Winners of Canada Prizes announced

April 10, 2017

OTTAWA, April 10, 2017 – The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is very pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Canada Prizes.

The Canada Prizes are awarded annually to the best books by Canadian scholars in the humanities and social sciences that make an exceptional contribution to scholarship, are engagingly written, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada. Winners are selected from books that have received funding from the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, which is administered by the Federation.

“These books are representative of the excellence in scholarly publications in Canada,” said Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. “Both of this year’s winning authors examine difficult times in our history — one examining the extreme discord around litigation of Indigenous rights and treaty claims in this country, the other looking at bravery behind the written works of Lower Canadian “Patriotes” in the turbulent 1830-40s. Despite stemming from different disciplines and perspectives, both of these books deepen the understanding of how we grew to be who we are today, and help prepare us for where we are headed as a nation.”

This year’s winners are:

Canada Prize in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Arthur J. RayAboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

From the jury’s citation:

Arthur J. Ray’s masterful study is based on three decades of experience in academic research and in courtrooms as an expert witness in the litigation of aboriginal rights and treaty claims in Canada. Contrasting native peoples’ forms of transmitting history with that of academic disciplines like Law, History, and Archaeology, his work illustrates the profound discord between historical evidence based on robust oral traditions and that grounded in the documentary records of European societies.

Prix du Canada en sciences humaines et sociales

Mylène BédardÉcrire en temps d'insurrections : Pratiques épistolaires et usages de la presse chez les femmes patriotes (1830-1840) (Presses de l’Université de Montréal)

From the jury’s citation :

Written in a highly accessible style, Écrire en temps d’insurrections examines the epistolary practices of patriot women in Lower Canada between 1830 and 1840. Mylène Bédard’s fascinating analysis of previously untapped sources recognizes the role of women during a turbulent period in Canadian history.

media kit including biographies and photos of the 2017 winners, along with the full jury citations and brief articles on each book, is available on the Federation’s website.  

The prizes, each valued at $5,000, will be presented at a ceremony during the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University on Sunday, May 28.


About the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences promotes research and teaching for the advancement of an inclusive, democratic and prosperous society. With a membership now comprising over 160 universities, colleges and scholarly associations, the Federation represents a diverse community of 91,000 researchers and graduate students across Canada. The Federation organizes Canada’s largest academic gathering, the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, bringing together more than 8,000 participants each year. For more information about the Federation, visit

Media inquiries

Nicola Katz

Manager, Communications

Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

T: 613-238-6112 ext. 351

C: 613-282-3489

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