Xatsull Chief Bev Sellars won the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for her book They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School.

Xatsull Chief Bev Sellars won the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for her book They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School.

Bev Sellars wins George Ryga Award

Xatsull (Soda Creek) Chief Bev Sellars has won the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.

Xatsull (Soda Creek) Chief Bev Sellars has won the 2014  George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.

Sellars says she was honoured to be presented with the award during a ceremony at  Okanagan College in Kelowna April 3.

“At the award ceremony I met George Ryga’s sister and one of his oldest friends,” Sellars said.

“His friend told me that if George were alive today he would be so honoured that I had won the award.”

Sellars received the George Ryga Award for her book They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School that was released last spring, by Talon Books.

In the book, Sellars shares her own story and the stories of many other people who attended the St. Joseph Mission School south of Williams Lake.

The George Ryga Award is given each year to a British Columbia writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness owing to a new book published in the preceding calendar year.

Books chosen for the shortlist are outstanding works of both literary and social value that open up discussion about social and cultural issues.


They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survial at an Indian Residential School has also been short-listed for the BC Book Prize 2014 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Award.

This award ceremony takes place May 3.

Sellars will be unable to attend so her husband Bill Wilson is going to go in her place.


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