The Bear's Den - The Outside Circle Graphic Novel Wins Prestigious Award

October 27, 2016

The Outside Circle, a graphic novel set in the Stan Daniels Healing Centre and authored by NCSA's own Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson, won the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Metis Literature last week in a ceremony in Regina.

The Burt Award, established by CODE, a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for over 55 years, recognizes excellent, engaging, and culturally relevant books for young adults that are written, illustrated and/or translated by First Nations, Metis and Inuit creators.

In addition to the award, CODE is guaranteeing the purchase of a minimum 2500 copies of The Outside Circle, which will ensure that First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth across Canada will have access to The Outside Circle through schools, libraries, and Friendship Centres. Last year’s winning books were distributed to more than 800 locations across Canada.

The Outside Circle was selected for first place by a peer assessment committee administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. NCSA is proud to acknowledge the meaningful work done by Metis author Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson, and illustrator (and former recipient of NCSA’s Community Service Award) Kelly Mellings.

To order The Outside Circle on, click here


The Outside Circle was published by House of Anansi Press in 2015.

It is a graphic novel about healing and reconciliation for an inner-city Aboriginal family struggling with poverty, gang affiliation and hopelessness. It features the Stan Daniels Healing Centre and the In Search of Your Warrior Program.

The Outside Circle was on the Globe and Mail’s Top Ten Canadian books in May 2015 and June 2016. It has been on the Edmonton Bestseller list for many weeks.

It was also named:
CBC Book Lists: Best Books of 2015, Canadian Books that Can Change the World
• United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY): Outstanding International Books 2016
• Short-Listed for the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Books Award
• Nominated for the Ontario Library Association Forrest of Reading: White Pine Award
• Long-listed for the Canada Reads competition.
• Nominated for “In the Margins Award” – from the Library Services for Youth in Custody organization in the USA.
• Winner Red Deer Reads competition.
• Winner of the 2016 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature.

The Glenbow Museum in Calgary opened an exhibit on The Outside Circle called “Power in Pictures”. It will be open until June 2017.