First Nation Communities READ Announces 2017-2018 Selected Title

First Nation Communities READ (FNCR) and Periodical Marketers of Canada (PMC) have announced that Bearskin Diary by Carol Daniels is the selected title of First Nations Communities Read 2017-2018 and the recipient of this year’s PMC Aboriginal Literature Award. Bearskin Diary is published by Nightwood Editions.

The Aboriginal Literature Award, inspired by the goals of the FNCR program, recognizes the work of the creators of outstanding Aboriginal literature and supports the objectives of PMC’s Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters (FACL). The annual award of $5,000 is provided through a FACL funding commitment. PMC, with FNCR jurors on hand, will present the award to Carol Daniels at 3:25 pm on Wednesday, June 28 as part of the National Aboriginal Day celebrations held at Yonge Dundas Square in Toronto, Ontario.

A jury of librarians from First Nation public libraries in Ontario, with coordination support from The Southern Ontario Library Service, selected Bearskin Diary from more than 50 titles submitted by Canadian publishers. An announcement of five short-list contenders preceded the selection decision. In arriving at its selection decision, the jury agreed that the book is an important one that tells a story of Sandy, one of thousands of Aboriginal children taken from their families by provincial governments during what is now referred to as the “60’s Scoop”. Sandy’s journey is one of tragedy and triumph, rage and celebration. It is a story everyone must read.

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, FNCR:

  • 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; and
  • 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 2017-2018 First Nation Communities READ submissions call was for Young Adult/Adult books. The 2016-2017 selection was Spirit Bear, illustrated by Michael Arnott and written by Jennifer Harrington. Spirit Bear is published by Eco Books 4 Kids.