A children’s book by a University of Guelph professor has been named a finalist for the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Awards.
Brittany Luby is nominated in the children’s illustrated books category for Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh: This Is How I Know.
Five books have been shortlisted and the winner will be announced on Nov. 17.
Luby’s story is written in Anishinaabemowin and English and follows an Anishinaabe child and her grandmother as they explore the season and the natural world.
“This book is a celebration of teachings that transcend language,” said Luby, whose paternal ancestors originate from Niisaachewan Anishinaabe Nation. “It encourages readers to connect with the plant and animal teachers surrounding them and invites them to observe and learn from their environment.”
The book is illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, while Alan and Alvin Corbiere, along with Mary-Ann Corbiere, worked on translating Luby’s English version into Anishinaabemowin and copy-editing the bilingual book.
At the University of Guelph, Luby is a professor in the department of history and has studied Anishinaabe family responses to settler encroachment, looking especially at how people respond to water infrastructure.
“Creating this book was also an act of hope — hope that I will one day be able to read it to my children, hope that one day my grandchildren will read it to me and hope that my family will reclaim the voice we lost through the Canadian residential school system,” she said.
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