Nunavut, Canada writer wins Indigenous creative non-fiction award

Comedian and writer Peter Igupttaq Autut, from Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, won this year’s Sally Manning Award for his story about hunting and fishing with his father as a child. (Beth Brown/ Courtesy Up Here)
Nunavut, Canada writer and comedian Peter Igupttaq Autut has received the fifth annual Sally Manning Award for Indigenous Creative Non-Fiction, Up Here, a northern Canadian magazine announced on Friday. 

Autut’s story Winter In Chesterfield Inlet recounts the author’s memories of travelling out on the land hunting and fishing.

Judges praised the story’s vividness and sensory richness.

“His descriptions are so real I can feel the cold right down to the ting in my ear,” said judge, storyteller and children’s book author Michael Kusugak in the news release announcing the award.

“This is Indigenous literature, and Peter Igupttaq Autut, I hope you are working on more chapters, more memories, more reflections about growing up,” added  judge and renowned Northwest Territories writer Richard Van Camp.

This year’s second-place award was given to Shelly Wiart for a story exploring her Métis identity called My Northern Healing.

The third-place award went to Carol Rose GoldenEagle’s story The Ugly Little Christmas Tree about a family Christmas tradition. 

Recognizing emerging writers

Sally Manning was a writer and teacher who spent much time in the North before passing away in 2014.

The award was established to recognize emerging First Nation, Inuit, and Metis writers who live, or have lived, in Canada’s northwestern Yukon territory; the neighbouring Northwest Territories (NWT); the eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut; Nunavik, the Inuit region of Arctic Quebec; or the Labrador region in Atlantic Canada. It is administered by the Yellowknife Community Foundation, a non-profit. 

The first-place award is $1,000, the second place award is for $500 and the third place award is for $250.

All three recognized stories then published in Up Here magazine, a publication based out of the city of Yellowknife, NWT, that covers all three of Canada’s northern territories: Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut. 

Autut’s story is currently available in Up Here magazine will be available on the website starting next week.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Publisher in Arctic Canada putting Inuit-language books online amidst COVID-19 closures, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Walt Disney Animation Studios to release Saami-language version of “Frozen 2”, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Can cross-border cooperation decolonize Sami language education?, Eye on the Arctic 

United States: American cartoonist says his new book on Canadian Indigenous history helped decolonize part of himself, CBC North

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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