Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Prize Watch: GG Awards in History; Canadian Historical Association Prizes

At the recent Governor-General's History Awards in Ottawa, Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was awarded the Pierre Berton Award for "exceptional achievement in the exploring and sharing of Canadian history through popular media." Don't think of truth and reconciliation work as popular history?  Consider the argument in the citation.

 The combined work of Sinclair and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was monumental in scale and scope, having created unique historical archives that document the experiences of multiple generations of Indigenous people,” the award jury said in making its selection.

The records in their many forms give voice to grief and hurt, resilience and renewal. Furthermore, the commission’s work, with its ninety-four calls to action, has been crucial in revealing the need for a new national narrative. Sinclair’s articulation of that mission has helped to create a profound shift in many Canadians’ understandings of this country’s history, while also charting a path forward based on respect, reciprocity, and good relations.

The Governor General's History Awards, administered by Canada's National History Society, are presented in five categories: Teaching, Scholarly Research, Museums, and Community Programming, as well as the Berton for Popular Media.

The Awards were presented May 16. Canada's History has published a full list of recipients (listed as 2021 winners; the presentation was this month).  Here's the Winnipeg CTV story about Manitoban winners, which provided the quotation about Murray Sinclair. 

The Canadian Historical Association, meanwhile, has published the complete list of prizes awarded at its recent conference. The prize for the best work in Canadian history went to Benjamin Hoy for A Line of Blood and Dirt: Creating the Canada-United States Border Across Indigenous LandsThe CHA prize doubles as the Governor General's Prize for Scholarly Research. Last year's CHA Prize winner, Brittany Luby, received her GG History honours this month; Hoy will get his invitation to Rideau Hall next spring. (Did I say this awards stuff is simple?)

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