Ktu­naxa na­tion, earned the ac­co­lade for English­language pub­lished po­etry with You are Enough: Love Poems for the End of the World (Kege­donce Press).

The two fi­nal­ists for works pub­lished in French were both named as win­ners: Josephine Ba­con’s Uiesh, Quelque Part (Me­moire d’en­crier) and Pier­rot RossTrem­blay’s Nip­i­man­itu – L’es­prit de l’eau.

Francine Merasty’s Iskotew Iskwew, the sole con­tender for the prize for works in an Indige­nous lan­guage, was also hon­oured.

The award for works in an al­ter­na­tive for­mat went to the graphic novel Sur­viv­ing the City (HighWater Press) by Tasha Spil­lett, with il­lus­tra­tions by Natasha Dono­van.

For English-lan­guage un­pub­lished works, Francine Cun­ning­ham pre­vailed in the prose cat­e­gory with a se­lec­tion from Teenage Asy­lums, and Elaine McArthur was the po­etry win­ner for Brush of a Bus­tle.

This year’s 17 fi­nal­ists were se­lected by ju­rors Jordan Abel, Jean­nette Arm­strong, Joanne Arnott, War­ren Car­iou, Margery Fee, Gabrielle L’Hiron­delle Hill, Fran­cis Langevin and Jean Sioui.

The IVAs were founded in 2017 to cel­e­brate Indige­nous lit­er­ary ta­lent and cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for up-and-com­ing writ­ers.

The ini­tia­tive be­gan as a $140,000 fundrais­ing cam­paign launched in re­sponse to on­line con­tro­versy over a pro­posal to es­tab­lish a prize for cul­tural ap­pro­pri­a­tion in Cana­dian lit­er­a­ture.


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