Winners Of the Indigenous Literature Awards Announced

On Sunday, September 27, 2020, during the first Toronto’s Virtual Word on the Street Festival, the Indigenous Literature award recipients interviewed with Peter Olson, President of the PMC.

The winner of the Children’s Book Award was Clayton Gautier for his book: Sus Yoo The Bear’s Medicine, published by Theytus Books.

This is Clayton Gautier’s, a multi-media artist, second children’s book.  He brings the teachings of the land into this bilingual picture book. Nancy Cooper, (First Nations Consultant) writes: “In this bilingual story, a mother bear teaches her cubs how to live in relationship to the land. Emphasizing gratitude, interdependence, and ancestry, Cree/Dakelh author and artist Gauthier conveys the wisdom of growing up and cultural inheritance through the movements of a bear family.”

Read more in the Quil and Quire article, or the  My Prince George Now article.

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First Nation Communities READ 2020-2021 Announce the Children and Young Adult/Adult Shortlists for the PMC Indigenous Literature Award

Toronto, September 16, 2020 – First Nation Communities READ announces the shortlist for the combined Children’s and Young Adult/Adult categories. Chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, these titles represent the best of Indigenous literature from across Turtle Island today.  The title selection announcement for FNCR 2020-2021 will take place at Toronto’s Virtual Word on the Street Festival on Sunday, September 27, 2020. The authors of the selected title will be the recipients of the Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award and will each receive a $3000 cash prize.

Children’s Category Shortlist

  • I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas. Published by Nimbus Publishing
  • When We Had Sled Dogs by Ida Tremblay. Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing
  • E Meshkwadooniged Mitig/The Trading Tree by Nancy Cooper. Published by Prince’s Trust Canada
  • Sus Yoo The Bear’s Medicine by Clayton Gauthier. Published by Theytus Books
  • Neekah’s Knitting Needles by Odelia Smith and Sylvia Olsen. Published by Sono Nis Press

Young Adult/Adult Category Shortlist

Crow Winter by Karen McBride. Published by Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

  • Chasing Painted Horses by Drew Hayden Taylor. Published by Cormorant Press
  • If I Go Missing by Brianna Jonnie. Published by James Lorimer and Company
  • In My Own Moccasins by Helen Knott. Published by University of Regina Press
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott. Published by Doubleday Canada

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Ray Argyle presents PMC Indigenous Literature Award to Monique Gray Smith

PMC’s sponsorship of the PMC Indigenous Literature Awards was wrapped up with a November 12 luncheon in Toronto hosted by our partners the Southern Ontario Library Service. The luncheon was arranged by SOLS program coordinator Nancy Cooper and attended winning author in the Young Adult/Adult category Monique Gray Smith as well as friends and representatives of the organizations involved. On hand representing PMC were Ray Argyle and Barry Francis. Unfortunately, Cindy Blackstock, the winning author in the Children’s category was unable to attend the luncheon due to the cancellation of her flight and her award will be presented at a later date.

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2018’s PMC Indigenous Literature Award Winners are Presented Their Awards at Ceremony

On June 25th, the winner’s of the PMC Indigenous Literature Award were presented their awards in a ceremony in downtown Toronto. TNG President, Peter Olson, had the pleasure of presenting the awards.

Peter Olson of PMC congratulates 2018 PMC Indigenous Literature Award Winners Tanya Talaga (fourth from left) and Joanne Robertson (second from right).

Peter Olson of PMC is flanked by 2018 PMC Indigenous Literature Award Winners Tanya Talaga (to his left) and Joanne Robertson (to his right) and members of this year’s judging panel.
One of the Award winners Author-Illustrator, Joanne Robertson, was featured in an article by SooToday.com. Click here to read this interesting article.

elected Titles for the Indigenous Literature Award Announced


Toronto June 12, 2018
– First Nation Communities READ 2018-2019 announces the selected titles in the Children’s and YA/Adult Categories.  Chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, these titles represent the best of Indigenous literature.  The selected titles’ authors will be presented with the Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award on June 27th in Toronto at Yonge/Dundas Square as part of National Indigenous History Month celebrations.  The Indigenous Literature Award comes with a prize of $3000 for each author.
Children’s Category Selected Title

The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson
Published by Second Story Press
The story of a determined Ojibwe Grandmother (Nokomis) Josephine Mandamin and her great love for Nibi (water).
Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our need to protect Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet.
Joanne Robertson is AnishinaabeKwe and a member of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek. She continues to help water walkers through live GPS spotting to make sure the water is safe on their journeys. Joanne lives near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Young Adult/Adult Selected Title
Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
Published by House of Anansi Press
This is the story about seven Indigenous high school students who died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The students were far away from home, forced to attend school in the northern city and were ultimately found dead in the region.
Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for twenty years. Tanya is of Polish and Indigenous descent. Her great-grandmother, Liz Gauthier, was a residential school survivor. Her great-grandfather, Russell Bowen, was an Ojibwe trapper and labourer. Her grandmother is a member of Fort William First Nation. Her mother was raised in Raith and Graham, Ontario. Tanya lives in Toronto with her two teenage children.
Click here to read the official press release.

First Nation Communities READ 2018-2019 Indigenous Literature Award Shortlist

First Nation Communities READ 2018-2019 Announce the Children and Young Adult/Adult Shortlists for the Indigenous Literature Award
Toronto, May 30, 2018 – First Nation Communities READ announces the shortlists for the combined Children’s and Young Adult/Adult categories. Chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, these titles represent the best of Indigenous literature from throughout Turtle Island today.  The title selection announcement for FNCR 2018-2019 will take place in Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto on June 27 as part of the National Indigenous History Month celebrations.  The authors of the selected titles will be the recipients of the Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award and will each receive a $3000 cash prize.

Children’s Category Shortlist

• When We Were Alone by David Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett (Highwater Press)
• Akalik’s Adventure by Deborah Kigjugalik Webster (Inhabit Media)
• My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Julie Flett (Orca Book Publishers)
• The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson (Second Story Press)
• The Cloud Artist by Sherri Maret (The Roadrunner Press)

Young Adult/Adult Category Shortlist

• #NotYourPrincess edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale (Annick Press)
• My Conversations with Canadians by Lee Maracle (Book*hug)
• The Marrow Thieves by Cheri Dimaline (Dancing Cat Books)
• Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga (House of Anansi)
• He Who Dreams by Melanie Florence (Orca Book Publishers)

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First Nation Communities READ Announces 2017-2018 Selected Title

Toronto, June 8, 2017– First Nation Communities READ (FNCR) and Periodical Marketers of Canada (PMC) are pleased to announce that:
  • Bearskin Diary, by Carol Rose Daniels is the selected title of First Nations Communities Read 2017-18 and the recipient of this year’s PMC Aboriginal Literature Award. Bearskin Diary is published by Nightwood Editions (www.nightwoodeditions.com)
The Aboriginal Literature Award, inspired by the goals of the FNCR program, recognizes the work of the creators of outstanding Aboriginal literature and supports the objectives of PMC’s Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters (FACL). The annual award of $5,000 is provided through a FACL funding commitment. PMC, with FNCR jurors on hand. The award was presented to Carol Rose Daniels at 3:25 pm on Wednesday, June 28 as part of the Aboriginal History Month Celebration held at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Ontario.

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First Nation Communities READ 2017-2018 Announces Shortlist for Young Adult/Adult Category

Toronto, May 2, 2017 – Five books are in contention to become the First Nation Communities READ community reading selection for 2017-2018. Five jury members from First Nation public libraries in Ontario made the shortlist selections. The title selection announcement for 2017-2018 will take place in Toronto on June 28 as part of National Aboriginal Day Celebrations. The selected title’s creator will be the recipient of the $5,000 Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.

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First Nation Communities Read 2016-2017 Announces – Winner of the PMC Aboriginal Literature Award

The winner of the PMC Aboriginal Literature Award is: Spirit Bear. Illustrated by Michael Arnott. Written by Jennifer Harrington.
Toronto, June 20, 2016 – First Nation Communities Read (FNCR) and Periodical Marketers of Canada (PMC) are pleased to announce that:
  • Spirit Bear, illustrated by Michael Arnott and written by Jennifer Harrington is the selected title of First Nations Communities Read 2016-2017 and the recipient of this year’s PMC Aboriginal Literature Award. Spirit Bear is published by Eco Books 4 Kids.

The Aboriginal Literature Award, inspired by the goals of the FNCR program, recognizes the work of the creators of outstanding Aboriginal literature and supports the objectives of PMC’s Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters (FACL). The annual award of $5,000 is provided through a FACL funding commitment. Tom Worsley, representing PMC, with FNCR jurors on hand, presented the award to Michael Arnott at 3:30 pm on Thursday, June 23, at the National Aboriginal Day celebrations held at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto, Ontario.
A jury of librarians from First Nation public libraries in Ontario, with coordination support from Southern Ontario Library Service, selected Spirit Bear from more than 24 titles submitted by Canadian publishers. An announcement of five short-list contenders preceded the selection decision. In arriving at its selection decision, the jury agreed that the book is an important one that tells a story of friendship, perseverance, bravery, and trust. The reader follows Anuk, a white bear cub (spirit bear) who has swept away from home and must make his way back to his mother. Spirit Bear is full of lovely full-colour illustrations by artist Michael Arnott that introduce children to 22 animals from the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, many of whom are endangered.
First Nation Communities Read is the Ontario First Nation public library community’s contribution to the popular reading movement. Launched in 2003 by the First Nations Public Library Community in Ontario with support from Southern Ontario Library Service, it promotes a community-based approach to reading,FNCR:
  • encourages family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;
  • increases awareness of the relevance and importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit writing, illustration, and publishing;
  • promotes the publication, sharing, and understanding of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit voices and experiences;
  • increases awareness and sales of the titles it honours.
Southern Ontario Library Service is mandated to deliver programs and services on behalf of the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport by:
  • increasing cooperation and coordination among public library boards and other information providers in order to      promote the provision of library service to the public;
  • assisting public library boards by providing them with services and programs that reflect their needs, including consultation, training, and development.
For more information about First Nation Communities Read and Southern Ontario Library Service, contact:
Nancy Cooper
First Nations Consultant
Southern Ontario Library Service
Telephone: 416-961-1669, Ext. 5194
Periodical Marketers of Canada is the national association of magazine and book wholesalers serving 35,000 retail newsstands. Periodical Marketers of Canada was established under federal charter in 1942 for the purpose of furthering the wholesale periodical distribution industry and contributing to the encouragement of reading in Canada. Current members of the association are: Monahan Agency, Vernon, BC; Metro News, Toronto, ON; TNG, Burlington, ON.
PMC’s ongoing activities include funding of a nonprofit charitable foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters, which makes contributions to individuals and agencies engaged in the encouragement of literacy and reading in Canada.
For more information about Periodical Marketers of Canada, contact:
Barry Francis
Periodical Marketers of Canada

First Nation Communities Read Announces 2016-2017 Shortlist of Books for Children

Toronto, May 2, 2016 – Five books are in contention to become the First Nation Communities Read community reading selection for 2016-2017. Six jury members from First Nation public libraries in Ontario made the shortlist selections. The title selection announcement for 2016-2017 will take place in Toronto on June 23 as part of National Aboriginal Day Celebrations. The selected title’s creator will be the recipient of the $5,000 Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.

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