The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild congratulates Maria Campbell on receiving the 2023 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence


The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is proud to announce that the winner of the 2023 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence is Maria Campbell.  The award will be announced publicly by Cheryl Kloppenburg on September 27 at 1:30 p.m. The award honours a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of acclaimed literary work and has had a significant impact on writing in Saskatchewan. It carries a prize of $10,000 and a framed limited edition print of a painting by well-known Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles.


Writer, filmmaker, and playwright Maria Campbell has published seven books, including Halfbreed, which was first published in 1973 and was republished in 2019 to include pages that were pulled (by the publisher) from ‘73 edition. Film rights for Halfbreed were sold in May 2023. Maria is the Indigenous Knowledge and Wellness Coordinator, Office of the President at the First Nations University of Canada. This follows several years as the Cultural Advisor at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan. She has received numerous honors and awards, among them the Gabriel Dumont Order of Merit, a three-year Trudeau Fellowship at the University of Ottawa, seven Honorary Doctorates and the Lieutenant Governors Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021. She is an officer of the Order of Canada.


In choosing Maria, the jury for the 2023 Award cited the following: “Maria Campbell is a towering figure in the Metis and writing communities of Saskatchewan. In a career that has spanned half a century – bookended with the groundbreaking memoir, Halfbreed, first published in 1973 and republished in 2019 – Campbell has been a writer, filmmaker, and playwright, and has been instrumental in elevating Indigenous voices in the arts in Canada. She has been an inspiration to many Indigenous writers, especially Indigenous women, and continues to advocate for their stories to be told and heard.”


Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg, lawyers and philanthropists who enjoy supporting visual and literary arts, established this prestigious award in 2010. The three Honorary Patrons of the Award are His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan; His Worship Charlie Clark, Mayor of the City of Saskatoon; and President of the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Peter Stoicheff. The Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence is one of the most lucrative provincial awards in Canada.


The video announcing Maria Campbell as the 2023 Kloppenburg Award winner is available here.


For additional Award background information, including a full list of previous winners, please visit our website here.