June is National Aboriginal History Month.
First Nation Communities Read is the Ontario First Nation public library community’s contribution to the popular reading movement. Launched in 2003 by the First Nations public library community in Ontario with support from Southern Ontario Library Service, it promotes a community-based approach to reading:
- encourages family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;
- increases awareness of the relevance and importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit writing, illustration, and publishing;
- promotes the publication, sharing, and understanding of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit voices and experiences;
- increases awareness and sales of the titles it honours.
The focus of the First Nation Communities Read program alternates annually between books for children and books for adults and young adults. The 2013-2014 selection was Indian Horse written by Richard Wagamese.
Five children’s books are in contention to become the 2014-2015 selection for the First Nation Communities Read program. The shortlist selections were made by six jury members from First Nation public libraries in Ontario after considering more than 40 submissions.
The Periodical Marketers of Canada’s Aboriginal Literature Award is a new award inspired by the goals of the First Nation Communities Read program. It will provide the creators of the First Nation Communities Read 2014-2015 title selection with a $5,000 prize. This is the first time the Periodical Marketers of Canada will present the Aboriginal Literature Award.
The five titles vying to be the first winners are:
- The Diamond Willow Walking Stick: A Traditional Métis Story about Generosity written and illustrated by Leah Marie Dorion. Michif translation by Norman Fleury.
- Little Chief and the Gifts of Morning Star written by Victor Lethbridge and illustrated by Ben Crane.
- Moccasin Creek written and illustrated by Rene Andre Meshake.
- Raven Brings the Light written by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd, and illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers.
- Wild Berries and Pakwa Che Menisu (Wild Berries) written and illustrated by Julie Flett. Cree dialect translations by Earl N. Cook.