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2020 Doug Wright Award Nominees
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2020 Doug Wright Award Nominees

By 49thShelf
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Honouring excellence in Canadian comics. The Wrights are named after Doug Wright (1917-1983) a cartoonist whose strip Doug Wrights Family (also known as Nipper) ran for more than 30 years across Canada and several other countries. The Doug Wright Award prize is awarded annually to the author of the best Canadian work and the most promising talent published in English in the cartooning medium. Nominated works must be published in Canada in the calendar year for which the awards are presented. For a complete list of nominees, visit http://dougwrightawards.com/announcing-the-2020-doug-wright-award-nominees/
This Place

This Place

150 Years Retold
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative. With this $35M initiative, the Council …

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Excerpt

I have never liked the phrase, “History is written by the victors.” I understand the idea behind it – that those in power will tell and retell stories in whatever ways flatter them best, until those stories harden into something called “history.” But just because stories are unwritten for a time, doesn’t mean they’ll be unwritten forever. And just because stories don’t get written down, doesn’t mean they’re ever lost. We carry them in our minds, our hearts, our very bones. We honour them by passing them on, letting them live on in others, too.

That’s exactly what this anthology does. It takes stories our people have been forced to pass on quietly, to whisper behind hands like secrets, and retells them loudly and unapologetically for our people today. It finally puts our people front and centre on our own lands. Inside these pages are the incredible, hilarious heroics of Annie Bannatyne, who refused to let settlers disrespect Metis women in Red River. There’s the heartbreaking, necessary tale of Nimkii and Teddy, heroic youth in care who fight trauma and colonialism as hard as they possibly can in impossible circumstances. And there are many more—all important, all enlightening. All of these stories deserve to be retold, remembered and held close.

As I was reading, I thought a lot about the idea of apocalypse, or the end of the world as we know it. Indigenous writers have pointed out that, as Indigenous people, we all live in a post-apocalyptic world. The world as we knew it ended the moment colonialism started to creep across these lands. But we have continued to tell our stories, we have continued to adapt. Despite everything, we have survived.

Every Indigenous person’s story is, in a way, a tale of overcoming apocalypse. The Canadian laws and policies outlined at the beginning of each story have tried their hardest to beat us down, to force us to assimilate and give up our culture, yet here we are. We have survived the apocalypse. When you think about it that way, every Indigenous person is a hero simply for existing. The people named in these stories are all heroes, inspired by love of their people and culture to do amazing, brave things—but so are the unnamed people who raised them, who taught them, who supported them and stood with them. Our communities are full of heroes.

That’s why this anthology is so beautiful and so important. It tells tales of resistance, of leadership, of wonder and pain, of pasts we must remember and futures we must keep striving towards, planting each story like a seed deep inside of us. It’s our responsibility as readers to carry and nourish those seeds, letting them grow inside as we go on to create our own stories, live our own lives, and become our own heroes. As you read, consider: how are you a hero already? And what will your story be?

—Alicia Elliott

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for The Doug Wright Award for best book
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Agnes, Murderess
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for The Doug Wright Award for best book
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Death Threat

Death Threat

by Vivek Shraya
illustrated by Ness Lee
edition:Hardcover
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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for The Doug Wright Award for best book
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Bradley of Him
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for The Doug Wright Award for best book
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Chicken Rising
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent
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Creation
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent
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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for The Nipper: The Doug Wright Award for emerging talent, Nominated for The Egghead: The Doug Wright Award for best kids’ book
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