The Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge was born in 2005 out of the success of Our Story: Aboriginal Voices on Canada's Past published by Doubleday Canada in which nine leading Aboriginal authors from across the country, including Tantoo Cardinal, Tom King and Tomson Highway, contributed a short fictional story about a defining moment in Aboriginal history. Since then, the Challenge has quickly become the largest and most recognizable essay writing competition in Canada for Aboriginal youth. It has earned large scale support from Aboriginal Arts and Literary community, including those that comprise the Patrons and Advisory committee. More than 1,000 emerging Aboriginal writers from every province and territory in Canada have submitted essays to the Challenge since 2005.
In 2010, The Historica-Dominion Institute announced the launch of an expanded Challenge in 2010-11 called the Canadian Aboriginal Writing and Arts Challenge. This expansion has made the Challenge available to a new audience of Aboriginal youth – those who are not writers, but instead express themselves through painting, drawing and photography. We believe that the expanded Challenge gives a start to the next generation of both great Aboriginal authors and artists.
The program is organized by The Historica-Dominion Institute, a national charitable organization that was launched in September 2009 through the amalgamation of two existing organizations: The Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute. Our mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada. For more information, visit historica-dominion.ca