Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize

Each year the Center for Great Plains Studies presents a prize for the previous year's best book on the Great Plains. The Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize carries a cash award of $10,000, generously supported by Jim and Cheryl Stubbendieck. Publishers or authors may make nominations; each publisher may submit up to five titles. Only first edition, full-length, nonfiction books copyrighted in 2023 are evaluated for this year's award, which is chosen by an independent committee.



Valley of the Birdtail

Valley of the Birdtail

The winner of the 2023 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize is Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation (Harper Collins, 2022) by Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii).

Sniderman is a writer, lawyer, and Rhodes Scholar from Montreal who has written for the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, and Maclean’s. He has also argued before the Supreme Court of Canada, served as the human rights policy advisor to the Canadian minister of foreign affairs, and worked for a judge of South Africa’s Constitutional Court. Sanderson is the Prichard Wilson Chair in Law and Public Policy at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and has served as a senior policy advisor to Ontario’s attorney general and minister of Indigenous affairs. He is Swampy Cree, Beaver clan, of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

Divided by a beautiful valley and 150 years of racism, the town of Rossburn and the Waywayseecappo Indian reserve have been neighbors nearly as long as Canada has been a country. Their story reflects much of what has gone wrong in relations between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. It also offers, in the end, an uncommon measure of hope.

The Book Prize lecture: Nov. 17 at 4 p.m., 1155 Q St.

Other finalists: Born of Lakes and Plains: Mixed-Descent Peoples and the Making of the American West by Anne F. Hyde (W.W. Norton) and Cattle Beet Capital: Making Industrial Agriculture in Northern Colorado by Michael Weeks (University of Nebraska Press)