2016 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature Ceremony

Truth, Reconciliation and Hope powerful themes at this year’s Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature.

2016 Burt Award winners

The sun-filled, glass atrium of the Veteran’s Memorial Tipi at the Regina campus of the First Nations University of Canada provided a stunning backdrop for CODE’s Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature awards ceremony, held on the morning of Thursday October 13th. Just before the formal event, a pipe ceremony in a smaller ceremonial tipi within the atrium set the tone for a deeply spiritual morning.

FNUniv Ceremonial Tipi
CODE’s Executive Director, Scott Walter attended the piping ceremony in the ceremonial tipi and called it “a very moving experience”.

Burt Award ceremony crowd
Elder Audrey Cochrane offered an opening prayer to the 200 people attending the event which was co-hosted by CBC radio’s Last Chapter host, Shelagh Rogers, and CTV evening news anchor and producer of Indigenous Circle, Nelson Bird. Students at the event came from First Nations University and local schools including Scott Collegiate, Pesakastew, Peepeeksis First Nation and Nakoda Oyade Centre, Nakoda Oyage.

FNUniv President Dr. Dockstator
Dr. Mark S. Dockstator, Pres if FNUIV welcomed guests to the ceremony.

At the heart of CODE’s Burt Awards for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature is a desire to give Indigenous youth compelling, meaningful stories that they can relate to. Stories with which young readers can connect because the characters, backdrops and events in them are created by writers and illustrators who “get” their world. With every book these talented authors and artists produce, they are enriching the First Nations, Inuit and Métis literary landscape in Canada.

The stories honoured at this year’s award ceremony –finalist The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir and, first-prize winner The Outside Circle - are both, in their very unique ways, deeply moving, powerful stories which share the themes of truth and reconciliation and a common path towards healing.

David Carpenter accepts 2nd prize from Shelagh Rogers
David Carpenter, co-author of The Education of Augie Merasty accepts the second prize for himself and on behalf of Augie Mersasty from host Shelagh Rogers.

Burt Award 1st prize winners Patti and Kelly
Author Patti-LaBoucane-Benson and Illustrator Kelly Mellings sharing their first place award for the graphic novel The Outside Circle.

FNUniv student Robyn Badger reading excerpt from book
Highlights from the ceremony included a deeply moving reading from a passage from The Education of Augie Merasty by First Nation’s University student Robyn Badger whose mother, like Augie, experienced residential schools.

The Outside Circle Illustrator Kelly Mellings slides
The ceremony also featured a fascinating montage of the production involved in creating The Outside Circle— winner of this year’s award and the first-ever graphic novel to be selected in the Burt Award program.

Hip-Hop youth performer Brad Bellegarde, aka InfoRed captivated the audience with I Remember a haunting hip-hop account of the heart-ache and horror felt by thousands of children sent to a residential schools. "Piled us up in the back of a truck...where are they taken’ us? Who could a done it?” “They took my braid away… they took our braids away”... cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/regina-s-brad-bellegarde-shares-residential-school-stories-with-hip-hop-1.2967386

After the ceremony, students and other members of the audience lined up to get their copies of the award-winning books. As part of the Burt Award’s book distribution component, more than 2,500 copies of the winning-books are distributed into First Nations, Inuit and Métis Communities.

Author David Carpenter signing book for FNUniv student
David Carpenter –co-author of The Education of Augie Merasty, signs a copy of his book for a local student.

Illustrator Kelly Mellings signing book
The Outside Circle illustrator, Kelly Mellings, offers up signatures and doodles on his award-winning graphic novel.

This year’s Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) Literature selections included a first in the 4-year history of the Awards program – a graphic novel. As the program evolves so do our efforts to make sure that young adult (YA) readers get the kinds of stories they want, in a format that they can relate to. To make sure this can happen, CODE works closely with our FNIM partners, including the Canada Council, to review our eligibility requirements and ensure that as many high quality YA titles are as eligible as possible. We welcome your questions about the Award program and any ideas you may have about sharing these award-winning books with as many youth as possible.




@CODE_BurtAward | #BurtAward

A few of CODE's #BurtAward for #FNIM winning titles on the @cbcbooks reconciliation reading list: 15 must-read books https://t.co/MZtQ6pLMfh pic.twitter.com/R1U6Isl23r

— Burt Literary Awards (@CODE_BurtAward) October 21, 2016

The Outside Circle has won the 2016 @CODE_BurtAward for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature: https://t.co/ZAKSZ6bVWu pic.twitter.com/m6aXvxB7cQ

— CBC Books (@cbcbooks) October 14, 2016

A fabulous opportunity to take part in the Burt Awards with @scottcollegiate students. Fantastic FNIM literature!@codecan_org @FNUNIVCAN pic.twitter.com/713yaNNrWw

— M. Kretschmer (@MardiJaneK) October 14, 2016

Graphic Illustrator @KellyMellings is donating his portion of CODE's #BurtAwardwinning prize to the Native Counselling Services of Alberta. pic.twitter.com/UW8FkvW1M0

— Burt Literary Awards (@CODE_BurtAward) October 13, 2016

.@PALB2011 and @KellyMellings Winners of The Burt Award 2016 for The Outside Circle @HouseofAnansi pic.twitter.com/HlOlDrsG0C

— Shelagh Rogers (@RogersShelagh) October 13, 2016

A beautiful crowd and morning for the @Code_burtaward @FNUNIVCANpic.twitter.com/FBYUpiGlSH

— Shelagh Rogers (@RogersShelagh) October 13, 2016

Official announcement from CODE's 4th annual #BurtAward for First Nations, Inuit & Métis Literature ceremony today. https://t.co/KU1zaURBxk

— CODE (@codecan_org) October 13, 2016

The 2016 #BurtAward for First Nations, Inuit & Métis Literature winner is a #graphicnovel 'The Outside Circle' by @PALB2011 & @KellyMellingspic.twitter.com/wlhIrHko2k

— CODE (@codecan_org) October 13, 2016

Our fabulous presenters, CTV's @nelsonbirdctv and CBC's @RogersShelagh ready to take the stage for CODE's #BurtAward ceremony at @FNUNIVCANpic.twitter.com/NOZQNGUkae

— CODE (@codecan_org) October 13, 2016

Nice media coverage for today's #BurtAward event. @ctvregina interviewing our Scott Walter & 'The Outside Circle' Illustrator @KellyMellings pic.twitter.com/2lhIfXDhy7

— CODE (@codecan_org) October 13, 2016

CTV Regina's @nelsonbirdctv w/ CODE's @hedyer reviewing notes before the #BurtAward for #FirstNations, Inuit & Metis #YALit ceremony begins. pic.twitter.com/irw3eR8R6e

— CODE (@codecan_org) October 13, 2016

Our ED, Scott Walter busy preparing finalists #books for the big event tomorrow. And the 2016 winner is ___? Follow us tomorrow to find out. pic.twitter.com/5sGmZLiG3F

— CODE (@codecan_org) October 13, 2016

Arrived in #Regina & setup has begun at the beautiful @FNUNIVCAN for Thursday's #BurtAward for First Nations, Inuit & Métis #YALit ceremony. pic.twitter.com/x8bSE7wuGk

— CODE (@codecan_org) October 12, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016
News Type: 
Burt Award News