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The Cedric Literary Awards, which first launched in 2014, recognizes unpublished authors of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, who are over the age of 50.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

Victoria man finds out his song will be featured on American Idol after a rough morning

Mike Edel’s song ‘The Finish Line’ was featured on the hit show

West Shore RCMP, Search and Rescue, Langford Fire continue search for missing Langford man

31-year-old Joshua Bennett of Langford went missing on March 9

Victoria-Saanich amalgamation discussions won’t be open to the public

The upcoming citizens’ assembly meetings will be held in camera

Red-tailed hawk’s own bill is killing him

‘Most birds with this syndrome will starve to death without treatment’

Outdoor cats one of the biggest causes of wildlife injuries, says Wild ARC

Spring a vulnerable time for fledlings, small mammals

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Dead sea lion discovered on Hornby Island shoreline

Reports indicate animal was shot in the head

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Most Read