The students of Chief Sunrise Education Centre on the Hay River Reserve have won the children’s category in a book-writing competition.
On Oct. 25, the South Slave Divisional Education Council announced the winners of its Aboriginal Children’s Book Writing Contest.
The students of Chief Sunrise, led by teacher Diane Tourangeau, were recognized for turning an elder’s story about her childhood experiences into an illustrated book called When I Was Little.
The story was by Clara Lafferty, who passed away last year.
The winner of the adult category in the contest is Emily Hall of Behchoko for her rhythmic story, A Fish for You and a Fish for Me!. It describes the interaction between a child and her grandmother as they catch and prepare fish for a family meal.
The two winners will have their stories published as full-colour children’s books in English, Cree, Slavey and Chipewyan.
They will also each receive $500 for their stories, which embody northern themes and culture.
The stories are expected to be released in March 2017 in celebration of Aboriginal Language Month.
“We received many strong entries and making a final decision was not easy,” said Brent Kaulback, the council’s former assistant superintendent who ran the competition, in a news release announcing the winners. “This contest and others to come will add significantly to our growing library of quality children’s books produced in our official aboriginal languages and written by northerners for the children and families of the North. This contest captures the traditions of the storyteller and provides everyone with an opportunity to tell and share their story.”
The runners-up in the contest include Laura Boucher of Fort Resolution with Passing on the Teaching – Metis Dancing; Kendra Gaede of Hay River with The Girl and The Raven; Kiana Hessdorfer of Fort Smith with How to Tan a Moose Hide; and Kathleen Graham of Hay River with A Dog Musher’s First Race.
Those stories will all be published electronically and added to the council’s First Nations Storybook apps available on iPad and iPhone.