The National Media Awards Foundation is proud to present a showcase of works by award-winning Indigenous creators through the years. Each of these creators has won or been nominated for a National Magazine Award, Digital Publishing Award or NMA:B2B award, and since then, has done further high-quality work in the fields of journalism, visual arts, creative writing and more. Check out the creators below to learn more about them, read their award-winning work and view their most recent projects.
If you are a publisher or editor who would like to connect with a featured creator, or if you are an Indigenous creator who has won or been nominated for a National Magazine Award, NMA:B2B award or Digital Publishing Award and would like to be included in our showcase, please contact us.
Kelly Boutsalis is a Mohawk journalist from the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve. Currently living in Toronto, she devotes the bulk of her work to highlighting Indigenous stories. Her byline has appeared in the New York Times, Toronto Star, Toronto Life, and the Walrus. She led the CBC Six Nations pop-up bureau earlier this year. She is also the Associate Programmer, International, Canadian features for the Toronto International Film Festival.
2021 Digital Publishing Awards, Best Feature Article: Teaching Indigenous Star Stories, The Walrus (Gold)
Erica Violet Lee
Erica Violet Lee is a Two-Spirit Cree poet and activist from inner-city Saskatoon, Canada. Known for her work with Idle No More, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Canadian Youth Climate Delegation to the United Nations climate negotiations in Paris, Erica currently works with Indigenous Climate Action, an international network of organizers sharing lessons and building land-based movements.
Erica travels the world working on climate justice and Indigenous resistance. As a writer, Erica has been published in several publications, including The Guardian, Red Rising Magazine, Decolonization Journal, GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine, and The Globe and Mail. She is a past youth recipient for the YWCA Women of Distinction awards, an Iris Marion Young scholar at Penn State University, a nominee for the Indigenous Voices Awards and the National Magazine Awards, as well as a two-time CBC Saskatchewan Future 40 winner. Erica is a classically-trained musician and music fan, recently representing the rock band Crown Lands on CBC Music‘s national program Canada Listens.
A member of Thunderchild First Nation, she holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Political Philosophy, as well as a Masters degree in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto.
2022 National Magazine Awards, Poetry: “Bones,” Contemporary Verse 2 (Honourable Mention)
Represented by Stephanie Sinclair (Cooke McDermid) and edited by Canisia Lubrin, Erica’s debut book on urban Indigenous love, On the Prairies We Will Live Forever, will be released with Penguin Canada in April 2023. Erica’s work can also be found on her website and on Twitter.
Molly Cross-Blanchard (she/her) is a white and Métis poet, writer, and editor born on Treaty 3 (Fort Frances, ON), raised on Treaty 6 (Prince Albert, SK), and currently living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, cka Vancouver.
Molly has a BA in English from the University of Winnipeg and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her work has appeared in Room, CV2, The Malahat Review, SubTerrain, The Puritan, Canthius, Grain, Quill & Quire, ndn country, and others. Molly’s poetry chapbook is I Don’t Want to Tell You (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2018) and her debut full-length book of poetry is Exhibitionist (Coach House Books, 2021). Molly’s areas of creative interest are intersectional feminism, shame, sexuality, body image, anxiety and depression, popular culture, settler-Indigenous relations, and romantic love.
2022 National Magazine Awards, Poetry: “First Contact: Métis,” subTerrain Magazine (Honourable Mention)
In 2021, Cross-Blanchard published her first full-length collection of poetry, Exhibitionist (Coach House Books). Described as “smart, raunchy, sorry-not-sorry poems,” Cross-Blanchard’s collection is an exhilarating read for anyone looking for poems that are as introspective as they are explicit.
Matthew James Weigel
Matthew James Weigel is a Dene and Métis poet and artist born and raised in Edmonton. Currently pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Alberta, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. He is the designer for Moon Jelly House Press and his words and art have been published by publications such as Arc Poetry Magazine, Book*Hug, The Polyglot, and The Mamawi Project. Matthew is a National Magazine Award finalist, Nelson Ball Prize finalist, Cécile E. Mactaggart award winner, and winner of both the 2020 Vallum Chapbook Award and 2021 bpNichol Chapbook Award for his chapbook It Was Treaty / It Was Me. His debut full-length collection Whitemud Walking recently won the Alcuin Society Award for book design and is available now from Coach House Books.
2021 National Magazine Awards, Poetry: “CPR Advertisements of a Populated Landscape” / “on the boundaries of treaty no. 6,” Arc Poetry Magazine (Honourable Mention)
Whitemud Walking (Coach House Books, 2021) is Weigel’s debut full-length poetry collection. Using photos, documents, and recordings that are about or involve his ancestors, but are kept in archives, Weigel examines the consequences of this erasure and sequestration. Memories cling to documents and sometimes this palimpsest can be read; other times, the margins must be centered to gain a fuller picture. Whitemud Walking is a genre-bending work of visual and lyric poetry, non-fiction prose, photography, and digital art and design (source: Coach House Books).
Richard Van Camp
Richard Van Camp is a proud Tłı̨chǫ Dene from Fort Smith, NWT. He is the author of 26 books in 26 years, the most well-known of which is his 1996 novel The Lesser Blessed, which was adapted into a film by director Anita Doron in 2012.
In the past several years, Richard has been the Storyteller-in-Residence for Calgary Public Library and the Writer-in-Residence at the Metro Federation of Edmonton Libraries. He has also served as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Alberta, Yellowhead Tribal College, MacEwan University and the University of the Fraser Valley.
2021 National Magazine Awards, One of a Kind Storytelling: “Our Grandpa’s Story,” Root & STEM (Honourable Mention)
Brandi Bird is an Indigiqueer Saulteaux, Cree and Métis writer and editor from Treaty 1 territory. They currently live and learn on Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh & Musqueam land. Their work has been published in Catapult, The Puritan, Poetry is Dead, Room Magazine and others. They are a 4th year BFA student at UBC and live with their three cats: Babydoll, Burt and Etta.
2022 National Magazine Awards, Poetry: “Poem for White People,” Arc Poetry Magazine (Honourable Mention)
Bird’s poem “my brother, aging in reverse” is shortlisted for the 2022 Poem of the Year award from Arc Poetry Magazine. Their debut poetry chapbook, I Am Still Too Much, was published by Rahila’s Ghost Press in 2019.
David A. Robertson
David A. Robertson (he/him/his) was the 2021 recipient of the Writers’ Union of Canada Freedom to Read Award. He is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award and the McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People Award. The Barren Grounds, the first book in the middle-grade The Misewa Saga series, received a starred review from Kirkus, was a Kirkus and Quill & Quire Best Middle-Grade Book of 2020, was a USBBY and Texas Lone Star selection, was shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award, and was a finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award.
Roberston’s memoir, Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory, was a Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire Book of the Year in 2020, and won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction, as well as the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award at the 2020 Manitoba Book Awards. On The Trapline, illustrated by Julie Flett, won David his second Governor General’s Literary Award and was named one of the best picture books of 2021 by the CBC, The Horn Book, the New York Public Library, Quill & Quire, and American Indians in Children’s Literature. Dave is the writer and host of the podcast Kíwew, winner of the 2021 RTDNA Prairie Region Award for Best Podcast. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.
2022 Digital Publishing Awards, Best Service Feature: “How To Talk To Kids About The National Day For Truth And Reconciliation,” CBC Parents (Honourable Mention)
The Theory of Crows, Robertson’s upcoming poignant and evocative novel about the bonds of family and the gifts offered by the land, will be published in September 2022 by Harper Collins Canada. The Stone Child, the third novel in Robertson’s middle grade series The Misewa Saga, will be published in August 2022 by Penguin Random House Canada.
Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is an Oji-nêhiyaw, Two-Spirit member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks, 2017), Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press 2018), and the editor of Love after the End: an Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction (Arsenal Pulp 2020). Whitehead is an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary (Treaty 7) where he is housed in the departments of English and International Indigenous Studies.
2020 National Magazine Awards, Personal Journalism:
“Who Names the Rez Dog Rez?,” The Malahat Review (Gold)
Whitehead’s forthcoming creative non-fiction, Making Love with the Land, is slated to be released with Knopf Canada in Fall 2022. He can be found on Instagram and Twitter; for a full list of his works, check out Joshua’s website.
Chyana Marie Sage
Chyana Marie Sage is nothing more and nothing less than a woman who dives into all aspects of life, ebbing and flowing with the painful, the beautiful, the gut-wrenching, and heart-aching moments that find us. There is beauty and lessons in all of it, and she welcomes it with open arms.
She completed her BA at the University of Alberta in English and Creative Writing and her personal essay “Soar” won first place in the Edna Staebler Essay Contest. It then went on to win the Silver Medal in the National Magazine Awards.
She is Cree, Salish, and Métis. In her memoir, she is working through and overcoming intergenerational trauma directly stemming from the Sixties Scoops and the Residential School System. She also writes children’s stories.
She currently lives in New York City, writing her memoir and working on her Masters in Fine Arts at Columbia University, graduating in 2023. Post graduation, she aspires to become an Indigenous Creative Writing Professor and seeks to facilitate creative writing workshops in correctional institutions. She sees creative writing as a tool for healing, feeling the way writing has been pivotal for her in overcoming her own traumas. She hopes to share that lesson and help others work through and express their own unique experiences.
2022 National Magazine Awards, Personal Journalism: “Soar,” The New Quarterly (Silver)
Sage is in the process of illustrating a children’s story and is seeking a publisher or agent for its release. In 2021, she published the first book in her poetry trilogy, Dear You. Sage’s works can be viewed on her website, and she can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.
Troy Sebastian (NUPQU ʔA·Kǂ AM̓)
Troy Sebastian |nupqu ʔak·ǂam̓ is a writer from the Ktunaxa community of ʔaq̓am. He is a doctoral student, Vanier Scholar and Sessional Instructor in the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing. His story “tax niʔ pikak̓— a long time ago” was longlisted for the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize and the 2019 Writers’ Trust Journey Prize. In 2020 he was selected as a Writer’s Trust Rising Star by Lynn Coady and was longlisted for the CBC
Poetry Prize. Troy’s story The Mission won the 2022 National Magazine Award GoldPrize for Fiction. His writing has appeared in Brick, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and The Walrus. He is represented by Rachel Letofsky at CookeMcDermid.
2022 National Magazine Awards, Fiction: “The Mission,” The Walrus (Gold)
Carleigh Baker is an author and teacher of nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân and European descent. Born and raised on Stó:lō territory, she currently lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwəta (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Her debut story collection, Bad Endings (Anvil Press, 2017), won the City of Vancouver Book Award, and was also a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction. Her short stories and essays have been translated into several languages and anthologized in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
She was a 2019/20 Shadbolt Fellow in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, where she also teaches creative writing.
2022 National Magazine Awards, Fiction: “Outraged on Your Behalf,” subTerrain Magazine (Silver)
As a teacher and researcher, she is particularly interested in how contemporary fiction can be used to address the climate crisis. Baker’s newest collection, Last Woman, and her novel Mudlarkers, a darkly satirical look at how modern conservationist movements have displaced Indigenous voices on issues of land stewardship, are forthcoming with McClelland & Stewart.
Julian Brave NoiseCat
Julian Brave NoiseCat, a member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen and a descendant of the Lil’Wat Nation of Mount Currie, is a writer and filmmaker currently based in the Pacific Northwest. A fellow of New America and the Type Media Center, his first book, We Survived the Night, will be published by Alfred A. Knopf. He is concurrently co-directing his first documentary, which follows the search for unmarked graves at the residential school his family was sent to in Williams Lake, British Columbia. NoiseCat’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including the 2022 American Mosaic Journalism Prize, one of the largest cash prizes in journalism, which honours “excellence in long-form, narrative or deep reporting on stories about underrepresented and/or misrepresented groups in the present American landscape.” In 2021, he was named to the TIME100 Next list of emerging leaders alongside the starting point guard of his fantasy basketball team, Luka Doncic.