James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Awards

James Bartleman

The James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award commemorates the legacy of Ontario’s 27th Lieutenant Governor by recognizing up to six Indigenous students for their creative writing talent. Each recipient receives a $2,500 award.

There are three geographic categories:

  • fly-in community
  • on reserve
  • off reserve (do not live in a fly-in community or on a reserve)

A junior student (12 years old and younger) and a senior student (13 to 18 years old) is chosen from each geographic category.


As an applicant, you must:

  • be 18 years of age or under
  • have consent from your parent/legal guardian (if you’re under 18)
  • self-identify as an Indigenous person
  • be a student enrolled in a school in Ontario
  • be a resident of Ontario

Required information

In your application, you will need to provide:

  • your information
  • your parent/legal guardian’s contact information
  • your school name and address
  • an attachment containing your original creative writing piece. This may be a short story, poem, essay, play, song, comic strip or other form of creative writing that has not in any part been copied from another source
  • a brief description about the creative writing piece which may include:
    • what inspired you
    • what it means to you


The deadline is May 31 of each year.

How to apply

  1. Gather all the required information.
  2. Create an account (or sign in for returning users) on the Ontario Honours and Awards Portal.
  3. Submit your application through the portal. If you’re under 18, you’ll need a parent/legal guardian to help you with the declaration section.

Selection process

An independent selection committee of individuals from Indigenous communities reviews each submission and recommends who should receive the award.

Award presentation

The awards are presented at a ceremony at Queen’s Park. Each recipient receives a $2,500 award.

Previous recipients

Read about the previous recipients of this award.

About James Bartleman

James Bartleman served as the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2002 to 2007. He was the first Indigenous person to be appointed to the role. The award was set up as a legacy to his efforts in promoting literacy among Indigenous youth.