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Meet the winners of our 2018 student writing awards

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The Northern Lights College Foundation has awarded four recipients winners of our 2018 student writing awards. Judges took into account the originality of subject matter, quality of execution and structure, and quality of research.

Sara Gruen’s essay, “Aboriginal women ‘gangsters’: Harper’s ‘tough on crime’ outcome,” took the top spot in the Indigenous student category. Her essay shows that the ‘tough on crime’ legislation of the former Conservative government was not only ineffectual but also costly for Canadian taxpayers. It also victimized Indigenous women, an already vulnerable population, in particular.

Dawn Mountifield won the William and Mary Wanka History Prize for “The seeds of ‘Grass Beyond the Mountains’: The history of Rich Hobson’s infamous Chilcotin Country.” Dawn’s essay weaves together the Chilcotin War of 1864 and the arrival of the first non-Native settlers in the 1930s. Her narrative illustrates how recent settlers in the Chilcotin used survival tactics similar to those of the Tsilhqot’in people who had resided there for millennia.

Karishma Ratani took the top spot in the international student competition with her essay, “It’s not what you speak, but how you speak: Accents and perception.” It challenges Canadians’ perception of the speech of immigrants. Karishma posits that new Canadians are often judged and dismissed not because of what they say but how their accents raise resistance in native English speakers.

Rosalyn Gerber won the UNBC-sponsored student essay award. “Battered woman syndrome: Changing a societal trend?” offers a new take on female criminality. Rosalyn argues that it is time to look beyond the ‘battered woman syndrome’ and explore how a combination of situational and structural factors impacts female criminality.

The essays will be printed in the fall issue of NLC’s student journal, Peace Offerings.