OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 4, 2013) - In the lead up to International Literacy Day, CODE is proud to announce the finalists for its inaugural Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature.

The shortlisted titles, selected by a jury composed of Canadian writers administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are (in alphabetical order):

  • As Long as the Rivers Flow by James Bartleman (published by Random House of Canada Ltd.)
  • Free Throw by Jacqueline Guest (published by James Lorimer & Company)
  • Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson (published by Simon & Schuster)
  • As I Remember It by Tara Lee Morin (published by Theytus Books)
  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (published by Douglas and McIntyre)

"We believe that each of the books in this shortlist will appeal to First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth and, in fact, all readers across Canada. These stories deal with real, contemporary issues and bring to life characters to which readers can relate," said CODE Executive Director Scott Walter. "We're confident that they will make a real contribution towards our goal of developing a life-long love of reading amongst youth."

The winners of the first edition of this annual Award will be announced on October 2nd, 2013 at a Gala hosted by Shelagh Rogers and Waubgeshig Rice. A First Prize of $12,000, a Second Prize of $8,000 and a Third Prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the authors of the winning titles. In addition, publishers of the winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of a minimum of 2,500 copies, which will ensure that First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth across Canada will have access to the books through their community's schools, libraries, or Friendship Centres.

Established by CODE - a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for over 50 years - in collaboration with William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature aims to provide engaging and culturally-relevant books for young people across Canada by recognizing excellence in English-language literary works for Young Adults by First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors.

The Award is the result of a close collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Association of Canadian Publishers, the Canada Council for the Arts, GoodMinds and Frontier College.

CODE's Burt Award is a global readership initiative and is also currently established in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and the Caribbean.

For further details on the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, go to

About CODE

If you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be, anything. That's the idea behind CODE. A Canadian NGO with over 50 years of experience, CODE advances literacy and learning in Canada and around the world. CODE's international programs encourage development through education through support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in 20 languages.

Contact Information:

Dominique Naud
Communications Manager
613-232-3569 ext. 252