Indigenous writers Dawn Dumont and Tenille Campbell were the recipients of Saskatchewan Book Awards during a celebration of excellence in writing and publishing held at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina on April 28.
Debut author Tenille Campbell received both the O’Reilly Insurance and The Co-operators First Book Award and the Rasmussen, Rasmussen and Charowsky Indigenous Peoples’ Writing Award for her book of poetry #IndianLovePoems. The jurors described the book as “a ground-breaking and important resurgence of Indigenous female voice.”
Dawn Dumont was a repeat winner of the Muslims for Peace and Justice Fiction Award. She previously won the award in 2015 for Rose’s Run. This year she was awarded for her short story collection Glass Beads, which the jurors called “totally engaging, funny, and bittersweet.” The short stories interconnect the friendships of four First Nations people against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of the 1990s and early 2000s.
The University of Regina Press received all three publishing awards this year, two of the awards for Aaniiih/Gros Ventre Stories, edited and compiled by Terry Brockie and Andrew Cowell, and Claiming Anishinaabe by Lynn Gehl.
Aaniiih/Gros Ventre Stories contains traditional trickster tales and war stories published in the Aaniiih/Gros Ventre language.
Claiming Anishinaabe author Gehl, denied her First Nations status under the Indian Act, is one of the Famous Six, a group of women who have been battling for decades to remove gender discrimination from the legislation.
The full list of award winners is available at http://bookawards.sk.ca.