Young Indigenous Writers and Artists Celebrated at National Ceremony

June 15, 2016

Indigenous leaders, youth, authors, artists and members from local communities gathered at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

HAMILTON, ON – June 15, 2016 – Indigenous leaders, youth, authors, artists and members from local communities gathered at the Art Gallery of Hamilton on Wednesday, June 15, to honour the winners of Historica Canada’s annual Aboriginal Arts & Stories contest.

Hosted by John Kim Bell – composer and community leader – the reception was attended by esteemed writers and artists from the Aboriginal Arts & Stories jury, including Drew Hayden Taylor, Lee Maracle, Brian Maracle and Maxine Noel. The event also featured an exhibition of winning work and a special performance by Mino Ode Kwewak N'Gamowak, the Good Hearted Women Singers.

Winners were selected from more than 650 submissions from across Canada:


Arts winners:

  • Enbridge Emerging Artist (9-13): Kane Pendry, “Wisdom in the Mist”, Age 13, Edmonton, AB, Metis Nation Alberta
  • Junior (14-18): Megan Benoit, “Medicinal Healing”, Age 17, Surrey, BC, Metis/Cree
  • Senior (19-29): Kecia Cook, “Maskihkiwiwat”, Age 23, Regina, SK, Misipawistik Cree Nation


Writing winners:

  • Enbridge Emerging Writer (9-13): David Anauta, “The Qallupilluit Boy”, Age 11, Akulivik, QC, Inuit
  • Junior (14-18): Cyan-Raven Gielewska, “I Remember”, Age 14, Kitchener, ON
  • Senior (19-29): Joshua Whitehead, “Mihkokwaniy”, Age 26, Calgary, AB, Peguis First Nation


The first place junior and senior category winners will also be honoured at the Governor General’s History Awards taking place in Ottawa in October.

“The voices of young Indigenous people bring us messages that relate to both yesterday and tomorrow,” said Anthony Wilson-Smith, President and CEO of Historica Canada. ''Those messages are crucial to the process of reconciliation.” 

“Enbridge is proud of our ongoing partnership with Historica Canada, and their continued leadership in nurturing Aboriginal artists and their stories,” said Eric Prud’Homme, Senior Manager, Public Affairs & Communications, Enbridge. “Enbridge is committed to creating thriving communities that offer opportunities for citizens to be enriched by cultural experiences. And the Aboriginal Arts & Stories Awards provides greater insight into the history, art and culture of Canada’s First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. The Awards showcase these communities’ talented young artists—artists who then challenge us to open our minds and our hearts to differing perspectives.”


Aboriginal Arts & Stories invites First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists (ages 9-29) to interpret an aspect of their culture and heritage through literary and visual arts for a chance to earn prizes and national recognition. A jury of accomplished Aboriginal authors, artists, and community leaders select the winning submissions.


Presented by Enbridge Inc., supporting sponsors include Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, TD Bank, Canada’s History, and Aboriginal Link.


Historica Canada is the country’s largest organization dedicated to enhancing awareness of Canada’s history and citizenship.




For more information:                                                             

Rebecca Benson

Program Coordinator

1.866.701.1867 x 247



Andrea Hall

Communications Coordinator

1.866.701.1867 x 261