Clayton Gauthier of Nak’azdli First Nation is being awarded a Periodical Marketers of Canada Literature Award, along with $3,000, for his children’s book, The Bear’s Medicine.

The story pays tribute to land lessons, “it’s a picture book revolved around the bear’s medicine, what the bear teaches us and the stories that we hold.”

“In our culture, the animals were here first, we have to watch them and learn from them to understand this world that we are in- so the bear brings us the medicine we need,” Gauthier explained.

“The animals of the world get up each day and they know their job and purpose,” he added, “ask ourselves ‘do we know our job and why we’re here?’ do what you love and love what you do.”

All winners of the award will be recognized at the Virtual ‘Word on the Street Festival’ in Toronto tomorrow (Sunday).

“The best part about it is, when I was young I looked up to artists in my community that inspired me, and I feel like I’m doing the same for other artists,” he added.

All recipients are selected from a group of Indigenous librarians in Ontario.

Gauthier explained he is still ‘taking it all in’, “as an artist, I’ve envisioned myself being where I’m at but I didn’t envision all of this!”

‘A Bear’s Medicine’ can be found in Prince George at Books & Company.