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Winnipeg author’s Indigenous children’s story tapped for prestigious literary award

David Alexander Robertson. John Woods/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A book by a Winnipeg author is among the country’s 14 best of 2021, according to the Canada Council for the Arts.

On the Trapline by David A. Robertson and B.C.’s Julie Flett was announced Wednesday as one of the winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, in the young people’s literature category.

The winners, selected from 70 finalists, receive one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious literary prizes, which includes $25,000.

“This year’s Governor General’s Literary Awards confirm the irresistible evocative power of literature,” said Simon Brault, the council’s CEO and director.

“The health and societal challenges we have undergone have highlighted the renewed importance of imagination, reflection and critical thinking. I am very pleased to invite you to experience these literary works that I have had the opportunity to read and enjoy.”

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Read more: 2 Manitoba authors among fiction prize finalists

Robertson and Flett’s winning work is a picture book that celebrates Indigenous culture and traditions, through the story of a young boy and his grandfather.

This announcement marks the second group of Governor General’s Literary Award winners to be named in 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement of the 2020 winners had to be postponed.

On the Trapline joins books by Norma Dunning (Alta.), Tolu Oloruntoba (B.C.), Hannah Moscovitch (N.S.), Sadiqa de Meijer (Ont.), and Philippa Dowding (Ont.), and Erin Moure (Que.) in the English-language categories, and Fanny Britt, Tania Langlais, Mishka Lavigne, Serge Bouchard and Mark Fortier, Jean-François Sénéchal, Mario Brassard and Gérard DuBois, and Marie Frankland (all Que.) in French.

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