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Encouraging youth to share their stories

by: James Thom – Wawatay News

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The Historica-Dominion Institute is calling on Aboriginal youth to write short stories about defining moments in Aboriginal history for a chance to win cash prizes, earn national recognition and a trip to Regina for a special awards ceremony attended by Aboriginal leaders.

March 4, 2010: Volume 37 #5, Page A12

“I’m honoured to be included once again this year as a jury member on the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge,” says jury member and recent Giller Prize winner Joseph Boyden. “Young indigenous voices from across Canada dazzled last year and we believe that this important contest will continue to discover more and more talented Aboriginal authors.”

Other judges will include Tomson Highway, Rachel Qitsualik and playwright Drew Hayden Taylor.

Many First Nation leaders have come out in support of the challenge.

“The Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge is an important program that ensures new voices can share and preserve Aboriginal stories, culture, experiences and history,” sad Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo supports the program.

“I am proud to support the Challenge, and I encourage Aboriginal youth from across Canada to showcase their talent and share their perspectives by submitting a story to this wonderful program,” Atleo said.

The writers are expected to submit original pieces that reflect on defining themes in Aboriginal Canadian history. Winners will be selected from two age categories – ages 14-18 and 19-29.

Each first place winner will receive a cash prize of $2,000 and a trip to the awards ceremony. Their entry will also be published in the magazine Canada’s History.

The top 10 in each category will also receive cash prizes.

The deadline to enter is March 31, 2010.

Youth and educators interested in learning more about the contest should visit or call (toll free) 1-866-701-1867.