Thanks to CODE's Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, 7,500 copies of three books written by Aboriginal authors have been made available for free to Aboriginal youth across Canada.
As part of the Award's book purchase and distribution program, the first three winning titles - Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, As I Remember It by Tara Lee Morin and As Long as the Rivers Flow by James Bartleman - have been distributed to more than 980 schools, community organizations, libraries and Friendship Centres in all Canadian provinces and territories to use as part of their programs supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth. The books will also be included in the reading lists of Frontier College's Summer Aboriginal Literacy Camps in 2014.
The book purchase and distribution program is an important element of the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, as it ensures that high-quality, culturally-relevant books get in the hands of Aboriginal youth and help them to discover the joy of reading and, in turn, improve their literacy skills.
CODE has already gotten much positive feeback from community workers who received the books and hopes to hear more from them as they use the books in their classrooms, libraries and community programs.
The Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature is a unique literary award and readership initiative established by CODE with the generous support of philanthropist William Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation.
In partnership with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Association of Canadian Publishers, the Canada Council for the Arts, Frontier College and GoodMinds, the Award is given annually to three English-language literary works for young adults by First Nations, Métis or Inuit authors. Winning publishers participate in a guaranteed book purchase and distribution program in which CODE commits to purchasing a minimum of 2,500 copies of each title at a bulk discount for distribution to schools, libraries, and Friendship Centres that serve First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth across Canada.
The deadline to make a submission to the second edition of the Award is May 1, 2014.