The $5,000 City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize has been awarded to Wendy Proverbs for Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children (Heritage House). Now in its 15th year, this prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author or illustrator for the best children’s book.
Aggie and Mudgy is based on the true story of the author’s biological mother and aunt. This novel for young readers traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their home to attend residential school. When Maddy discovers an old photograph of two little girls in her grandmother’s belongings, she wants to know who they are. Nan reluctantly agrees to tell her the story, though she is unsure if Maddy is ready to hear it. The girls in the photo, Aggie and Mudgy, were taken from their families at a young age to attend residential school, where they endured years of isolation and abuse.
Wendy Proverbs is an emerging Indigenous author of Kaska Dena descent. She holds a BA and MA in anthropology from the University of Victoria. Like thousands of Indigenous people across Canada, as an infant she was caught in the sweeping scoop of Indigenous children taken from their birth families and was only reunited with biological family members as a young adult. She has acted as a community liaison with Indigenous communities and strives to help younger generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, learn more about their past. Aggie and Mudgy is her debut novel.