September 13, 2016 10:07 ET

Finalists for CODE's 2016 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Metis Literature Announced

A literary award and literacy initiative like no other

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 13, 2016) - CODE is proud to announce the finalists for its 4th annual Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature. Established by CODE-a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for over 55 years-with the generous support of William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the award recognizes excellent, engaging and culturally-relevant books in English for young adults that are written, illustrated and/or translated by First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators.

This year's shortlisted titles were selected by a peer assessment committee administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. In alphabetical order by title, they are:


Written by Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty and David Carpenter

University of Regina Press


Written by Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Illustrated by Kelly Mellings

House of Anansi Press

"CODE is thrilled to once again recognize works of excellence by First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators," said CODE Executive Director, Scott Walter. "Both of the shortlisted titles take an unflinching look at the terrible challenges that Indigenous youth have faced and continue to face in Canada. They are deeply moving stories that are important to share with young people as we as a country begin working towards healing, reconciliation, and meaningful change. But these books are more than their message: they are also beautifully and powerfully written and illustrated."

The winners will be announced on October 13, 2016, at an awards ceremony held on the Regina campus of First Nations University of Canada. The ceremony will be emceed by CBC's Shelagh Rogers and CTV's Nelson Bird.

Up to five titles may be shortlisted and up to three prizes are awarded to the creators of the winning titles each year: a first prize of $12,000, a second prize of $8,000 and a third prize of $5,000. The peer assessment committee is under no obligation to name the maximum number of finalists and winners.

In addition, publishers of the winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of a minimum of 2,500 copies, which will ensure that First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth across Canada will have access to the books through their schools, libraries, as well as Friendship Centres. Last year's winning titles were distributed to more than 800 locations across the country.

The award is the result of a close collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Association of Canadian Publishers, the Canada Council for the Arts, GoodMinds and Frontier College.

CODE's Burt Award is a global readership initiative and is also currently running in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and the Caribbean.

For further details on the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis, please visit

About CODE

If you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be, anything. That's the idea behind CODE. A Canadian NGO with over 55 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE's international programs encourage development through education through support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in over 20 languages.

Contact Information

  • CODE
    Genevieve "Vivi" Spicer
    Manager, Integrated Marketing and Communications
    613-232-3569, ext. 252