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Awards: Merasty and LaBoucane-Benson shortlisted for Burt Award

CODEawardCODE‚ the Canadian agency advocating for international literacy‚ has released the finalists for the 2016 Burt Award for First Nations‚ Métis and Inuit Literature. Now in its fourth year‚ the award aims to honour “culturally relevant” English-language YA books by indigenous Canadians.

Two titles were selected by a Canada Council for the Arts peer assessment committee: Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty and David Carpenter’s residential school memoir, The Education of Augie Merasty (University of Regina Press), and Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Kelly Mellings’s graphic novel The Outside Circle (Groundwood Books), about two aboriginal brothers battling with foster care‚ drug use‚ and crime.

The prize administers a $12,000 first-place purse and an $8,000 second-place purse. The winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony held at Regina’s First Nations University on Oct. 13, and 2,500 copies of both titles will be distributed to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis school and community centre libraries across the country.