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7th Annual Kemosa Scholarship Winners Announced

Winners of the 7th Annual Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta and Nhung Tran-Davies are pleased to announce the winners of the 7th Annual Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write.

First established in 2017 by Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies in partnership with Tlicho Dene author Richard Van Camp, the Kemosa Scholarship offers an opportunity for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers to obtain resources to help them complete the work on their writing – whether that be a novel, a collection of stories, poems, or whatever form their writing might take.

This year, there were many amazing entries for the Kemosa Scholarship, and it was a challenge for the judges to choose the winners from among them. After much thought and careful deliberation, here are this year’s recipients:

  • First Place ($3000):  Shelley Willier
  • Second Place ($2000): Rhonda Gladue
  • Third Place($1000): Paige Cardinal
  • Honourable Mention ($500): Diana Power

For more information or media inquiries, please contact the Writers’ Guild of Alberta at [email protected].

Meet the Winners!

Shelley Willier- First Place

Shelley Willier’s book, The Drum Calls Softly, co-authored with David Bouchard, was published in 2008 through Red Deer Press. In 2018, she wrote her father’s memoir, After the Moose Walked, which earned her a first-place Kemosa Scholarship (2020) and a spot in Audible’s Indigenous Writers’ Circle (2022).

Her current novel, Lost Daughters, tells the story of five women from one family, as they grapple with trauma from residential school and missing and murdered women and girls. “Our world continuously strips women of agency. I write stories with strong women, giving them the capacity and condition to exert power – to address their demons and find a sense of belonging in themselves, their families, and communities.”

Rhonda Gladue – Second Place

Rhonda Gladue is an emerging writer from Kito Sakahekan (Calling Lake, Alberta) in Treaty 8 territory. She is the mother of three lovely and gracious children, two of whom are now young adults. In 2018, received a residency at the Banff Centre of Arts to work on the first chapter of her novel under the mentorship of Joshua Whitehead. Her passion for Treaty history and contemporary issues derives from her background in Education, which she balances with writing short YA stories and dance classes. Her short story, Golden Hour, is set at a fictional Residential School, nicknamed Old Mary’s in the early 1900’s. The protagonist, Ada, triumphs over the brutality of the Sisters and Senior girls through the help of a Nehiyawak death song given to her by her late Mushum.

Paige Cardinal – Third Place

My name is Paige Cardinal, I am from Wabasca, AB. I am a member of Bigstone Cree Nation which is located in Treaty 8 Territory. I moved to Edmonton 12 years ago for university when I was 17. I graduated from the University of Alberta in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies & a minor in Women’s & Gender Studies. I am a Queer, nêhiyaw, Artist, Poet, Mother, & Business Owner. I own Mîkisikahtak Creations and I created handmade luxury jewelry.

Diana Power – Honourable Mention

I am a status member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation of Treaty 4 in Saskatchewan I am Anishinaabe/Acadian descent. My maternal grandparents who have passed, Tom Anaquad and Sophie McDonald, were residential school survivors. Both attended Qu’Appelle/Lebret Indian School. I lost both my parents to cancer; my mother when I was younger and my father last year. I currently reside in Edmonton, Alberta with my spouse Eric, son Fabe, and three dogs. I am currently finishing my Indigenous Bachelor of Administration and Governance and have recently started writing after my father passed away to help with my grief. Most of my writing is loosely based on my life.

Our Gratitude



        • Pam Clark

        • Jacqueline Guest

        • Ellen Kartz

        • Shari Narine

        • Audrey Whitson



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