Skip to content

Eva Holland, Kwanlin Dün nominated for B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes

The winners will be announced on Sept. 18
The Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Eva Holland have been nominated for book prizes. (Submitted)

Two Yukon publications have been nominated for B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes.

This is the first year that Yukon authors have been included in the annual awards, which honours writers across genres in eight categories. The nominees were announced on April 8.

Eva Holland has been nominated for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize for her book, Nerve: A Personal Journey Through the Science of Fear.

“It’s kind of cool to be represented in what’s mostly still thought of as a B.C. prize,” Holland told the News.

Holland’s book is a deep dive into the science of fear, with Holland herself acting as test subject. She meets with scientists, tests therapies and leaps from planes.

“It was pretty life changing … I really felt like I was in a better place by the time I was done working on the book than I was when I started,” Holland said.

The book was released in April 2020, just a few weeks after the pandemic began to ripple across Canada.

“It was a pretty interesting time to launch a book about fear, anxiety and trauma into the world. I think it probably connected with some people who were looking for ways to talk about that stuff,” Holland said.

Yukoners reading Nerve will find familiar settings — Holland skydives over the Carcross desert and goes climbing and hiking in the Whitehorse area.

“The Yukon is definitely woven throughout it, and my life there is a big part of the book. Wanting to be able to fully enjoy my life, and Whitehorse, was a big part of what motivated me to see what I could learn about fear, and the ways we can change our relationship to it,” she said.

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation has been nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, awarded to authors contributing to an understanding of B.C. or the Yukon.

The book, Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur—Our Story in Our Words, traces the history of Kwanlin Dün citizens from thousands of years ago to present day.

“Many of our people today never had the opportunity to hear our history first-hand from elders. Our children and grandchildren and many generations coming after us will be able to learn from this record of our stories,” says the book’s introduction.

The chronological narrative is sectioned into seven chapters — long ago; 10,000 years ago to the 1870s; the 1880s to 1939; 1940 to 1973; the next thirty years of land claims development; and finally the present-day time of self-governance and healing.

The book is peppered with narratives from Kwanlin Dün citizens and elders, including the origins of the world, the great flood, The Double Winter and The Girl who Married a Bear. Elders also share memories of the Gold Rush, colonization and the decades-long land claim struggle preceding the First Nation’s Final Agreement.

Several stories are written in Tlingit, Tagish, Northern Tutchone, or Southern Tutchone. The stories are paired with contemporary artwork and historic photos.

The winners of the B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes will be announced on Sept. 18.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at