Nathan Adler, Bevann Fox and jaye simpson are among the 2021 winners for the Indigenous Voices Awards.
The annual awards, established in 2017, honour works by emerging Indigenous writers in Canada across nine categories in English, French and Indigenous languages.
This year’s winners will receive a total of $39,000.
Adler won the $5,000 published prose in English fiction category for Ghost Lake.
Ghost Lake is a collection of 13 stories featuring an interrelated cast of characters and their brushes with the mysterious.
Adler is an Ojibwe Jewish author and a member of Lac Des Milles Lacs First Nation. He was one of 150 Indigenous artists to receive a $10,000 REVEAL Indigenous Art Award.
“Every story surprises. An absolute page-turner, deeply engaging horror stories that leave you breathless. The sheer breadth and range of what Adler has accomplished here is impressive,” the jury said in a citation.
Fox’s Genocidal Love: A Life After Residential School won the $5,000 published prose in English, creative nonfiction and life-writing category.
Genocidal Love delves into the long-term effects of childhood trauma on those who attended residential school and demonstrates the power of story to help in recovery and healing.
Fox is a member of Pasqua First Nation. She is a writer, broadcaster, artist, motivational speaker and yoga instructor. She self-published her debut novel, Abstract Love.
“Fox’s writing will help others understand the power of early trauma to lure people into what can only be labelled ‘genocidal love,'” the jury citation read.
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it was never going to be okay by simpson won the $5,000 published poetry in English category.
The book is a collection of poetry and prose exploring the intimacies of understanding intergenerational trauma, Indigeneity and queerness, while addressing urban Indigenous diaspora and breaking down the limitations of sexual understanding as a trans woman.
simpson is an Oji Cree non-binary writer and a member of Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. Their work has been featured in This Magazine, Prism International and Room.
“jaye simpson’s work is a deeply heartfelt and powerful love letter to NDN kids in care, trans youth, Indigiqueer kin, and many many more,” the jury said in a citation.
Here is the complete list of winners:
- Published prose in English fiction: Ghost Lake by Nathan Adler
- Published prose in English, creative nonfiction and life-writing: Genocidal Love by Bevann Fox
- Published poetry in English: it was never going to be okay by jaye simpson
- Unpublished prose in English: Waiting for the Long Night Moon by Amanda Peters
- Unpublished poetry in English: the indian (adultery) act & other poems by Samantha Martin-Bird
- Published prose in French: Okinum by Émilie Monnet
- Published poetry in French: Fif et sauvage by Shayne Michael
- Published graphic novels, comics and illustrated nooks in any language: If I Go Missing by Brianna Jonnie with Nahanni Shingoose, illustrated by Neal Shannacappo
- Published work in an Indigenous language: The Shaman’s Apprentice: Inuktitut by Zacharias Kunuk, illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith
The 2021 Indigenous Voices Awards jurors were Jordan Abel, Joanne Arnott, Carleigh Baker, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Michelle Coupal, Margery Fee, Marie-Andrée Gill, Francis Langevin, Otoniya Juliane Okot Bitek, Katherena Vermette and Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.
The Indigenous Voices Awards are supported by Pamela Dillon, Penguin Random House Canada, The Giller Foundation and the Indigenous Literary Studies Association.