Skip to content


Norma Dunning is an Inuk writer, professor, and grandmother. Her short story collection Tainna: The Unseen Ones won a Governor General’s Literary Award in 2021. Dunning’s other publications include Eskimo Pie: A Poetics of Inuit Identity and Annie Muktuk and Other Stories, the latter of which received the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, and the Bronze Foreword INDIES Award for Short Stories. Dunning has a PhD in Indigenous Peoples Education and teaches at the University of Alberta. She lives in Edmonton.


#WTAmplifiedVoices: Norma Dunning on Tainna in Conversation with Darrel J. McLeod

Award History

2023 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for Kinauvit?: What’s Your Name? The Eskimo Disc System and a Daughter’s Search for her Grandmother

Jury Citation

“Norma Dunning shares a powerful and masterful story about the government of Canada’s implementation of Eskimo Identification Numbers — the little-known system that identified Inuit through digits on physical discs in place of their traditional names. With Kinauvit?, Dunning balances memoir and information, breaking ground with a uniquely Inuit story that contributes to the broader topic of Indigeneity in Canada, especially in the North. Deeply analyzed and with a matter-of-fact writing style, Kinauvit? is a must-read for all Canadians that shines a spotlight on a vital national story told through Dunning’s personal journey of discovery.”

— 2023 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize Jury (Terri E. Givens, Nik Nanos, and Jacques Poitras)

Program History