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“First Nations Version” named Reference Book of the Year by Academy of Parish Clergy Inc.

WESTMONT, IL—The Academy of Parish Clergy Inc. has honored First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament with the Reference Book of the Year Award.

“Congratulations to Terry Wildman and all those who contributed to this project,” said Al Hsu, senior editor for IVP. “The First Nations Version is a groundbreaking, fresh translation of the New Testament filled with vivid, evocative language and imagery. It helps modern readers discover the power of Scripture by conveying the biblical story through the sensibilities and cadences of Native oral storytelling tradition. We experience the kingdom of God as walking Creator’s Good Road, and we encounter Jesus as Creator Sets Free, the Chosen One. It has been an honor to partner with Terry Wildman and the FNV team in heralding the great story to new peoples.”

Wildman (Ojibwe and Yaqui) served as the lead translator, general editor, and project manager of the First Nations Version. “You might call this a contextual translation in English, in the tradition of the storytellers of oral culture,” Wildman said. “While it is not tribally specific, it is intended to relate in a general way to all our First Nations people. The FNV is not only a gift to our First Nations people, but we also consider it an offering from First Nations people to the world. It is similar in concept to The Message by Eugene Peterson, or The Living Bible by Kenneth N. Taylor. But it is different in the sense that it attempts to convey the rhythm and feel of an oral storyteller from our Turtle Island (North American) cultures.”

Many First Nations tribes communicate with the cultural and linguistic thought patterns found in their original tongues. The First Nations Version (FNV) recounts the Creator’s Story—the Christian Scriptures—following the tradition of Native storytellers’ oral cultures. This way of speaking, with its simple yet profound beauty and rich cultural idioms, still resonates in the hearts of First Nations people.

The FNV is a dynamic equivalence translation of the New Testament that captures the simplicity, clarity, and beauty of Native storytellers in English, while remaining faithful to the original language of the Bible. The culmination of a rigorous five-year translation process, this new Bible translation is a collaboration between organizations like OneBook and Wycliffe Associates, Indigenous North Americans from over twenty-five different tribes, and a translation council that consisted of twelve Native North American elders, pastors, young adults, and men and women from different tribes and diverse geographic locations.

Wildman said, “My greatest hope comes from First Nations people who have read this translation and have said it opened their eyes to who Creator Sets Free (Jesus) truly is. It has already broken down some of the walls that exist because of the horrific way the gospel was most often forced on our Native peoples. I hope stories like this will multiply as more people read the First Nations Version.” 

The Academy of Parish Clergy, an inclusive community of professional religious leaders, supports and promotes excellence in spiritual, scholarly, and relational ministry

For a complete list of IVP award winners visit

Contact: Krista Clayton, 630.734.4013,