December 13, 2008

Aboriginal wins Canadian literary award

The aboriginal migration to the city[N]ow, one of these urban aboriginal people has become known for winning Canada's most prestigious literary award, the Giller Prize, as Joseph Boyden did last month.

Boyden is a Toronto boy, raised in Willowdale, and he's also the first aboriginal person to win the award. He has been described as Canadian, with Scottish, Irish and M├ętis heritage.

But he tends to write only about aboriginal people. His latest book, Through Black Spruce—for which he won the acclaimed prize—centers on characters who have a toehold in the big city and in a northern aboriginal community. It's hard to say how much of the novel is based on his own experiences, of perhaps crossing the divide between the world of his aboriginal roots and his big city reality.

But his writings seem to indicate an intimate knowledge of having lived in both worlds. Boyden has professed a strong identification with his aboriginal heritage, vowing at the awards ceremony to always write about and celebrate the First Nations of Canada.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Bard of the Mushkegowuk Takes Top Literary Prize and The Best Indian Books.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been to Canada a few times and there was a virtual universe of Native stories that were related to me from Ontario to British Columbia by a people who were among the most gracious and humble I have ever met in all my travels.