The IVAs (pronounced EYE-VAHz) 2020 Finalists!

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The IVAs (pronounced EYE-VAHz) 2020 Finalists!

by aanationtalk on May 15, 2020148 Views

Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA) and the Indigenous Voices Awards (IVAs) Directors are excited to announce the finalists for the 2020 Awards. Please see our full press release in English and in French.

A virtual gala will be held on June 21st, National Indigenous Day, at 4 pm PST / 7 pm EST to celebrate all the applicants and announce the winners. More details will be announced soon.


Naomi Fontaine, Shuni — Ce que tu dois savoir, Julie (Mémoire d’encrier)

J.D. Kurtness, Aquariums (L’instant même)


Helen Knott, In My Own Moccasins (University of Regina Press)

Kaitlyn Purcell, ʔbédayine (Metatron Press)

Jesse Thistle, From the Ashes (Simon & Schuster)


Maya Cousineau-Mollen, Bréviaire du matricule 082 (Éditions Hannenorak)

Marie-Andrée Gill, Chauffer le dehors (La peuplade)


Brandi Bird, I Am Still Too Much (Rahila’s Ghost)

Francine Cunningham, On/Me (Caitlin)

Michelle Sylliboy, Kiskajeyi—I am Ready (Rebel Mountain)

Arielle Twist, Disintegrate / Disassociate (Arsenal Pulp)


Rene Meshake, Injichaag: My Soul in Story (University of Manitoba Press)

Cole Pauls, Dakwäkãda Warriors (Conundrum)


Cody Caetano, Excerpts from “Half-Bads in White Regalia”

Treena Chambers, “Forest Fires and Falling Stars”

Steven Hall, “Gatzi Naka”


David Agecoutay, “Willow A Quartet”

Corri Daniels, “A Memory of Mary”

Keely Shirt, “Two Little Foxes, Buttertown Beach, I Will Never be Happier”


Elaine McArthur, Elizabeth Dances Pow-wow (Independently published)

Phyllis Webstad, Phyllis’s Orange Shirt (Medicine Wheel Education)

So far, a total of $40,000.00 has been given to Emerging Indigenous Voices, a mix of published and unpublished authors who are destined to change what we read. All of this is made possible by your support.

We invite you to donate to the IVAs by clicking the donate button on the Welcome page of the; you will be directed to the page of the national charitable organization that is holding our funds, the Ontario Arts Foundation, and be asked to select a fund; after you choose the “Indigenous Voices Awards Fund” and donate, a tax receipt will be issued to you.

A genuine thank you to all of you who continue to contribute to the Indigenous Voices Awards.

Les Indigenous Voices Awards (IVA)

À ce jour, un total de $ 40,000 a été remis aux voix autochtones émergentes, un mélange d’auteurs publiés et non publiés, dont les œuvres sont destinées à changer la façon dont nous lisons. Tout cela a été possible grâce à votre soutien.

ILSA et les présidents des IVAs sont heureux de vous annoncer la 3è édition du concours, visant les œuvres publiées ou créées en 2019.

Les soumissions seront acceptées le 1 décembre, 2019 au 1 mars, 2020.

Nous aimerions donc vous inviter à contribuer aux IVA en cliquant sur le bouton « Donate » que vous trouverez à la page de bienvenue du site Vous serez redirigé vers la page de l’organisme de bienfaisance qui détient nos fonds, la Fondation des arts de l’Ontario, où vous serez invité à sélectionner un fonds; choisissez « Indigenous Voices Awards ». Après avoir fait votre don, un reçu à des fins fiscales vous sera émis.

Un grand merci à vous tous qui avez contribué aux Indigenous Voices Awards.

IVAs Background

The IVAs were established in 2017 to support and nurture the work of Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada. Funds for the awards were raised initially through a crowd-funded campaigns by Robin Parker and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who partnered with ILSA for the awards’ administration. While an initial fundraising goal of $10,000 to support emerging Indigenous writers was set, the grass-roots initiatives raised $116,565 in four months. These monies have since been supplemented by further donations from various groups and individuals.

The Indigenous Voices Awards aim to support Indigenous literary production in its diversity and complexity, understanding Indigenous literatures to include but not be limited to novels, creative non-fiction, short stories, poetry, orality, graphic novels, comics, slam, drama, music lyrics, screenwriting, and other forms. The awards honour the sovereignty of Indigenous creative voices and reject cultural appropriation; to be eligible for the Indigenous Voices Awards, authors must be Indigenous and must make a declaration of Indigenous identity. The awards are intended to support Indigenous artistic communities and to resist the individualism of prize culture. As such, the IVA Board will endeavour to create opportunities for mentorship, professionalization, and creative collaboration among applicants, jurors, and other members of the Indigenous artistic community when possible.

On “Emerging” and “Established” Writer

While for many people the category of “emerging writer” implies youth, ILSA and the prize committee recognize that there are Indigenous artists of diverse ages who are finding their voices as writers, including many older people and even quite a few elders. Our definition of “emerging” is not focused on age but on the writer’s history of publication. For the purposes of these awards, “emerging” refers to writers who are thus far unpublished or who have published three books or fewer.

Writers whose work is outside those parameters but who feel that they should be considered in this competition are asked to provide a brief statement of no more than 300 words on their eligibility. In such cases, the IVA Board will provide final determination of eligibility for the jury to consider.


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