(May 3, 2017) – Congratulations to Carol Daniels, whose debut novel, Bearskin Diary (Nightwood Editions, 2015), has been shortlisted for the First Nation Communities READ community reading selection for 2017-2018.
The final title selection announcement will take place in Toronto on June 28 as part of National Aboriginal Day Celebrations, and the selected title’s creator will be the recipient of the $5,000 Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.
The First Nation Communities READ jury considered more than 50 submissions before coming up with the shortlist. The other finalists are Missing Nimama by Melanie Florence (Clockwise Press, 2015), Price Paid by Bev Sellers (Talonbooks, 2016), They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellers (Talonbooks, 2013) and How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle (The Roadrunner Press, 2015).
Raw and honest, Bearskin Diary gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced, at a time when movements like Idle No More call for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Taken from the arms of her mother as soon as she was born, the novel’s protagonist, Sandy, was one of over twenty thousand Aboriginal children scooped up by the federal government between the 1960s and 1980s. Sandy was adopted by a Ukrainian family and grew up as the only First Nations child in a town of white people in Canada. Ostracized by everyone around her and tired of being different, at the early age of five she tried to scrub the brown off her skin. But she was never sent back into the foster system, and for that she considered herself lucky. From this tragic period in her personal life and in Canadian history, Sandy does not emerge unscathed, but she emerges strong—finding her way by embracing the First Nations culture that the Sixties Scoop had tried to deny.
Carol Daniels is a journalist who became Canada’s first Aboriginal woman to anchor a national newscast when she joined CBC Newsworld in 1989. Her work has since earned several awards, including the 2009 National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Her poetry and short fiction have been included in several anthologies. Bearskin Diary is her first novel. Find out more at www.caroldaniels.ca.
Launched in 2003 by the First Nations Public Library Community in Ontario with support from Southern Ontario Library Service, First Nation Communities READ promotes a community-based approach to reading, family literacy, and strives to increase awareness of the relevance and importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit writing, illustration, and publishing.