Residential School/Project of Heart

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To deepen and support your understanding of what the Indian Residential School experience was and its impact on Canada please download this document, They Came For the Children:

Click here: They Came For the Children

Project of Heart” is an inquiry based, hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational, artistic journey of seeking truth about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada. Its purpose is to:

Examine the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and to seek the truth about that history, leading to the acknowledgement of the extent of loss to former students, their families and communities

Commemorate the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the residential school experience.

Call Canadians to action, through social justice endeavors, to change our present and future history collectively

Click here to visit the website: Project Of Heart


A Stranger at Home
Format: Paperback
, 2011
  • The powerful memoir of an Inuvialuit girl searching for her true self when she returns from residential school. Traveling to be reunited with her family in the Arctic, 10-year-old Margaret Pokiak can hardly contain her excitement. It's been two years since her parents delivered her to the school run by the dark-cloaked nuns and brothers. Coming ashore, Margaret spots her family, but her mother barely recognizes her, screaming, "Not my girl." Margaret realizes she is now marked as an outsider. And Margaret is an outsider: she has forgotten the language and stories of her people, and she can't even stomach the food her mother prepares. However, Margaret gradually relearns her language and her family's way of living. Along the way, she discovers how important it is to remain true to the ways of her people -- and to herself. Highlighted by archival photos and striking artwork, this first-person account of a young girl's struggle to find her place will inspire young readers to ask what it means to belong.

    Sequel to Fatty Legs.

$12.95

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Arctic Stories
Author: Michael Kusugak
Format: Paperback
, 1998
  • Acclaimed Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak weaves a tapestry of tales about ten-year-old Agatha and her accidental heroism in the high Arctic of 1958. The first of Agatha''s stories is based on one of Kusugak''s real life experiences, when an eerie, black airship flew over Chesterfield Inlet in 1958. A sleepy Agatha "saves" the community from the monstrous flying object.

    In the second story, Agatha notices the playful antics of the winter ravens and takes an interest in the many migrating birds. As the seasons change, she begins to favor more beautiful and peaceful birds of spring, until the ravens return.

    The third of Agatha''s stories takes place in the fall when Agatha is sent to school in Chesterfield Inlet, an English-speaking community south of her home. During an afternoon of skating, Agatha rescues a show-off priest, who has inadvertently demonstrated the danger of thin ice.

    The three Agatha stories resonate with the nostalgia and affection of Kusugak''s childhood memories.

$7.95

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As Long As the Rivers Flow (PB)
Author: L. Loyie
Format: Paperback
, 2005
  • In 2006, As Long As the Rivers Flow was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    This is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school, where children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures. It is a time of learning and adventure.

$12.95

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Cheyenne Again
Format: Paperback
, 2002
  • In the late 1880s, a Cheyenne boy named Young Bull is taken from his parents and sent to a boarding school to learn the white man's ways. "Young Bull's struggle to hold on to his heritage will touch children''s sense of justice and lead to some interesting discussions and perhaps further research.

$10.99

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Dear Canada: These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens
Format: Hardcover
, 2016
  • Acclaimed author Ruby Slipperjack delivers a haunting novel about a 12-year-old girl's experience at a residential school in 1966.

    Violet Pesheens is struggling to adjust to her new life at residential school. She misses her Grandma; she has run-ins with Cree girls; at her "white" school, everyone just stares; and everything she brought has been taken from her, including her name-she is now just a number. But worst of all, she has a fear. A fear of forgetting the things she treasures most: her Anishnabe language; the names of those she knew before; and her traditional customs. A fear of forgetting who she was.

    Her notebook is the one place she can record all of her worries, and heartbreaks, and memories. And maybe, just maybe there will be hope at the end of the tunnel.

    Drawing from her own experiences at residential school, Ruby Slipperjack creates a brave, yet heartbreaking heroine in Violet, and lets young readers glimpse into an all-too important chapter in our nation's history.

$16.99

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Fatty Legs: A True Story
Format: Paperback
, 2010
  • In 2011-2012, Fatty Legs: A True Story was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact.

    Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools.

    At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls, all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school.

    In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity.

    Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's collection and striking artworks from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.

$12.95

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Goodbye Buffalo Bay
Author: Larry Loyie
Format: Paperback
, 2008
  • In his last year in residential school, Lawrence learns the power of friendship and finds the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He returns home to find the traditional First Nations life he loved is over. He feels like a stranger to his family until his grandfather's gentle guidance helps him find his way.

    This is a sequel to his much loved As Long As the River Flows.

$16.95

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Home to Medicine Mountain
Author: Chiori Santiago
Format: Paperback
, 2002
  • Two young brothers are separated from their family and sent to live in a government-run Indian residential school in the 1930s—an experience shared by generations of Native American children throughout North America. At these schools, children were forbidden to speak their Indian languages and made to unlearn their Indian ways. Sadly, they were often not able to go home to their families for summer vacation.

    Native American artist Judith Lowry based this story on the experiences of her father and her Uncle Stanley. Judith and author Chiori Santiago tenderly relate how Stanley and Benny Len found their way home by train one summer. Inspired by their dreams of home and the memories of their grandmother's stories, the boys embark on an adventurous journey from the harsh residential school to their triumphant welcome home at Susanville, California, in the shadow of Yo-Tim Yamne (Medicine Mountain).

    Awards:
    American Book Award - Before Columbus Foundation
    Skipping Stones Honor Award - Skipping Stones Magazine

    Guided Reading: N
    Lexile: 520L
    Interest Level: Grades 3 - 5
    Reading Level: Grades 3 - 4

$14.95

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I Am Not a Number
Format: Hardcover
, 2016
  • When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.

$18.95

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Island Kids
Author: Tara Saracuse
Format: Paperback
, 2010
  • This is a history of British Columbia's island children, told in their voices, from their perspectives. Composed of twenty-two stories, Island Kids is a snapshot of a period and place in time. The topics range from quintessentially coastal experiences, like a day at the beach, to stories that deal with serious issues, such as BC's history of residential schools, but they all remain true to the experience of the children telling the story. At the end of each chapter is a section called "What do we know for sure?" that gives the reader greater depth and context. The stories are written in a dynamic and authentic voice and are aimed at readers aged eight to twelve.

    Unlike history that has either been fictionalized or told from an adult's perspective, the Courageous Kids series brings history to kids in their own words. Truly original, Kidmonton, Rocky Mountain Kids, and Island Kids strive to communicate the events and emotions of kids.

$12.95

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Kookum's Red Shoes
Author: Peter Eyvindson
Format: Paperback
, 2010
  • The legacy of the residential schools is conveyed with respect and imagination in this illustrated story for young readers. As the elderly Kookum remembers the experiences in her youth that changed her life forever, we see what was lost in her life, and how goodness persisted.

$10.95

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My Name is Seepeetza
Format: Paperback
, 1992
  • Told in diary form, this autobiographical novel about a sixth-grade Native girl tells of her heartbreak at the terrible conditions at her school where she is persecuted because of her race.

$10.95

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No Time to Say Goodbye
Format: Paperback
, 2001
  • Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School
    with Rita Morris and Ann Sam

    No Time to Say Goodbye is a fictional account of five children sent to aboriginal boarding school, based on the recollections of a number of Tsartlip First Nations people. These unforgettable children are taken by government agents from Tsartlip Day School to live at Kuper Island Residential School. The five are isolated on the small island and life becomes regimented by the strict school routine. They experience the pain of homesickness and confusion while trying to adjust to a world completely different from their own. Their lives are no longer organized by fishing, hunting and family, but by bells, line-ups and chores. In spite of the harsh realities of the residential school, the children find adventure in escape, challenge in competition, and camaraderie with their fellow students.

$9.95

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Not My Girl
Format: Paperback
, 2014
  • Nothing will stop a strong-minded young Inuit girl from learning how to read.

    Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. She must travel to the outsiders' school to learn, ignoring her father's warning of what will happen there.

    The nuns at the school take her Inuit name and call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do chores. She has only one thing left -- a book about a girl named Alice, who falls down a rabbit hole.

    Margaret's tenacious character draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But she is more determined than ever to read.

    By the end, Margaret knows that, like Alice, she has traveled to a faraway land and stood against a tyrant, proving herself to be brave and clever.

    Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by stunning illustrations, When I Was Eight makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to young children. Now they, too, can meet this remarkable girl who reminds us what power we hold when we can read.

$9.95

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Sammy Goes to Residential School
Author: Mary Lingman
Format: Paperback
, 1991
  • THIS IS THE TROUBLED STORY about a seven-year-old Cree child, Sammy, who is removed from his northern reservation in order to attend residential school. Assigned identification number 122, Sammy experiences many of the humiliations of residential schools, such as the deprivation of one's personal space as well as one's own language and culture.

    Mary Lingman sensitively deals with the personal impact of enforced assimilation of Native children by concentrating on their preparation for education away from home and on the role of the grandparents in that education.

    There are some happy adventures as well, such as Sammy's first plane ride (as a stowaway), a fish-up, chasing whales, making moosomin jam, and winter sports.

$11.95

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