Selina Boan, Tenille K. Campbell and Brian Thomas Isaac are among the 23 writers shortlisted for the fifth annual Indigenous Voices Awards.
Established in 2017, the awards recognize work by emerging Indigenous writers in Canada across seven categories in English, French and Indigenous languages.
“We are thrilled and honoured to play a small part in holding up a new generation of Indigenous writers, while helping to create community connections among writers,” said co-chairs Deanna Reder and Sophie McCall of Simon Fraser University, noting this year saw the highest number of submissions to date in the Indigenous languages category.
This year’s winners will receive a total of $34,000.
Boan is shortlisted in the published poetry in English category for her debut poetry collection Undoing Hours, a personal and powerful account of reconnecting with family and community and reclaiming identity. The Vancouver poet made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize shortlist and was also shortlisted for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize.
Campbell is nominated in the published poetry in English category for her poetry collection nedi nezu (Good Medicine), which explores the sensuality of being an Indigenous woman and how women connect to one another.
Isaac is nominated for his first novel All the Quiet Places, in the published prose in English category. Longlisted for Canada Reads 2022, the story follows six-year-old Eddie as he grows up on the Okanagan Indian Reserve in B.C. in the 1950s and goes on to weather tragedy and navigate his culture and the landscape.
The complete shortlist for the 2022 Indigenous Voices Awards includes:
Published prose in English
Unpublished prose in English
- It’s For the Best by David Agecoutay
- Hail Mary, Mother of Pearl by Jenn Ashton
- Paqt’sm / I Was Born with the Spirit of the Wolf by Bianca Martin
- Tanked by Leslie Butt
Published poetry in English
Unpublished poetry in English
- A Dawn by Brandi Bird
- mistahi maskikiy by Meghan Eaker
- tante ochci kiya / Displaced Métis Iskwew by Jacqueline Gibbon
- Poems for White Men by Samantha Martin-Bird
Published work in French
Published graphic novels, comics and illustrated books
Published work in an Indigenous language
This year’s jury includes award-winning writers and scholars Jordan Abel, Joanne Arnott, Carleigh Baker, Warren Cariou, J.D. Kurtness, Francis Langevin, Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Otoniya Juliane Okot Bitek, Eden Robinson, June Scudeler, Richard Van Camp and Eldon Yellowhorn.
Past Indigenous Voices Awards recipients include Billy-Ray Belcourt, jaye simpson, Tanya Tagaq and Jesse Thistle.
The awards are supported by Pamela Dillon, Penguin Random House Canada, the Giller Foundation and the Indigenous Literary Studies Association, as well as Scholastic Canada, the Centre for Equitable Library Access and public crowdfunding.
Recipients of the 2022 Indigenous Voices Awards will be announced on June 21, 2022, which is National Indigenous Peoples Day.