First Nations author Sidney W. Harris recently received a Cedric Literary Award for his short story Morning Song's Legacy.

First Nations author honoured for work

Writing a novel or short story is often a long process — no one understands this more than Fairfield author Sidney W. Harris.

Writing a novel or short story is often a long process involving changing, editing and re-arranging one’s work — no one understands this more than Fairfield author Sidney W. Harris.

For the past decade, the 67-year-old author has been slowly working on a short story from the perspective of a First Nations person. He began by writing a first draft in the mid 2000s, andcontinuously kept coming back to his piece of literature, editing and re-writing it over the years.

“It’s been left to sit and brew and I didn’t do anything with it for a while, then I revisited and re-edited it. It’s been edited I don’t know how many times,” laughed Harris.

The end result is Morning Song’s Legacy, an 18-page short story about a half-native girl. The story, which Harris describes as “dense,” follows her through her life, including three marriages and giving birth and raising seven children, along with a host of other disasters and problems.

For Harris, life has been the inspiration behind this story, but he also felt the need to tell things from a First Nations point of view of events such as the Great Depression, the European invasion and the acculturation of Native Americans.

“It’s not about prejudice, it’s not about white people and separation of Native Americans, it’s about life itself,” said Harris, who is part European and part Native American (he was a northern heyenne tribal member who was born and raised in south central Montana before he moved to Victoria in 1980).

“I’ve lived in both cultures, so when I write a story, I’m writing to bridge the two cultures. It’s important for all of us to understand what we’re doing with our lives, the decisions we’re making and how we’re constructing our society so we can be as responsible as we can . . . it’s knowledge that’s important.”

Recently, Harris was honoured for his work as a mature author, receiving a Cedric Literary Award for Morning Song’s Legacy — one he said he was honoured and grateful to receive.

The Cedric Literary Awards, which first launched in 2014, recognizes unpublished authors of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, who are over the age of 50.

Joel Scott of Chemainus also picked up an award for his work of fiction titled Jack, and Salt Spring Island’s Beth Hawkes won for her work of non-fiction titled Seasons.

“The most important focus of the Cedric Literary Awards is to recognize, celebrate and encourage emerging mature writers, age 50 and better, who have the benefit of living through some of the most important changes in our society,” said awards founder Peter Dale.

 

 

Just Posted

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Saanich’s Red Lion Inn receives council’s blessing for extended liquor hours

Extension comes more than two years after a major fire

Province continues to investigate Saanich’s Horticultural Centre of the Pacific

Investigation stems from May 2 incident that turned Colquitz River ‘chocolate brown’

Avid Victoria cyclist’s legacy bike ride helps fund end-of-life care

2019 Denis Muloin Ride for Palliative Care invites cyclists for May 26 fundraiser

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read