An opportunity to win $1,000
The Blue Metropolis Awards for Excellence in Indigenous Studies are an initiative of Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival and the McConnell Foundation. The award recognizes two students, one francophone, the other anglophone, who are enrolled during the fall 2019 or winter 2020 in either an Indigenous Studies or Indigenous Literature program or in an Anthropology program for their outstanding academic performance (excellence, perseverance, creativity and engagement).
In addition to each receiving a $1,000 award, the two winning students will be invited to attend Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival (next edition: May 1 to 6, 2020) where they will be invited to read a short essay of their own composition during an event that is part of the Festival’s series on Indigenous Literatures and Cultures. This essay should deal with social change and the role of the individual in a rapidly changing world, as well as the concepts of social inclusion and dialogue.
The student uses the form to submit a 200-word essay that answers the following question: “What is the definition of a just society?”
A jury chosen by Blue Metropolis Festival will select 10 finalists. Each finalist will produce, and send to the Festival, a three-minute video on the topics of social change and social inclusion, mentioning why they wish to take part in Blue Metropolis Festival.
The two winners will each receive a $1,000 award. They will be invited to speak during Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival (next edition: May 1 to 6, 2020), at which time they will receive the award. Travels and accommodations are paid by the Foundation
Melanie Mercer – 2018
Melanie Mercer, an undergraduate student in Indigenous Studies at Simon Fraser University, for her essay titled “Dearest Canada: A Letter from Your Daughter ” .
Matthew John Micheal Leblanc – 2019
Matthew John Micheal Leblanc, member of the Natoaganeg Nation and undergraduate student in Nursing at the University of British Columbia, for his essay titled “Understanding the Indian Condition” .
Coline Souilhol – 2019
Coline Souilhol, a master’s student in English Studies at the Université de Montréal, for her essay titled “ La responsabilité du conteur d’histoire face aux perceptions historiques“.
Blue Metropolis First Peoples Literary Prize
In 2020, Blue Metropolis will award its First Peoples Literary Prize for the sixth time. This prize is made possible thanks to generous contributions from the McConnell Foundation, the Chadha Foundation, Concordia University and the Cole Foundation. It aims to increase the national and international visibility of writers—novelists, playwrights and poets—from Indigenous communities. The winner is awarded a $5,000 prize.
For the past three years, the jury has been made up entirely of Indigenous writers, critics and academics. The 2020 jury members are L. Rain Prud’homme-Cranford, Smokii Sumac and David Treuer.
The winner of the 2020 First Peoples Literary Prize will be announced to the Blue Metropolis Press conference March 30th 2020.
Previous winners of the Blue Metropolis First Peoples Literary Prize
Terese Marie Mailhot – 2019
In 2019, Blue Metropolis awarded the First Peoples Literary Prize to Terese Marie Mailhot, the author of Heart Berries: A Memoir. The award ceremony took place in Montreal, at HOTEL10, on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at 1 pm. The prizewinner took part in an onstage interview with CBC host Sonali Karnick, in addition to participating in a number of other events.
Terese Marie Mailhot is originally from Seabird Island, in British Columbia. She received a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Rumpus, Carve Magazine, The Offing, The Toast and Yellow Medicine Review.
Lee Maracle – 2018
In 2018, Blue Metropolis awarded the First Peoples Literary Prize to author Lee Maracle. The award ceremony took place in Montreal, at the McCord Museum, on Sunday, April 29, at 4 pm. The winner took part in an onstage interview with Métis artist Moe Clark, as well as in several other events.
Lee Maracle is the author of a number of award-winning and critically acclaimed literary works, including Sojourners and Sundogs, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, Daughters Are Forever, Will’s Garden, Talking to the Diaspora, My Conversations with Canadians and, more recently, Hope Matters. She is also the co-editor of Telling It: Women and Language Across Cultures. Lee Maracle is published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. She was born in Vancouver and is a member of the Stó:lō Nation.
David Treuer – 2017
In 2017, Blue Metropolis awarded its First Peoples Literary Prize to author David Treuer. The award ceremony took place in Montreal, at the McCord Museum, on Friday, April 28, 2017, at 4 pm. The author participated in an onstage interview with CBC host Duncan McCue.
David Treuer is Ojibwe, from the Leech Lake Reservation, in Northern Minnesota. The author of several novels and works of non-fiction, he has also written for such prestigious publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Esquire and Slate. He has a PhD in Anthropology and teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.
Thomas King – 2016
In 2016, Blue Metropolis awarded the First Peoples Literary Prize to Thomas King. The award ceremony took place in Montreal, at McGill University’s Moot Court, on Friday, April 15, 2016, at 5:30 pm. The winner took part in an onstage interview with Rosanna Deerchild, author, poet and host of the CBC Radio program Unreserved.
Thomas King, who is of Cherokee and Greek descent, is a novelist, scriptwriter and photographer. In 2004, he received the Order of Canada. In 2012, his non-fiction book, The Inconvenient Indian, won the National B.C. Non-fiction Award and the Charles Taylor Prize. In 2014, he received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction for Back of the Turtle.
Marie Annharte Baker – 2015
In 2015, Blue Metropolis awarded the First Peoples Literary Award to poet Annharte, for her collection Indigena Awry. The award ceremony took place in Montreal, at HOTEL10, in Salle Godin, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at 11 am. The winner was interviewed by writer, academic and activist Taiaiake Alfred.
Annharte, also known as Mary Baker, is Anishinaabe (Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Manitoba). In addition to Indigena Awry (2013), she has published three poetry collections, Being on the Moon (1990), Coyote Columbus Cafe, (1995), Exercises in Lip Pointing (2003), and a work of non-fiction, AKA Inendagosekwe (2014).