First Nation Communities Read Awards 2021/2022


First Nation Communities READ Announces the Children’s and Young Adult/Adult Selected Titles for the 2021-2022 PMC Indigenous Literature Award

Toronto September 23, 2021 – First Nation Communities READ 2021-2022 announces the selected titles in the Children’s and Young Adult/Adult Categories.  Chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, these titles represent the very best of Indigenous literature.  The selected titles will be recognized on-line at the Virtual Word on the Street Festival in Toronto on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Sponsored by Periodical Marketers of Canada, The PMC Indigenous Literature Award comes with a prize of $5000 for each author. Congratulations to this year’s winners.  READ THE PRESS RELEASE.

Selected Title in the Children’s Category:

It’s a Mitig! by Bridget George
Published by Douglas and McIntyre

Bridget George is an Anishinaabe author-illustrator, graphic designer and mother to a lovely baby boy named Noah. She was raised on the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation in Ontario and she currently lives in London, ON. This is her first book.

It’s a Mitig! is a beautiful children’s book that combines Anishnaabemowin and English in a creative rhyming form. Children can learn some new words like amik (beaver) and gaag (porcupine) as they travel through the forest.  Bridget wrote this special book especially for families learning the language together and reconnecting with their culture.


Selected Title in the Young Adult/Adult Category:

Orange Shirt Day September 30 by Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley
Published by Medicine Wheel Education

Orange Shirt Day September 30 was inspired by the story of Phyllis Webstad. When Phyllis was 6 years old, she went to Residential School for the first time wearing a brand-new shiny orange shirt. When she arrived at the school her shirt was taken away and never to be seen again.

The Orange Shirt Day movement was born out of Residential School Survivor Phyllis Webstad’s personal experience at Residential School when she was just six years old. Her friend, and now Orange Shirt Society board member, Joan Sorley, encouraged Phyllis to share her story publicly in 2013. It is that story, and the tireless efforts of the Orange Shirt Society that was formed shortly thereafter, that have created the international movement we now recognize on September 30th as Orange Shirt Day.

Toronto, September 16, 2021 – First Nation Communities READ announces the shortlist for the combined Children’s and Young Adult/Adult categories. Chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, these titles represent the best of Indigenous literature from Turtle Island today.  The title selection announcement and award presentation for FNCR 2021-2022 will take place at Toronto’s Virtual Word on the Street Festival on Sunday September 26, 2021. The authors of the selected title will be the recipients of the Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award and will each receive a $5000 cash prize.     READ THE PRESS RELEASE.

Children’s Category Shortlist

  • When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith, illus. by Nicole Neidhardt.  Published by Orca Books
  • Swift Fox All Along by Rebecca Thomas.  Published by Annick Press
  • Kits, Cubs, and Calves: An Arctic Summer by Suzie Napayok-Short.  Published by Inhabit Media
  • I Am Loved by Mary and Kevin Qamaniq-Mason. Published by Inhabit Media
  • It’s a Mitig! by Bridget George.  Published Douglas and McIntyre
  • How I Survived: Four Nights on the Ice by Serapio Ittusardjuat. Published by Inhabit Media
  • Siha Tooskin Knows the Strength of His Hair by Charlene and Wilson Bearhead.  Published by Highwater Press
  • Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak by Robert Budd, illus. by Roy Henry Vickers. Published by Harbour Publishing

 Young Adult/Adult Category Shortlist

  • Ghost Lake by Nathan Adler. Published by Kegedonce Press
  • Genocidal Love: A Life after Residential School by Bevann Fox. Published by University of Regina Press
  • Orange Shirt Day by Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley. Published by Medicine Wheel Education
  • Five Little Indians by Michelle Good. Published by HarperCollins Canada
  • Black Water by David A. Robertson. Published by HarperCollins Canada
View the the Longlists of Nominated Titles:
Please contact Nancy Cooper for more information.

Previous Winners

Click on each year to learn more about the nominees and winners:

Support FNCR

Ways that you and your library can participate in First Nation Communities READ:

  1. Brainstorm with colleagues to identify ways your library can participate in the First Nation Communities Read program.
  2. Make a commitment to participate in, at least, one way.
  3. Display the annual First Nation Communities Read poster if your library is included in a sponsored distribution of it. Or, purchase the poster if your library isn’t included in a sponsored distribution.


Click to see a full version of each poster