Finalists for CODE’s 3rd Annual Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature Announced

A Literary Award and Literacy initiative like no other.

Ottawa, September 23, 2015 — CODE is proud to announce the finalists for its 3rd Annual Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature and once again celebrate incredible indigenous authorship benefitting First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth.

This year’s shortlisted titles, as selected by a jury of Canadian writers administered by the Canada Council for the Arts are (in alphabetical order by title):

  • Grey Eyes, by Frank Christopher Busch (published by Roseway Publishing)
  • Lightfinder by Aaron Paquette (published by Kegedonce Press)
  • Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese (published by McClelland and Stewart Ltd)
  • Skraeling by Rachel & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley (published by Inhabit Media)
  • The Evolution of Alice by David A. Robertson (published by HighWater Press)

“Once again CODE is excited to announce the shortlist for its Annual Awards and, with it, to recognize the hottest new titles coming from First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors. I have no doubt these will appeal to a wide range of readers right across the country, but in particular we’re promoting the books to First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth. Through engaging writing that reflects lived realities and contemporary issues of indigenous youth, we hope to provide the spark to allow more and more youth the chance discover a love of reading”, said CODE Executive Director Scott Walter. “Based on the first two years of this Award, we know that the shortlisted works continue to ignite interest for this literature and winning titles are enthusiastically welcomed and valued in helping to support the learning of youth amongst our First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.”

The prize winners of this annual Award will be announced on October 22nd, 2015 in partnership with the University of British Columbia at an awards ceremony hosted on campus in the UBC Longhouse and emceed by Shelagh Rogers and last year’s first prize winner, Monique Gray Smith. A First Prize of $12,000, a Second Prize of $8,000 and a Third Prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the authors of the winning titles. In addition, publishers of the winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of a minimum of 2,500 copies, which will ensure that First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth across Canada will have access to the books through their schools, libraries, as well as Friendship Centres. Last year’s winning titles were distributed to almost 900 locations reaching every province and territory.

Established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for over 55 years – in collaboration and with the generous support of William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature aims to provide engaging and culturally-relevant books for young people across Canada by recognizing excellence in English- language literary works for Young Adults by First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors.

The Award is the result of a close collaboration 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, GoodMinds and Frontier College.

CODE’s Burt Award is a global readership initiative and is also currently established in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and the Caribbean.

For further details on the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, go to


For more information, please contact:

Allen LeBlanc
Director, Fund Development & Marketing CODE
613-232-3569 ext. 232

About CODE

If you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be, anything. That’s the idea behind CODE. A Canadian NGO with over 55 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE’s international programs encourage development through education through support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in over 20 languages.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
News Type: 
Burt Award News