BU professor contributes to High Plains Book Awards finalist

October 1, 2020

A book by a former Brandon University (BU) instructor, and featuring an essay by a current BU professor, is once again receiving critical acclaim.

Cover of Perception features a closeup photo of a woman's face

Perception, by KC Adams, features an essay by Brandon University professor Cathy Mattes.

Perception: A Photo Series, by artist KC Adams, who previously taught in BU’s Department of Visual and Aboriginal Art, was chosen as a finalist for the High Plains Book Awards in the category of Indigenous Writer. Cathy Mattes, the Chair of the Visual and Aboriginal Art department, wrote a critical essay for the book, which examines stereotypes through portraits of Indigenous people.

In a review accompanying the list of finalists, Ed Kemmick writes that Perception “is a powerful book and it couldn’t be more timely. Who could have guessed that one terrible incident in Minneapolis would spark a worldwide movement for racial justice? Adams’ book is an inspiring example of how to advance that cause through art.”

The award was won by From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way, written by Jesse Thistle.

The High Plains Book Awards were established in 2007 by the Billings Public Library Board to recognize books that “examine and reflect life on the High Plains, including the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.”

Earlier this year, Perception made it to the shortlist for the Manitoba Book Awards in three categories. More on Perception, and Mattes’ role in the book, can be found here.