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David Alexander Robertson

David Alexander Robertson, a Swampy Cree, is a bestselling graphic novelist and writer. He focuses on educating youth about indigenous history and contemporary issues. David weaves his message about social change into his popular speaking engagements across Canada. His works include several graphic novels, and he is a contributor to the anthology Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (2012). He is currently the co-creator and script writer for the upcoming television series, The Reckoner. As well, he is writing the graphic novel series Tales from Big Spirit. When not working, David enjoys spending time with his family.

Viewing 16 - 25 of 25 |
The Evolution of Alice
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

This haunting, emotionally resonant story delivers us into the world of Alice, a single mother raising her three young daughters on the rez where she grew up. Alice has never had an easy life, but has managed to get by with the support of her best friend, Gideon, and her family. When an unthinkable loss occurs, Alice is forced onto a different path, one that will challenge her belief in herself and the world she thought she knew. The Evolution of Alice is the kaleidoscopic story of one woman’s place within the web of community. Peopled with unforgettable characters and told from multiple points of view, this is a novel where spirits are alive, forgiveness is possible, and love is the only thing that matters.

Reviews
"So many Manitobans have, like a character in an early chapter, only sped by reserves on the highway. Inviting us into a rich community of characters, which stretches deeper than the headlines most of us associate with reserve life, Robertson is doing a service to everyone who calls Manitoba home. And crafting an engaging story of one family’s recovery from loss — at a time when indigenous peoples are increasingly flexing political, economic and cultural muscle in this country — is a gift for everyone hoping for a better future for our divided country…" - Matthew TenBruggencate, CTV Winnipeg

"Pulsing at the heart of this novel are the warmly rendered inflections of storytelling voices like Gideon’s, at once reflective, vivid, and vernacular. And at the novel’s core, the broken but ultimately healing rhythms of Alice’s 'evolution' – her cycles of loving and suffering, of her family’s living, dying, and ultimately hoping to live anew — bring contemporary experience on the reservation and in the big city achingly, joyfully, and always pungently alive." - Neil Besner, Professor of English, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, The University of Winnipeg

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 English First Peoples.

Additional Information
216 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
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$19.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Land of Os: John Ramsay
Artists:
Wai Tien
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6;

When Richard’s class from Big Spirit School takes a canoe trip, he and his classmates chance upon an elderly woman. She tells them the story of her grandfather, John Ramsay, of the Sandy Bar community on Lake Winnipeg. Ramsay’s land was taken by the government and given to the new settlers from Iceland who arrived there in 1875. Yet many owed their survival to Ramsay, who helped them through freezing winters, hunger, and a devastating smallpox epidemic.

The Land of Os is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills. The series also includes:

The Scout: Tommy Prince, a decorated Aboriginal war hero, and his exploits on the European battlefields of the Second World War.

The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur, a young Dene woman enslaved by the Cree, who becomes a guide for the Hudson Bay Company. In 1715 she negotiated a peace between longstanding enemies, the Cree and Dene.

The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont, his role in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, and the Metis of Batoche.

The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit, the last remaining member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland.

The Poet: Pauline Johnson, born on the Six Nations Reserve, who wrote and performed her work throughout North America, and was a pioneer of Canadian literature.

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

Authentic Canadian Content
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$16.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

When Cole's teacher catches him drawing rather than listening in class, he gives Cole a special assignment: an oral presentation on an important Aboriginal figure. Cole will do almost anything to avoid speaking in public -- even feigning illness. But when he hear the story of the remarkable woman known as Thanadelthur -- peacemaker between the Cree and the Dene and interpreter for the governor of Fort York -- he is so inspired by her bravery, he overcomes his own fears.

Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills.

Grades 4-6

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Poet: Pauline Johnson
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

Although Kathy loves poetry, she is far too shy to recite it in front of her class. But the story of Pauline Johnson, renowned as the "Mohawk Princess," inspires Kathy to overcome her stage fright. Pauline, from the Grand River Reserve in Ontario, crisscrossed the country, reciting her poems to far-flung communities, making her among the most beloved literary figure of the Edwardian era.

Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills.

Grades 4-6

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont
Artists:
Andrew Lodwick
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

For Tyrese, history class is the lowest point of his school day. That is, until his friend Levi reveals a secret – a secret that brings history alive, in the form of one Gabriel Dumont. Through Dumont, a great Métis leader of the Northwest Resistance, the boys experience a bison hunt, a skirmish with the Blackfoot, and an encounter with the great Louis Riel, and, ultimately, a great battle of the Northwest Resistance at Batoche, Saskatchewan.

The Rebel is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills. The series also includes:

The Scout: Tommy Prince, a decorated Aboriginal war hero, and his exploits on the European battlefields of the Second World War.

The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur, a young Dene woman enslaved by the Cree, who becomes a guide for the Hudson Bay Company. In 1715 she negotiated a peace between longstanding enemies, the Cree and Dene.

The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit, the last remaining member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland.

The Land of Os: John Ramsay, a Saulteaux man from the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, who, though dispossessed from his land, helped the Icelandic settlers who arrived in 1875 withstand the smallpox epidemic of the following year. (expected release date July 2014)

The Poet: Pauline Johnson, born on the Six Nations Reserve, who wrote and performed her work throughout North America, and was a pioneer of Canadian literature.

Grade: for grades 4–6

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Tales From the Big Spirit, The Scout: Tommy Prince
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

A search down a wooded path for a well-hit baseball turns into an encounter between Pamela and a veteran soldier standing in front of a monument. The statue commemorates the heroism of Sgt. Tommy Prince, the most decorated Aboriginal soldier in Canada. Pamela is curious, and the veteran is happy to regale her with the story of the expert marksman and tracker, renowned for his daring and bravery in World War II and the Korean War.

Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills.

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
This Place: 150 Years Retold
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

Watch for new stories and familiar characters:

  • Métis businesswoman Annie Bannatyne and Louis Riel
  • Oka Crisis, Meech Lake Accord, and Kelowna Accord
  • the Berger Inquiry into the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline
  • Jack Fiddler, an Anishinaabe shaman charged as a serial killer
  • Rosie, an Inuk girl coming of age during WWII
  • wâpanacâhkos, an Indigenous woman sent back from the future to the early 2000s
  • fishing raids and salmon wars in Listuguj, Quebec
  • Francis Pegahmagabow, WWI sniper and veterans’ rights activist
  • the impact of the Sixties Scoop and the child welfare system
  • Chief Billy Assu and the potlatch bans in British Columbia

Reviews
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, one of the contributors to this work, says the book is, an “opportunity to shine a light on the stories most Canadians haven’t heard, to learn from Indigenous communities from 1867 to present day—whether these stories are influenced by the creation of Canada or not." 

"…breathtaking comics anthology…this mix of powerful storytelling and memorable illustrations is a place to begin a dialogue with Indigenous peoples in Canada." —The Globe and Mail

"The anthology is visually gorgeous. Each story is powerfully conveyed, reflecting a time and moment in the Indigenous history of Canada…great read for any age." —Quill & Quire, starred review

"This Place is the graphic novel I’ve waited my whole life for, and the graphic novel Canada has needed for 150 years. The stories contained within its pages are both beautifully rendered and vitally necessary. They represent a history not only largely untold and unknown, but one obscured, hidden from sight, so that other stories may occupy a privileged place in the defining a national story. Their importance is exquisitely captured on these pages, told by some the leading artists working today. This is an essential book, for comic fans, teachers and anyone who wants to learn the stories of this place we now share." —Jesse Wente, broadcaster and film critic

"A landmark collection of Indigenous comics that redraws how we understand the past, present, and future of Indigenous communities and cultures since Confederation. Each chapter immerses us in a gripping story about real people brought to life through vivid and affecting artwork. This collection proves the power of comics storytelling to create fresh pathways to knowledge and new ways of envisioning Indigenous experiences." —Candida Rifkind, University of Winnipeg

"This is the power of storytelling. It’s going deeper and truer than the history books and the newspaper accounts. It’s bringing the stories to the people for the people and doing it for the right reasons: to teach and to illuminate. This Place: 150 Years Retold is the dawn to a new storytelling tradition that doesn’t need to be held back. It should be shouted forward from now on." —Helen Kubiw, CanLit for LittleCanadians

Educator Information
This graphic novel is recommended for ages 15+.

Additional Information
250 Pages

Authentic Canadian Content
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Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$36.00

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Will I See?
Artists:
GMB Chomichuk
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

May, a young teenage girl, traverses the city streets, finding keepsakes in different places along her journey. When May and her kookum make these keepsakes into a necklace, it opens a world of danger and fantasy. While May fights against a terrible reality, she learns that there is strength in the spirit of those that have passed. But will that strength be able to save her? A story of tragedy and beauty, Will I See illuminates the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

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$18.95

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Warren Whistles at the Sky
Artists:
Amber Green
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

The first book in the Under a Blanket of Stars: First Nations Constellations series, Warren Whistles at the Sky is about a young boy who remembers a story an Elder told him about the northern lights. But are they really spirits dancing? And will they come down and take him away if he whistles at them?

The sky is our oldest picture book, and people have been telling stories about it since the beginning of time. In this series you’ll journey with Warren as he remembers First Nations legends about the northern lights and constellations. This collection is sure to delight any curious stargazer’s imagination.

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$12.95

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When We Were Alone
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 10; 11;

When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength.

Reviews
"When We Were Alone is rare. It is exquisite and stunning, for the power conveyed by the words Robertson wrote, and for the illustrations that Flett created. I highly recommend it." — Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature.

"…Robertson handles a delicate task here admirably well: explaining residential schools, that shameful legacy, and making them understandable to small children. It’s a dark history, and the author doesn’t disguise that, but he wisely focuses the grandmother’s tale on how, season by season, the students use creativity, imagination, and patience to retain their sense of identity. A beautifully quiet, bold strength arises from the continued refrain “When we were alone” and in how the children insisted on being themselves. Flett’s gorgeous, skillful illustrations have a flattened, faux naïve feel to them, like construction paper collage, a style that works perfectly with the story. She nicely contrasts the school’s dull browns and grays with the riotous colors surrounding Nókom and gets much expression from her simple silhouettes. Spare, poetic, and moving, this Cree heritage story makes a powerful impression." — Kirkus Reviews

"When We Were Alone addresses the topic of residential schools and, just as importantly, aspects of Cree culture and language. There is such gentleness about When We Were Alone that makes it an appropriate book for the even youngest of readers. Simply put, this is a much-needed book. Highly Recommended." — Dr. Kristen Ferguson, CM Magazine

"Robertson's text moves between the present and the past, the girl's questions and Nókom's memories, which deepen and intensify the quiet, powerful way she lives out her own culture, day by day, in the present. A beautifully rendered story of resisitance and love, this is made all the more luminous by Flett's art - not just by flashes of fuschsia or scarlet among ochre grasses, but by her precisely observed images of the compact bodies of the uniformed children, bowed beneath the weight of the scissors, or lovingly tending each other's hair. Highly recommended." — Deirdre Baker, Toronto Star

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 3 and under.

Grades 10-11 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit First Steps - Exploring Residential School and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.50" x 7.50" | colour illustrations 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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