June 1 represents the start of National Indigenous History Month, and with it comes the First Nation Communities READ 2018/19 shortlist announcement!
What is First Nation Communities Read?
First Nation Communities Read (FNCR) is an annual reading program (currently in its 15th year) launched by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. Books chosen for this program must be authored and/or illustrated by a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit creator. They must also contain First Nation, Métis, or Inuit content and are published with support or endorsement from Indigenous advisors and consultants. Finally, the titles encourage family literacy and intergenerational storytelling/information sharing.
The FNCR program aims to increase awareness of the relevance and importance of Indigenous writing, illustration, and publishing, while honouring First Nation, Métis, and Inuit voices and experiences. This program wouldn't be possible without annual funding from the Government of Canada, coordination support from Southern Ontario Library Services, a volunteer panel of First Nation librarians, and support from the Ontario Library Association, Goodminds.com, and Quill & Quire. But most importantly, the FNCR relies heavily on the continued participation of libraries, communities, readers, publishers, and authors.
Every May, a volunteer jury of First Nation librarians from across Ontario choose the titles that represent the best of Indigenous literature from across Turtle Island.
The finalists for 2018/19
This year, the shortlisted titles come from both the children's and the young adult/adult categories (previously the two categories alternated), and the shortlist announcement marks the start of National Indigenous History Month. As part of this year's celebrations, the winners will be announced on June 27 and will each receive the Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award, as well as a $3,000 cash prize. This is the fifth year that the Periodical Marketers of Canada will present the Indigenous Literature Award.
When We Were Alone by David Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett 🇨🇦
My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Julie Flett 🇨🇦
The Cloud Artist by Sherri Maret and illustrated by Merisha Sequoia Clark
The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson 🇨🇦
Akilak's Adventure by Deborah Kigjugalik Webster and illustrated by Charlene Chua 🇨🇦