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People Are Raising Tons Of Cash For This Award For Young Indigenous Writers

The initiative was launched after the "Appropriation Prize" controversy.

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A crowdfunded literary award to support young Indigenous writers has raised more than three times its goal in only a couple days, and the donations are still coming in.

IndieGogo / Via indiegogo.com

Toronto lawyer Robin Parker launched the fundraising effort in response to the "appropriation prize" controversy, in which prominent white editors and columnists pledged money toward a fictitious literary award that would celebrate cultural appropriation. Most of the journalists involved later apologized.

"I was watching the 'appropriation prize' story unfold on Twitter in real time and it was so upsetting," Parker told the CBC. "I didn't want to take up space arguing. I wanted to help create space for creativity and art."

The campaign was widely shared on Twitter. "You know why," tweeted Ojibwe journalist Jesse Wente.

Support an Emerging Indigenous writing prize. You know why. https://t.co/sPKBxfneF2

The campaign was shared by many other Indigenous writers, as well as author Margaret Atwood.

The Emerging Indigenous Voices award had an initial target of $10,000. But the campaign blew past that goal within 24 hours.

Well maybe we can have enough for an endowment? The sun is shining today friends. Love in my heart. #community https://t.co/gq9HXvJcpY

The response has been so overwhelming that it may even turn into an ongoing project.

"Well maybe we can have enough for an endowment?" Parker tweeted.

On the campaign page, Parker tied the award to the goal of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

"The award is crowd funded because every person, big or small, wealthy or modest in means, can make a difference," reads the pitch. "We are all the richer when there is space for all of our voices to join the conversation."

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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