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A Native American Thought of It
Format: Paperback
, 2008
  • Inventiveness and ingenuity from North America's First Nations.

    Everyone knows that moccasins, canoes and toboggans were invented by the Aboriginal people of North America, but did you know that they also developed their own sign language, as well as syringe needles and a secret ingredient in soda pop?

    Depending on where they lived, Aboriginal communities relied on their ingenuity to harness the resources available to them. Some groups, such as the Iroquois, were particularly skilled at growing and harvesting food. From them, we get corn and wild rice, as well as maple syrup.

    Other groups, including the Sioux and Comanche of the plains, were exceptional hunters. Camouflage, fish hooks and decoys were all developed to make the task of catching animals easier. And even games-lacrosse, hockey and volleyball -- have Native American roots.

    Other clever inventions and innovations include:

    * Diapers
    * Asphalt
    * Megaphones
    * Hair conditioner
    * Surgical knives
    * Sunscreen.

    With descriptive photos and information-packed text, this book explores eight different categories in which the creativity of First Nations peoples from across the continent led to remarkable inventions and innovations, many of which are still in use today.

$9.95

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Aliens Among Us
Author: Alex Van Tol
Format: Paperback
, 2015
  • Would you be surprised if you came face to face with a Drumming Katydid, Red-eared Slider or Brown Bullhead? Would you know what to do if Dalmatian Toadflax or Giant Hogweed landed in your neighbourhood?Alex Van Tol can help. In Aliens Among Us, she identifies more than 50 species of animals and plants that have invaded British Columbia. With the help of colour photographs and illustrations, she exposes the invaders, explains how they got here and what they’re doing to the environment.

    In this first-ever children’s book published by the Royal BC Museum, Van Tol has harvested the knowledge of museum biologists to alert the next generation of responsible environmentalists. Her list of serious invaders includes the colourfully named Purple Loosestrife, Violet Tunicate, Eastern Grey Squirrel and Yellow Perch, species that tend to take over an area and crowd out or destroy native species. She names the creatures that can eat their way through an ecosystem, like Smallmouth Bass, Gypsy Moths and American Bullfrogs, as well as vandals like Norway Rats and European Starlings that cause damage to property. And she points out the species that might do serious harm to humans and other animals, such Rockpool Mosquitoes, Giant Hogweed and Poison Hemlock. Some aliens, like European Wall Lizards and Giant Garden Slugs, haven’t yet posed problems in BC, at least not that we’re aware of – but they still need to be watched. And finally, Van Tol raises the alert on species that haven’t yet arrived but may be coming soon, like Northern Snakeheads, Fence Lizards and Zebra Mussels.This readable and alarmingly informative book will help young people prepare for the invasion, and arm them with the tools to stop the spread of unwanted aliens in British Columbia.

$19.95

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From Time Immemorial: The First Peoples of the Northwest Coast
Author: Diane Silvey
Format: Paperback
, 2002
  • From Time Immemorial provides an honest and up-to-date survey of the history of the coastal First Nations from pre-contact to the present. The culture of the coastal people was highly complex. Although there were many similarities, there were also many differences among the groups who shared the wealth of their life-sustaining environment.

    This book provides a broad overview of traditional ways common to a large number of diverse groups. It encourages readers to learn more about particular groups who, long ago, walked the shorelines and forest trails of the Pacific Northwest.

$24.95

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Gardens Aflame
Author: Maleea Acker
Format: Paperback
, 2012
  • Accustomed to the dark, dripping stands of Douglas–fir, spruce and hemlock that blanketed the Hudson's Bay Company outposts on the remote western coast of the "new World", the first Europeans were surely startled to see the wide–open landscapes of the Garry oak meadows they encountered on Southern Vancouver Island ––– landscapes that might have reminded any explorers who had ventured into the African savannahs of what they had seen there.

    Though slow in comprehending what they had stumbled upon, the Europeans immediately recognized the deep, rich deposits of black soil that extended many feet below the surface, and James Douglas chose the site as the ideal location for the HBC's new fort, and settlement.

    What the newcomers failed to appreciate is that these meadows were not the work of nature alone, but of the Coast Salish peoples who had been living in these parts for millennia. With the construction of the fort of Victoria began an encroachment on these Garry oak meadows, built up over centuries if not millennia, a process that continues today.

    In Gardens Aflame, Victoria writer and environmentalist Maleea Acker tells us about this unique and vanishing ecosystem, and the people who have made it their life's work to save the Garry oak and the environment ––– including the human environment ––– it depends on.

    Acker tells us about the Garry oak species and its unique habits and requirements, including its unusual summer dormancy period, when all the surrounding plants are coursing with life. We learn something about the scientists, arborists, and Garry oak–loving volunteers who have dedicated themselves to this tree; and about Theophrastus, Humboldt, and their other forebearers who are still reshaping our notions of nature and humans' place in it.

    And in the course of Acker's story, we see her fall under the spell of the strange beauty woven by these magnificent trees, and the ecosystems they tower over ––– until, in the final act, she decides to turn her own front yard into her own version of a Garry oak meadow, defying City Hall and the neighbours, and bringing to a head in 2011 all the issues raised 150 years ago when Europeans first saw the open meadows of Southern Vancouver Island.

$19.00

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Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest
Author: Ian McAllister
Format: Hardcover
, 2014
  • Ian McAllister, conservationist, photographer, and longtime Great Bear Rainforest resident, takes us on a deeply personal journey from the headwaters of the region’s unexplored river valleys down to the hidden depths of the offshore world. Globally renowned for its astonishing biodiversity, the Great Bear Rainforest is also one of the most endangered landscapes on the planet, where First Nations people fight for their way of life as massive energy projects threaten entire ecosystems.

    In a not-so unusual day, McAllister quietly observes 27 bears fishing for salmon, three of which are the famed pure white spirit bear. This stunning collection of photographs and personal narrative is the product of twenty-five years of McAllister’s research, exploration, and campaigning for the spectacular area he calls home.

$50.00

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Healing Histories: Stories from Canada's Indian Hospitals
Format: Paperback
, 2013
  • Healing Histories is the first detailed collection of Aboriginal perspectives on the history of tuberculosis in Canada’s indigenous communities and on the federal government’s Indian Health Services. Featuring oral accounts from patients, families, and workers who experienced Canada’s Indian Hospital system, it presents a fresh perspective on health care history that includes the diverse voices and insights of the many people affected by tuberculosis and its treatment in the mid-twentieth century. This intercultural history models new methodologies and ethics for researching and writing about indigenous Canada based on indigenous understandings of “story” and its critical role in Aboriginal historicity, while moving beyond routine colonial interpretations of victimization, oppression, and cultural destruction. Written for both academic and popular reading audiences, Healing Histories is essential reading for those interested in Canadian Aboriginal history, history of medicine and nursing, and oral history.

$29.95

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Rocks, Minerals and Gems
Author: John Farndon
Format: Paperback
, 2016
  • This is a definitive full colour guide for young readers. It includes an introduction to rocks, minerals and gems and how they form, how and where to look for them, how to identify rocks and minerals, and everything there is to know about building a collection.

    Packed with fun facts and practical activities, the book features high-definition colour photography and data keys that show noteworthy qualities of each specimen in extraordinary detail.

    Rocks, Minerals and Gems shows how to read the landscape for clues and identify different rock types -- from dazzling diamonds to grainy sandstone. It describes fascinating facts and data boxes provide short facts to help with quick identification.

    Earth's most precious rocks, minerals and gems can be anywhere and everywhere in the world -- from riverbeds to beaches, cliff faces to fields. The only equipment needed is a backpack, a smartphone and some good walking shoes -- and maybe a small bag to carry home the treasure.

$14.95

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Sturgeon Reach: Shifting Currents At The Heart of the Fraser
Author: Terry Glavin
Format: Paperback
, 2013
  • Sturgeon Reach is the name some have given to a stretch of the Fraser River between Hope and Pitt Meadows, where its flow slows, and it deposits the gravel it's been carrying from the province's interior. Its story is one of rocks and stones, from its geological origins, from the mythic beginnings of human settlement, and from the arrival of Simon Fraser through to the onslaught of dykes and roads and bridges and foundations that today threaten the river's essential nature.

    Sturgeon Reach hosts an incredible array of life, from giant black cottonwoods to a creature that dates from the age of dinosaurs –– the remarkable white sturgeon. This stretch of river is the spawning ground for major salmon runs. And for millennia, it has also been the home of the Sto:lo Indians.

    How can we now live well along a river that has a ceaseless desire to overflow its banks and set its own course? How can we allow the life that the river's character fosters to persist in the face of overwhelming development? In the 20th book in the Transmontanus series, Terry Glavin and Ben Parfitt explore Sturgeon Reach — its geography, its history, its critical role in the coastal ecosystem, and the compelling story it tells about competing human needs.

$19.95

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The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway
Author: Arno Kopecky
Format: Paperback
, 2013
  • Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award and the Banff Mountain Book Award and winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction.

    With Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway proposal nearing approval, supertankers loaded with two million barrels of bitumen each may soon join herring, humpbacks and salmon on their annual migration through the tumultuous waters off British Columbia's Central Coast -- a place no oil tanker has been before. The contentious project has aroused intense opposition, pitting local First Nations, a majority of British Columbia's urban population, and environmental groups across the country against an international consortium led by Enbridge and backed by a federal government determined to make Canada an "energy superpower."

    Arno Kopecky sails into the controversy aboard a forty-one-foot cutter for a closer look at a legendary region with a knife at its throat. Without any prior sailing experience, Kopecky and his sailing companion -- photographer Ilja Herb -- struggle to keep afloat as they make their way through a volatile labyrinth of fjords, inlets, and evergreen islands known as the Great Bear Rainforest. This amphibious ecosystem is among the last great wildernesses on earth, housing a quarter of the world's temperate rainforest and a thriving ocean environment that together host forty per cent more biomass per hectare than the Amazon. But as Kopecky soon discovers, the politics of Big Oil and First Nations can be every bit as treacherous to navigate as the shifting currents and hidden reefs for which the Northern Gateway tanker route is known.

    In this rich evocation of ecology, culture, and history, Kopecky meditates on the line between impartial reportage and environmental activism, ultimately arguing that there are some places oil tankers should never go.

    Caution: Includes some profanity and use of marijuana.

$26.95

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They Dance in the Sky
Format: Paperback
, 2007
  • For countless generations, Native American storytellers have watched the night sky and told tales of the stars and the constellations. The stars themselves tell many tales-of children who have danced away from home, of six brothers who rescue a maiden from the fearful Rolling Skull, of the great wounded sky bear, whose blood turns the autumn leaves red, and many more.

$12.95

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