Ontario Newsroom

Ontario Honouring Indigenous Youth with Bartleman Award

Archived News Release

Ontario Honouring Indigenous Youth with Bartleman Award

Five Talented Young Indigenous Writers Recognized

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

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

The award celebrates the work of Indigenous youth and encourages them to share their unique perspectives and experiences with a broader audience. The 2017 award recipients are:

  • Nova Gull for her poem, "Where's Our Voice?", which highlights the lack of awareness of Indigenous issues.
  • Ava Morin for her untitled essay on the importance of being confident and embracing who you are.
  • Mike-Anthony Atlookan for his essay, "Are We Different?", which discusses the differences between people and the roots of discrimination.
  • Kendra Kitchikake for her piece, "The Jingle Dress," which describes the history and tradition of the Jingle Dress healing ceremony.
  • Sydney Flett for her poetry collection, "Cusp of Brilliance," an honest and personal reflection on her life and experiences.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented the awards at a ceremony in Toronto earlier today, with the Honourable James K. Bartleman, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and Alex Bezzina, Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.  

Quick Facts

  • The James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award was created in 2008 to honour the province’s first Indigenous Lieutenant Governor.
  • James Bartleman is known for promoting literacy and organizing book drives for underprivileged communities.
  • Submissions are now being accepted for next year’s awards. The closing date is May 31, 2018.
  • 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.

Additional Resources


“By contributing to a dialogue outside their own communities, these five young authors are inspiring Ontarians to take notice of what it means to be an Indigenous youth today. Their talent and creativity are making a positive difference in the world.”

Her Honour the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell

Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“Each year, I am inspired by the powerful submissions that are put forward by young Indigenous writers from across the province. These five recipients have bravely shared their stories with us, exemplifying courage and strength. Their unique perspectives are essential to improving the understanding of Indigenous communities in Ontario.”

The Honourable James K. Bartleman

former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“The James Bartleman Award provides a platform for young Indigenous writers to gain an audience beyond their local communities. It is my hope that these young artists will continue to pursue their passion and hone their creative talents, so that their stories may live on.”

Laura Albanese

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

“These five young award recipients are role models to us all. By sharing their perspectives as Indigenous youth in Ontario, they inspire others and promote empathy and understanding. Their efforts show how reconciliation can make a difference in the lives of everyone in Ontario.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation



Arts and Culture Government Home and Community Aboriginal People Children and Youth