Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools 8 - 12 2011-2012

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A Feast for All Seasons: Traditional Native Peoples' Cuisine
Format: Paperback
, 2010
  • Traditional North American Native peoples' cuisine has existed for centuries, but its central tenet of respecting nature and its bounty have never been as timely as they are now. Andrew George, of the Wet'suwet'en Nation in Canada, is a well-respected aboriginal chef and instructor who has spent the last twenty-five years promoting the traditions of First Nations food. In A Feast for All Seasons, written with Robert Gairns, he has compiled aboriginal recipes that feature ingredients from the land, sea, and sky, elements of an enduring cuisine that illustrate respect for the environment and its creatures, and acknowledgment of the spiritual power that food can have in our lives. The 120 recipes include delectable, make-at home dishes such as Salmon and Fiddlehead Stirfry, Stuffed Wild Duck, Barbecued Oysters, Pan-fried Rabbit with Wild Cranberry Glaze, Clam Fritters, and Wild Blueberry Cookies. The book also features recipes with exotic ingredients that provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of Native cuisine: Moose Chili, Boiled Porcupine, Smoked Beaver Meat, and Braised Bear. This unique cookbook pays homage to an enduring food culture?grounded in tradition and the power of nature?that transcends the test of time.

$24.95

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • A seminal collection of Haida myths and legends; now in a gorgeous new package.

    The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form.

    Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurst brings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton's careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe.

    Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London.

    Bringhurst brings these works to life in the English language and sets them in a context just as rich as the stories themselves one that reaches out to dozens of Native American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions around the world.

$24.95

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An Arctic Man: The classic account of sixty-five years in Canada's North
Author: Ernie Lyall
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • Ernie Lyall was born in Labrador in 1910 and joined the Hudson's Bay Company at a time when it was expanding its presence in the Eastern Arctic. He spent many years as a front-line player with the company, building stores and developing trade with the local people. He became part of the Inuit community by marrying an Inuk and together with his wife Nipisha he raised a large family, some members of which play significant roles in today's Nunavut. Ernie's fluency in both Inuktitut and English made him a key interpreter and witness to many historic events in the Baffin region for over half a century, giving him insight into both sides of the cultural divide in the North and earning him respect from many quarters. In 1949 he and his family settled in Taloyoak (then known as Spence Bay) where he eventually left the HBC to become a wildlife officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories.

    Ernie's story illustrates the realities of life for Inuit in the Canadian North during the last years in their camps on the land, a world that has now in large part been lost to history. His autobiography is unique in the perspective it offers and his original 1979 text is presented here with a foreword which provides new insights into Ernie's comments linking the old Inuit world with the new one in the modern Nunavut. Ernie's children reflect the cross-cultural bridging taught them by their parents and today contribute to the economic and community development of the North through a variety of roles, including leadership in the co-operative movement, land claim boards, business and government.

    An Arctic Man not only tells about Inuit life as it was actually lived on the land but also illustrates how change, southern influences and the move into permanent communities impacted their society. This book offers a window onto the remarkable transition that occurred in the Canadian Eastern Arctic for much of the twentieth century with a frankness, insight and humour that was very much a part of Ernie Lyall's straightforward everyday style.

$19.95

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Bear Bones & Feathers
Format: Paperback
, 1994
  • In this powerful book of poetry, First Nations Cree writer Louise Bernice Halfe sets out to heal the past.

    Employing Native spiritualism, black comedy and the memories of her own childhood as healing arts, she finds an irrepressible source of strength and dignity in her people. Bear Bones and Feathers is rooted in Louise Bernice Halfe's own life. She offers moving portraits of her grandmother (a medicine woman whose life straddled old and new worlds), her parents (both trapped in a cycle of jealousy and abuse), and the people whose pain she witnessed on the reserve and at residential school.

$12.95

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Blue Marrow
Format: Paperback
, 2004
  • This moving tribute to Native female strength, nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry is available again in a rewritten, re-edited and redesigned edition. The beautifully designed cover depicts the author's 4 grandmothers dancing among the Northern lights.

$16.95

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Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir
Format: Paperback
, 2010
  • Theodore Fontaine lost his family and freedom just after his seventh birthday, when his parents were forced to leave him at an Indian residential school by order of the Roman Catholic Church and the Government of Canada. Twelve years later, he left school frozen at the emotional age of seven. He was confused, angry and conflicted, on a path of self-destruction. At age 29, he emerged from this blackness. By age 32, he had graduated from the Civil Engineering Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and begun a journey of self-exploration and healing.

    In this powerful and poignant memoir, Theodore examines the impact of his psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, the loss of his language and culture, and, most important, the loss of his family and community. He goes beyond details of the abuses of Native children to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of First Nations children suffer from this dark chapter in history.

    Told as remembrances described with insights that have evolved through his healing, his story resonates with his resolve to help himself and other residential school survivors and to share his enduring belief that one can pick up the shattered pieces and use them for good.

$19.95

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Broken Trail
Author: Jean Rae Baxter
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • BROKEN TRAIL is the story a thirteen-year-old white boy, the son of United Empire Loyalists, who has been captured and adopted by the Oneida people. Striving to find his vision oki that will guide him in his quest to become a warrior, Broken Trail disavows his white heritage—he considers himself Oneida. But everything changes when Broken Trail, alone in the woods on his vision quest, is mistakenly shot by a redcoat soldier.

$11.95

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Dead White Writer on the Floor
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • A funny yet thought-provoking play about identity politics. Cast of 4 men and 1 woman.

$17.95

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Discovery Passages
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • With breathtaking virtuosity, Garry Thomas Morse sets out to recover the appropriated, stolen and scattered world of his ancestral people from Alert Bay to Quadra Island to Vancouver, retracing Captain Vancouver's original sailing route. These poems draw upon both written history and oral tradition to reflect all of the respective stories of the community, which vocally weave in and out of the dialogics of the text.

    A dramatic symphony of many voices, Discovery Passages uncovers the political, commercial, intellectual and cultural subtexts of the Native ­language ban, the potlatch ban and the confiscation and sale of Aboriginal artifacts to museums by Indian agents, and how these actions affected the lives of both Native and non-Native inhabitants of the region. This displacement of language and artifacts reverberated as a profound cultural disjuncture on a personal level for the author's ­people, the Kwakwaka'wakw, as their family and tribal possessions became at once both museum artifacts and a continuation of the ­tradition of memory through another language. Morse's continuous poetic dialogue of "discovery" and "recovery" reaches as far as the Lenape, the original Native inhabitants of Mannahatta in what is now known as New York, and on across the Atlantic in pursuit of the European roots of the "Voyages of Discovery" in the works of Sappho, Socrates, Virgil and Frazer's The Golden Bough, only to reappear on the American continent to find their psychotic apotheosis in the poetry of Duncan Campbell Scott.

    With tales of Chiefs Billy Assu, Harry Assu and James Sewid; the ­family story "The Young Healer"; and transformed passages from Whitman, Pound, Williams and Bowering, Discovery Passages links Kwakwaka'wakw traditions of the past with contemporary poetic ­tradition in B.C. that encompasses the entire scope of ­relations between oral and vocal ­tradition, ancient ritual, historical ­contextuality and our continuing rites.

$17.95

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Environmentalists from our First Nations
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • Like the other books in the First Nations Series for Young Readers, this books offers ten short and engaging biographies of First Nations/Native activists who advocate not only for the environment but for Native rights. Their stories are full of highs and lows, triumphs and setbacks. Environmental trailblazers, these men and women are role models for children everywhere.

    The men and women profiled here are united by their work to protect the environment and to support indigenous rights. Their stories take us from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to the Black Mesa in Arizona.

    Melina Laboucan-Massimo uses her passion to stop oil extraction in Alberta’s tar sands.
    Winona LaDuke is a voice for reclaiming Native lands, advocating renewable energy resources, and protecting Native cultures.
    Clayton Thomas-Muller is a dynamic advocate for indigenous self-determination and campaigner against tar sands extraction.
    Ben Powless brings his youthful energy and skills to addressing climate change issues.
    Tom Goldtooth protects sacred sites and organizes global direct-action campaigns for the environment.
    Grace Thorpe is a grandmother who dedicated her retirement years to keeping Native reservations from becoming nuclear waste dumps.
    Sarah James is a voice from northern Alaska defending the Porcupine caribou herd and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    Enei Begaye & Evon Peter are married activists who work as a team on environmental issues and sustainable strategies for Native people.
    Klee Benally uses the media to empower Native communities in their fight for environmental justice.
    Teague Allston works to ensure a tribal voice is heard in Washington DC.

$10.95

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Fort Chipewyan and the Shaping of Canadian History, 1788-1920s: We like to be free in this country
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • The story of the expansion of European civilization into the wilderness continues to shape perceptions of how Aboriginal people became part of nations such as Canada. This groundbreaking study subverts this narrative of progress and modernity by examining Canadian nation building from the perspective of a northern community and its residents. Drawing on decades of research and fieldwork, Patricia McCormack argues that Fort Chipewyan - established in 1788 and situated in present-day Alberta - was never an isolated Aboriginal community but a plural society that stood at the crossroads of global, national, and indigenous cultures and economies. The steps that led Aboriginal people to sign Treaty No. 8 and accept scrip in 1899 and their struggle to maintain autonomy in the decades that followed reveal that Aboriginal peoples and others can - and have - become modern without relinquishing cherished beliefs and practices. This meticulously researched study of the most famous and best studied of the Treaty No. 8 communities not only provides a window into the history of Canada and Alberta - it challenges the nature of history writing in Canada itself. Anyone interested in the history of First Nations, northern communities, or the way historians and local communities approach and understand the past should read this book.

$39.95

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Fur Trade Letters of Willie Traill 1864-1893
Format: Paperback
, 2006
  • Son of Catharine Parr Traill and nephew of Susanna Moodie, William Edward Traill, better known as Willie, came by his literary talent naturally. He found employment with the Hudson’s Bay Company in what was to become the Canadian West. His letters home are a rich and detailed portrait of domestic life in the fur trade of the Northwest between 1864 and 1893. At turns gritty then deeply touching but always fascinating and informative, the Willie Traill letters throw open a window on the joys and heartbreaking challenges of family life in the service of the fur trade.

$34.95

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Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • Gabriel Dumont is an iconic figure in Métis and Canadian history. In the
    popular imagination, he is well known for leading the Métis forces during the
    1885 Resistance, and for being a renowned bison hunt leader, a Wild West
    show performer, and a husband to his beloved Madeleine. But outside of
    printed history and a fragmented oral history what do we really know about
    him? How has he been imagined over time? This book answers these
    questions by focusing on visual and journalistic representations of Gabriel
    Dumont through time and space. Compiled together for the first time,
    these eclectic sources provide poignant vignettes of Gabriel Dumont’s life,
    which will greatly contribute to our knowledge about him, and will further
    contribute to his legend.

$58.50

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Giant's Dream: A Healing Journey Through Nitassinan
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • This book invites the reader, through stunning photographs and vivid words, to accompany Giant (Michel Andrew) as he journeys 400 kilometres across northeastern Nitassinan (Labrador) on snowshoes pulling a toboggan. Inspired by his deceased grandfather's counsel conferred in a dream, Giant elicits the help of his uncle Nikashant to organize a walk to raise awareness and funds for diabetes, a disease afflicting so many of his people. Readers will cheer through their tears.

$19.95

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Half Breed
Author: Maria Campbell
Format: Paperback
, 1983
  • Maria Cambpell's biography is a classic, vital account of a young Metis woman's struggle to come to terms with the joys, sorrows, loves and tragedies of her northern Saskatchewan childhood.

    Maria was a strong and sensitive child who lived in a community robbed of its pride and dignity by the dominant culture. At 15 she tried in vain to escape by marrying a white man, only to find herself trapped in the slums of Vancouver; addicted to drugs, tempted by suicide, close to death. But the inspiration of her Cree great-grandmother, Cheechum, gives her confidence in herself and in her people, confidence she needs to survive and to thrive.

    Half-Breed offers an unparalleled understanding of the Metis people and of the racism and hatred they face. Maria Campbell's story cannot be denied and it cannot be forgotten: it stands as a challenge to all Canadians who believe in human rights and human dignity

$14.95

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