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Award History

Jury Citation

“A dynamic linking of memory and place defines Inuit children’s author Michael Kusuagak’s picture books, short stories, and historical novel. Kusugak’s stories are primarily set in the 1950s of his childhood in Repulse Bay, a small Inuit community of only 100 people, at the north end of the Hudson Bay within the Arctic Circle. Drawing from personal experience, Kusugak writes unforgettably of the lived experience of the North: the beauty of the Arctic landscape, its variety of seasonal change and animal and human activities, the close knit life of the Inuit community, the presence of mythic imagery and belief. Kusugak’s voice is unique with Inuit diction and metaphor — falling stars are ‘star droppings’. Kusugak writes of family love, folk tricksters, residential school, pre-contact era shamanism in a unifying spirit of place and culture, offering Canadian child and adult readers a living vision of a rich way of life.”
— 2008 Vicky Metcalf Award Jury ((Jean Little, Susan Perren, Judith Saltman)