Deadline for Young Scholars Essay Prize Extended to June 5th

2014 winners Loryn Blower and Erica Isomura

Ravens are acrobatic fliers. They have a reputation for solving ever more complex problems with creativity and ingenuity. With the deadline for the 4th annual Young Scholars Essay Prize fast approaching, we wanted to introduce you to some of the brilliant and ingenious scholars whose body of work comprises the winning entries to previous years’ Young Scholars Essay Prizes.

In “The Fight for Water: Examining Environmental Racism & the Effects on British Columbia’s First Nations’ Culture & Society”, the reverence for water as a living entity is contrasted with the treatment — or lack thereof— of water by colonial authorities.

Steve North asks, “How does renaming a place matter? Using examples of Haida Gwaii and the Salish Sea, North examines how the reclaiming of the past is helping make a place for indigenous people in the future. Unpacking colonialized views of history, Andre Bessett examines the early histories of interactions on the Northwest Coast between settlers and indigenous communities and offers an alternative lens to peer through.

 “The rise of industrial salmon aquaculture and decline of Sockeye salmon in the Stó:lo” by Erica Isomura makes an important contribution to understanding how traditional ways of stewardship of salmon conflict with industrial fish farming on the coast. On the same topic, Johnnie Manson looks at First Nations governance in relation to cosmologies, discourses and lived practices of salmon fishing and stewardship.

Browse the winning essays from previous years:

Candidate6 – 2014

RAVEN_Paper02 – Steve North – runner up


RAVEN[1] – 2013 2nd place

RAVEN_05–Environmental Justice & Water – 2013 1st place

Candidate14 – 2014

RAVEN_Paper06 – Johnnie Manson – winner 2012

Inspired? We want to hear from you! The deadline for this years’ Young Scholars Essay Prize has been extended until Friday June 5th. If you want to share your perspective and understanding of issues of contemporary indigenous experience, send to:

Submission Guidelines:

Our 1st PLACE PAPER will be awarded a cash prize of $1000.00. Our 2nd PLACE PAPER will receive $500.00. Prizes are awarded at a dinner later in June.

The essay competition is open to ALL DISCIPLINES in the social sciences and humanities. Papers from all methodological and theoretical standpoints will be considered.

The award is open to 3rd and 4th YEAR UNDERGRADUATES enrolled full-time at one of the following institutions: Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, University of Northern BC, Thompson Rivers University, University of the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island University.

Preference will be given to candidates who self-identify as indigenous, but students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Please apply and help spread the word!  Direct all questions to Max Ritts – (

N.B. Papers MUST include a SEPARATE title page with their name, student number, institution, and email address. NO AUTHOR IDENTIFICATION can be on the essay pages themselves. Please submit in PDF format.


YSEP award dinner 2012-13 001 YSEP award dinner 2012-13 003 Young Essay Scholar Award - July 18 2012 003


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