Ontario Historical Society Awards Two Dundurn Authors

Ontario Historical Society Awards Two Dundurn Authors

Posted on June 12 by Kyle in Awards
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The Donald Grant Creighton Award 

The Donald Grant Creighton Award honours the best book of biography or autobiography highlighting life in Ontario, past or present, published in the last three years. The 2016 award went to Steve Paikin for his outstanding book, Bill Davis: Nation Builder, and Not So Bland After All, published by Dundurn.

Paikin’s biography of Davis is an engaging look at the life of one of the most influential public figures in the history of Ontario. In what is remarkably the first authorized biography of Ontario&;s second longest-serving premier and, arguably, one of its most influential, Paikin not only superbly captures, what he refers to as Davis&; "sphinx-like" character, but also deftly navigates both his private and public life in a meaningful way. Davis’s impact has been enormous. As Paikin writes in his introduction: "it&;s still Bill Davis&;s Ontario." This book ensures that current and future Ontarians understand just why that is so. 


Joseph Brant Award

The Ontario Historical Society proudly presents the 2016 Joseph Brant Award to Keith Jamieson and Michelle Hamilton for their wonderful biography, Dr. Oronhyatekha: Security, Justice, and Equality, published by Dundurn. The Joseph Brant Award honours the best book on multicultural history in Ontario.

This publication brings to life the most accomplished member, in his day, of the peoples of the Six Nations of the Grand River. The authors’ account of an extraordinary life successfully demonstrates how Peter Martin, Oronhyatekha, more fondly known as “Dr. O,” was able to interweave the two dominant cultures of his time: that of the Mohawk Nation, one of the peoples of the Haudenosaunee, into which he was born, and the Victorian society of an emerging Canadian nation-state. Dr. O’s many accomplishments – achieved in an era when Indigenous cultures were subjected to vehement racism from both the society and its government – are amply detailed through the meticulous research which is the biography’s foundation. Dr. O&;s life story includes his experience as a child in the Mohawk Institute at Grand River, education and training in Toronto and at Oxford, his work as one of the first Indigenous doctors in Ontario, his leadership in the Independent Order of Foresters, and his efforts to fight on behalf of Indigenous peoples in Ontario. At his death, his body laid in state at Massey Hall and over 10,000 mourners paid their respects in a single day. 

While Keith Jamieson had been working on a biography of this fascinating man for many years, after becoming familiar with Dr. O&;s collection at the Royal Ontario Museum, his collaboration with Michelle Hamilton resulted in a compelling book that will bring this inspiring story to a broader public. In the post-TRC era, Ontarians are increasingly keen to learn about Indigenous history, and Dr. Oronhyatekha is a timely, captivating story that will resonate with many. 

The Honours and Awards Committee is pleased to present the Joseph Brant Award to Keith Jamieson and Michelle Hamilton.