Ontario Newsroom

Ontario Honouring Creative Indigenous Youth

Archived News Release

Ontario Honouring Creative Indigenous Youth

Six Talented Writers Receive James Bartleman Creative Writing Award

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Ontario is honouring six talented young Indigenous writers from across the province with the James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award.

The award celebrates the work of Indigenous youth and encourages them to share their unique perspective and experiences with a broader audience. The 2016 award recipients are:

  • Aurora Gull for her fictional journal entries chronicling a student's struggle and growth in her first year of high school.
  • Jewel Moonias for her essay on a real encounter with a rare and injured white wolf.
  • Taeo Baxter for his story on a 16-year-old Métis boy's spiritual quest to find his true self.
  • Cole Stevens-Goulais for his one-act theatrical storytelling piece about his grandmother's death.
  • Isaiah Aguonie for his story about two wolves on a long and treacherous journey to the south side of Moonlight Island.
  • Courtney Miller for her fictional story about a young girl's experience losing her father in a drinking and driving accident.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented the awards at a Queen's Park ceremony today, along with the Honourable James Bartleman, 27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, MPP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.  

Quick Facts

  • The James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award was created in 2008 to honour the province’s first Indigenous Lieutenant Governor.
  • Submissions are now being accepted for next year’s awards. The closing date is May 31, 2017.
  • Eligible participants must be 18 years of age or younger at the time they submit an entry, enrolled in an Ontario school, self-identify as an Indigenous person, and be a permanent resident of Ontario.
  • The awards will be renamed to the “James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award” this year.

Additional Resources


“These six young authors are changing our world for the better. They are contributing to a dialogue beyond their own communities and inspiring Ontarians to take notice of what it means to be an Indigenous youth in our province.”

Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“Each year, I am inspired by powerful submissions put forward by Indigenous youth from across the province. These six recipients are pillars of strength and courage, as they share their unique perspectives, which are essential to understanding our First Nations communities.”

James K. Bartleman

former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“The James Bartleman Award provides a platform for young Indigenous writers to share their stories beyond their local communities. It is my hope that by recognizing their creative talents, these talented youth will continue to pursue their passion for writing and that their stories live on.”

Laura Albanese

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

“The six young recipients announced today are role models to us all. They exemplify courage and strength as they share the reality of life as Indigenous youth in today's Ontario. They are an example of how reconciliation can help make a difference in the lives of everyone in Ontario.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Media Contacts



Arts and Culture Government Aboriginal People