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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Norma Dunning’s “Tainna” Wins Governor General’s Literary Award

Inuit Art Foundation | December 07, 2021

Categories: news

Before COVID-19, the Governor General’s Literary Awards ceremony took place each year in late November, held in the peppermint-striped ballroom at Rideau Hall, the GG’s official residence in Ottawa, ON. While the ceremony itself is very formal, the reception afterwards is a lively affair, buoyed by giddy authors unused to seeing each other in black-tie attire.

As the 2021 winner of the GG award for English-language fiction, Norma Dunning is hoping that this year’s event will be rescheduled for the spring, if only for the opportunity to shake Mary Simon's hand. In July, Simon was sworn in as the 30th Governor General of Canada and the first Indigenous person and Inuk woman to hold the position.

“I have met her at conferences, she used to speak on behalf of Inuit education quite a bit,” says Dunning, who in addition to her writing career, is a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB. “She has always worked on behalf of the Inuit. Most of Canada does not recognize that.” 

Dunning received the prestigious $25,000 award for her sophomore story collection, Tainna: The Unseen Ones (Douglas & McIntyre), which weaves Inuit mythology with contemporary stories of Inuit who reside in the South and whose lives have been overlooked in many ways. It’s been a busy few years for Dunning: Tainna followed the release of Dunning’s poetry collection, Eskimo Pie: A Poetics of Inuit Identity (BookLand), which came out in 2020, and her debut book of stories, Annie Muktuk and Other Stories, published by University of Alberta Press in 2017 won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for that year.

Continue reading this article on Inuit Art Foundation.

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