Young Aboriginal Writers Receive James Bartleman Award

News Release
Young Aboriginal Writers Receive James Bartleman Award
October 26, 2015 11:00 A.M.

Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade

Ontario is honouring six young Aboriginal writers from across the province with the James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award.

The award celebrates Aboriginal youth for their creative writing efforts and provides an opportunity for them to showcase their work to a broader audience. The 2015 award recipients are:

Leera Beardy for her essay about living in Ontario’s North
Emily Mandamin for her poem about missing her mother
Darienne Martin for her poem expressing her passion for her culture
Rachel Otis for her poem about the true meaning of home
Catherine Porte for her short story about a girl who uncovers her Aboriginal heritage in a surprising way
Justice Ryan for her comic about a young girl’s escape from a residential school.

The awards were presented at a Queen’s Park ceremony today by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; the Honourable James Bartleman, 27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade.
Quick Facts

The Ontario Government created the James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award in 2008 to honour the province’s 27th and first Aboriginal Lieutenant Governor. Bartleman implemented four literacy initiatives for Aboriginal youth across Ontario during his time in office.
Nominations are now open for next year’s awards. The closing date for submissions is May 31, 2016.
Eligible participants must be 18 years of age or younger at the time they submit an entry, enrolled in an Ontario school, self-identify as an Aboriginal person, and be a permanent resident of Ontario.

Additional Resources

Nominate an Aboriginal youth for a Bartleman Award.


“Each of these young writers has a unique perspective and compelling voice. They all are wonderful examples of the diversity and richness of experience that is so essential to the cultural fabric of Ontario. I encourage each of the winners to continue sharing their stories.”

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“I’m thrilled to see these talented young writers recognized today. They each have a story to tell that was shaped by their culture and community. Their ability to connect with us and share those stories through poetry and prose is exciting and inspiring.”

The Honourable James K. Bartleman

former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Michael Chan

“The Bartleman Awards present an excellent opportunity for young Aboriginal writers to be recognized for their literary talents. I hope this recognition inspires them to keep writing and expressing themselves through their words.”

Michael Chan

Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade
Media Contacts

John Gross

Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Bryan Leblanc

Minister’s Office

416 325-0208
Laura Sylvis

Communications Branch


Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature – CODE

Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature

Description: The Burt Award aims to provide engaging and culturally-relevant books for young people across Canada. The award is given annually to three English-language literary works for young adults (aged 12 through 18) by First Nations, Métis or Inuit authors or translators (if applicable).
Prize: A First Prize of $12,000, a Second Prize of $8,000 and a Third Prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the authors and translators (if applicable) of the winning titles. Winning publishers will participate in a guaranteed book purchase and distribution program in which CODE commits to purchasing a minimum of 2500 copies of each title at a bulk discount for distribution to schools, libraries, and Friendship Centres that serve First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth across Canada.
Deadline: May 1, 2013
Contact Info: website or contact Catherine Belshaw, Literary Awards Officer, at 613-232-3569 ext. 233 or