SSDEC announces Aboriginal Children’s Book Writing Contest Winners

Emily Hall of Behchoko and Chief Sunrise Education Centre students of K’atlodeeche take first place

FORT SMITH, NT – The South Slave Divisional Education Council is excited to announce the winners of the Aboriginal Children’s Book Writing Contest: Emily Hall of Behchoko in the adult category; and the students of Chief Sunrise Education Centre in K’atlodeeche in the children’s category.

The two winners will have their stories published as full colour children’s books in English, Cree, Slavey (Dene Yatié) and Chıpewyan (Dene Dédliné). They will also each receive $500 for their well-written stories, which embody Northern themes and culture. The stories are expected to be released in March 2017 in celebration of Aboriginal Language Month.

Hall’s rhythmic story, A Fish for You and a Fish for Me!, describes the interaction between a child and her grandma as they catch and prepare fish for a family meal. Meanwhile, the students of Chief Sunrise, led by teacher Diane Tourangeau, turned Elder Clara Lafferty’s story about her childhood experiences into a beautifully illustrated book called When I Was Little. While Ms. Lafferty passed away last year, the intergenerational project will ensure her memories live on.

Former Assistant Superintendent Brent Kaulback, who ran the contest, said “We received many strong entries and making a final decision was not easy. This contest and others to come will add significantly to our growing library of quality children books prod

uced 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. “

Contest runners-up 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. These stories will all be published electronically and added to the SSDEC’s First Nations Storybook apps available on the iPad and iPhone.

When I Was Little

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