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Indigenous Literacy Foundation receives top children’s literature award

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literature award

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) received the world’s largest literature award for children’s and young adult literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA), at a ceremony in the Stockholm Concert Hall on Tuesday, June 4.  

The award was presented by Sweden’s H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria. With a prize of five million Swedish kronor (A$720,000), it is the largest award of its kind. 

“We believe in the fundamental human right that is learning to read and write and that right should extend to Indigenous languages,” said ILF CEO Ben Bowem in his acceptance speech.  

“If we lose these languages the cost is incomprehensible through the loss of culture, identity, wisdom, knowledges and expertise we all require to build tomorrow’s world.”  

In her congratulatory speech, Swedish Minister for Culture, Parisa Liljestrand highlighted that the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s innovative and creative activities serve as a beacon of inspiration and hope.  

“Everyone, regardless of background and individual circumstances, must be given the opportunity to develop good reading skills and to have access to high-quality literature.” 

The jury’s motivation for awarding the Indigenous Literacy Foundation was: “With curiosity and respect, Indigenous Literacy Foundation works with reading and storytelling among First Nations children in Australia. In close collaboration with Communities, they highlight the value of all people’s own languages and stories. By spreading books and stimulating reading, storytelling and creativity, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation builds the desire to read and fosters pride, self-confidence and a sense of belonging. Every child has the right to their language and their stories.” 

Related: Indigenous Literacy Foundation welcomes new Board appointments

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