15 Canadian #IndigenousReads for young readers

Status: In Print

CBC launched a list of titles on June 23, 2016. We support their initiative and have re-created their list as one of our Bundles.

Looking for a way to celebrate Indigenous Book Club Month with the kids? Check out our #IndigenousReads recommendations for younger readers, written by Indigenous Canadian authors. The list starts at the top with young adult books, then middle grade and finally, children's picture books.

- The listed materials for this bundle can be purchased as a full bundle or separately. To purchase the full bundle click on the "Add Full Bundle to Basket" button on the left.
 
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Goodbye Buffalo Bay
Author: Larry Loyie
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback
  • 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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Grey Eyes A Novel
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback
  • In a world without time and steeped in ceremony and magic, walks a chosen few who hold an ancient power: the Grey Eyes. True stewards of the land, the Grey Eyes use their magic to maintain harmony and keep evil at bay. With only one elderly Grey-Eye left in the village of the Nehiyawak, the birth of a new Grey-Eyed boy promises a renewed line of defence against their only foe: the menacing Red-Eyes, whose name is rarely spoken but whose presence is ever felt. While the birth of the Grey-Eyed boy offers the clan much-needed protection, it also initiates a struggle for power that threatens to rip the clan apart, leaving them defenceless against the their sworn ememy. The responsibility of restoring balance and harmony, the only way to keep the Nehiyawak safe, is thrust upon a boy’s slender shoulders. What powers will he have, and can he protect the clan from the evil of the Red Eyes?

$20.95

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Lightfinder
Author: Aaron Paquette
Traditional Territory: Cree, Métis
Format: Paperback
  • Lightfinder is a Young Adult fantasy novel about Aisling , a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows.

    They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own. The story follows the paths of Aisling and Eric, siblings unwittingly thrust into a millennia old struggle for the future of life on earth. It deals with growing up, love and loss, and the choices life puts in our path. Love and confusion are in store, as are loss and pain. Things are not always what they seem and danger surrounds them at every turn. Will Raven's mysterious purposes prevail? With darkness closing in how will they find the light to g uide them? Will Aisling find Eric in time?

$22.00

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Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic
Format: Paperback
  • In this adventurous novel—set in the ancient Arctic, but narrated for modern readers by an inquisitive and entertaining contemporary narrator—a young, wandering Inuit hunter named Kannujaq happens upon a camp in grave peril. The inhabitants of the camp are Tunit, a race of ancient Inuit ancestors known for their shyness and meekness. The tranquility of this Tunit camp has been shaken by a group of murderous, pale, bearded strangers who have arrived on a huge boat shaped like a loon.

    Unbeknownst to Kannujaq, he has stumbled upon a battle between the Tunit and a group of Viking warriors!

    As the camp prepares to defend itself against the approaching newcomers, Kannujaq and a Tunit shaman boy named Siku discover that the Vikings may have motivations other than murder and warfare at the heart of their quest.

    This lush historical fiction is steeped in Inuit traditional knowledge and concepts of ancient Inuit magic. The unique time and place brought to life in this exciting novel will delight young fans of historical and fantastical fiction alike.

$10.95

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The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy
Author: Cherie Dimaline
Traditional Territory: Métis
Format: Paperback
  • From award-winning author Cherie Dimaline comes a tale of struggle, hope and the kind of magic that can only happen when you mix the Mississippi and the Georgian Bay.

    A galaxy of odd planets spins around Ruby Bloom's head, slick and regulated as a game of snooker.

    The big purple one is Anxiety. It grew in the slipstream of Guilt, a smooth, loud planet with two moons: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Agoraphobia. The black one is Envy. It's crusted with ice and solid as tungsten. The pink spotted one, a loud sparkly affair, is Fantasy and is careens wildly about like a ball after the break. There is a shiny amber globe that catches passing light; a small marble named Longing that is the brightest of all the orbs.

    The universe didn't start with a big bang of cosmic proportions; instead it grew out of trauma that occured in the middle on an otherwise quiet childhood. It began the day Ruby Bloom, age seven and a half, killed her grandfather.

    "Cherie Dimaline writes like an angel. One tough, hard-edged angel, but an angel nonetheless"
    -- Tomson Highway

    "Cherie Dimaline is a fabulous writer, a fierce Metis poet-warrior who dances and slashes her way through the hallucinogenic heartbreak and hilarity of contemporary Indigenous experiences in Canada. Her word-worlds are tough, tender, and terrifying; she'll tear you heart out and you will be better--and grateful--for the experience. I've long been a fan of her work, but this book is something fresh and wonderful, and with it she shows again why she's a writer to watch. The Girl Who Grew A Galaxy will grace you with its beauty, touch you with its truth, and haunt your imagination."
    --Daniel Heath Justice Ph.D.

$18.95

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Fatty Legs: A True Story
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
  • 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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My Name is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
  • Germaine Arnaktauyok is one of the Canadian North's most prolific and recognizable artists. In this book, she tells the story of her life in her own words: her "very traditional Inuk life" growing up in Nunavut at a camp near Igloolik, and her experiences later in a residential school in Chesterfield Inlet; her education as an artist in Winnipeg and Ottawa; and her return to the North, where she continues to create drawings, etchings, and illustrations that have been featured in museums and galleries worldwide. She also provides commentary on several of her works, offering a seldom—seen perspective on her inspiration and process. Featuring over one hundred full—colour reproductions of Germaine Arnaktauyok's fascinating pieces from throughout her career, this beautiful book provides an in—depth look at one of the world's most important artists.

$24.95

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Neekna and Chemai
Traditional Territory: Okanagan
Format: Paperback
  • A story about two girls living in the Okanagan Valley before the arrival of the white man. An insight into customs and ways of the past.

$14.95

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No Time to Say Goodbye
Traditional Territory: Tsartlip
Format: Paperback
  • 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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Will's Garden
Author: Lee Maracle
Format: Paperback
  • Will's Garden is Maracle's first novel that crosses over into Young Adult Fiction. This coming of age story of a young Sto:loh man is set in Sto:loh territory. Will takes the time to re-look at the women in his life, consider his future as a Sto:loh caretaker of the land in the modern world, while dealing with common issues of a teenager, problems with bullying, sexuality, love and illness. Will's Garden explores and describes the ceremonial traditions of Sto:loh boys who are becoming men.

$16.95

In Re-Print
A Coyote Columbus Story
Author: Thomas King
Format: Paperback
  • A trickster named Coyote rules her world, until a funny-looking stranger named Columbus changes her plans. Unimpressed by the wealth of moose, turtles, and beavers in Coyote' s land, he' d rather figure out how to hunt human beings to sell back in Spain. Thomas King uses a bag of literary tricks to shatter the stereotypes surrounding Columbus' s voyages. In doing so, he invites children to laugh with him at the crazy antics of Coyote, who unwittingly allows Columbus to engineer the downfall of his human friends. William Kent Monkman's vibrant illustrations perfectly complement this amusing story with a message.

$9.95

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How the Fox Got His Crossed Legs
Traditional Territory: Dogrib, Tlicho
Format: Hardcover
  • Fox is howling, crying, for he lost his leg to Bear, all the people wanted to help Fox, but didn't know what to do. Raven is called upon to help retrieve his leg. Will Raven succeed in the quest for Fox's leg?

    This book includes an audio and interactive multimedia CD that you can play on a CD player, PC or Mac. Also included is a Dogrib Elder telling his version of this ancient legend in Dogrib. An orthography chart is included.

    In Dogrib and English.

$22.95

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Little You
Traditional Territory: Dogrib
Format: Board Book
  • Richard Van Camp, internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author of the hugely successful Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns, has partnered with talented illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that honors the child in everyone. With its delightful contemporary illustrations, Little You is perfect to be shared, read or sung to all the little people in your life—and the new little ones on the way!

$9.95

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The Sweetest Kulu
Author: Celina Kalluk
Format: Hardcover
  • This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.

    Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little "Kulu," an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants.

    A perfect gift for new parents.

$16.95

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We All Count: A Book of Cree Numbers
Author: Julie Flett
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Board Book
  • In this basic counting book from 1 to 10, this bilingual board book introduces Plains Cree (y-dialect) and Swampy Cree (n-dialect) written in Roman orthography. Artist and author has a simple graphic style using bold and clear text to introduce counting with appropriate cultural images from contemporary Cree society. An excellent introduction to counting to ten in Cree and English using authentic Cree imagery.

$10.00

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