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Winnipeg author wins national literary award

David Alexander Robertson, award winning Winnipeg author.
David Alexander Robertson, award winning Winnipeg author. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

David Alexander Robertson of Winnipeg can now count Governor General Award winner as one of his achievements.

The author has garnered much attention for his children’s book When We Were Alone, a story about residential schools from a modern perspective.  In it, a girl asks her grandmother about her hair, clothing and Cree language and learns that such things were taken away from children in residential schools.

Robertson and book illustrator Julie Flett of Vancouver found out Nov. 1 that they had won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award in the Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books) category.

Catherine Gerbasi of HighWater Press says the award is a big step on the road to reconciliation.

“Thanks to [David and Julie’s] work, generations of Canadians will continue to learn about residential school history in the classroom and beyond,” Gerbasi said.

Robertson previously received high praise for his graphic novel Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story.

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READ MORE: Manitoba novel aims to change perceptions about missing and murdered women

This was his first nomination for the Governor General Award.

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