Toronto October 2, 2023 – First Nation Communities READ 2023-2024 announces the selected titles in the Children’s and Young Adult/Adult Categories. Chosen by a jury of librarians from First Nation Public libraries across Ontario, these titles represent the very best of Indigenous literature. The selected titles will be recognized online during First Nation Public Library Week on October 5, 2023 at 11 am EST.
This year, the First Nation Communities READ program celebrates 20 years of showcasing Indigenous literature for the library community and beyond. The Ontario Library Service is delighted to continue to host such an inspiring and successful program in this anniversary year.
The two selected title authors will be the recipients of the PMC Indigenous Literature Award generously sponsored by our partners of 10 years, the Periodical Marketers of Canada. The selected authors will receive a $5000 cash prize. More information can be found on the FNCR website at www.fncr.ca.
Selected Title in the Children’s Category
Phoenix Gets Greater
by Marty Wilson-Trudeau and Phoenix Wilson
Published by Second Story Press
Marty Wilson-Trudeau is an Anishinaabe Kwe writer originally from M’Chigeeng, Ontario, and a post-secondary drama teacher in Sudbury, Ontario. She is the mother to two wonderful sons, Brandan and Phoenix Wilson.
Phoenix Wilson is an Anishinaabe actor and dancer and is very proud of who he is. Phoenix started dancing ballet at age three, grass dancing at age five, and acting at age six. Phoenix is now attending post-secondary studies in Toronto. He hopes to pursue a career in fashion.
Phoenix Gets Greater
Phoenix loves to play with dolls and marvel at pretty fabrics. Most of all, he loves to dance—ballet, Pow Wow dancing, or just swirling and twirling around his house. Sometimes Phoenix gets picked on and he struggles with feeling different, but his mom and brother are proud of him. With their help, Phoenix learns about Two Spirit/Niizh Manidoowag people in Anishinaabe culture and just how special he is.
Based on the childhood experiences of her son, Phoenix, Marty Wilson-Trudeau demonstrates the difference that a loving and supportive family can make.
Selected Title in the Young Adult/Adult Category
My Indian Summer
by Joseph Kakwinokanasum
Published by Tidewater Press
Joseph Kakwinokanasum is a member of the James Smith Cree Nation. Of Cree and Austrian descent, Joseph grew up in the Peace region of northern BC, one of seven children raised by a single mother. In 2022, he was selected by Darrel J. McLeod as one of the Writers Trust of Canada’s “Rising Stars.” He now lives and writes in BC’s Lower Mainland. Loosely based on his own childhood, My Indian Summer is his first novel.
My Indian Summer
My Indian Summer is a novel about survival, reconciliation, and identity set during the summer of 1979. For Hunter Frank, the summer begins with his mother returning home only to collect the last two months’ welfare cheques, leaving her three mixed-race children to fend for themselves. The siblings get involved in an adventure involving a trio of elders and the stash of cash in a purple Crown Royal bag hidden in Frank’s mattress.
Periodical Marketers of Canada
The Periodical Marketers of Canada PMC Indigenous Literature Award is inspired by the goals of the First Nation Communities READ program. It will provide each of the authors of the First Nation Communities READ 2023-2024 title selections with a cash prize. This is the 10th year the Periodical Marketers of Canada has presented The PMC Indigenous Literature Award.
First Nation Communities READ was launched in 2003 by the First Nations Public Library Community in Ontario with support from the Ontario Library Service. FNCR celebrates and promotes the importance of Indigenous literature across Canada. The program encourages family literacy, intergenerational storytelling as well and intergenerational knowledge transmission.
Ontario Library Service (OLS) is mandated to deliver programs and services on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport by:
- increasing cooperation and coordination among public library boards and other information providers 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 the Ontario Library Service, contact:
Nancy Cooper, First Nations Consultant Telephone: 647-264-7342
Ontario Library Service E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Periodical Marketers of Canada is the national association of magazine and book wholesalers serving thousands of retail newsstands across Canada. Founded in 1942, 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 Telephone: 416-876-3204
Periodical Marketers of Canada E-mail: email@example.com
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund for this project.