Congratulations to Wendy Proverbs! Her debut novel, Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children has won the 2022 Jeanne Clarke Award.
Our congratulations also to Ken Mather, who was nominated for his work on Wagon Road North: The Saga of the Cariboo Gold Rush, Revised and Expanded Edition.
The Prince George Public Library Board announced the winners for the 37th annual Jeanne Clarke Awards during a livestream broadcast on CKPG on March 13, 2022. It will be rebroadcast on March 14th at 7:00 pm and can be streamed on the CKPG website.
Proverbs, who was born and raised in Prince George, said the win is an honour and such a pleasant surprise.
“Coming from the library board in my hometown makes [the award recognition] even more special,” says Proverbs.
Aggie and Mudgy is based on the true story of the author’s biological mother and aunt and traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their community in Daylu (Lower Post) on the BC-Yukon border to Lejac Residential School on the shores of Fraser Lake in central BC.
Proverbs is of Kaska Dena descent, the same as the characters in Aggie and Mudgy. However, she did not grow up with her culture, having been adopted into a non-Indigenous family as an infant. She later reconnected with her biological family in early adulthood. She lives in Victoria, BC.
“Writing Aggie and Mudgy’s story has drawn me closer to my ancestral roots,” says Proverbs, noting the most difficult part was “trying to honour my birth mother and aunt. I want their voices heard in a valued and respected manner.”
The Jeanne Clarke Award was established by the Prince George Public Library board in 1985, in memory of Jeanne Clarke, a former board chair who served on the library board from 1978 to 1984. Jeanne Clarke was a founding member of the Prince George Public Library’s Local History Committee, and played a key role in establishing the Prince George Public Library’s local history collection. In 1993, the library board added a Publication category to the award to recognize authors for producing a work of local history in addition to those recognized for Service in support of local history.