Metis

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A Girl Called Echo, Vol 1: Pemmican Wars
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee’s lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie—and back again to the present. In the following weeks, Echo slips back and forth in time. She visits a Métis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican Wars.

Educator & Series Information
Pemmican Wars is the first graphic novel in the A Girl Called Echo series.

The Canadian Indigenous Books for School list recommends this for Grades 5-12 for these subject areas: Arts Education, English Language Arts, Social Studies.

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48 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

 

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A Girl Called Echo, Vol 2: Red River Resistance
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Echo Desjardins is adjusting to her new home, finding friends, and learning about Métis history. She just can’t stop slipping back and forth in time. One ordinary afternoon in class, Echo finds herself transported to the banks of the Red River in the summer of 1869. All is not well in the territory as Canadian surveyors have arrived to change the face of territory, and Métis families, who have lived there for generations, are losing access to their land. As the Resistance takes hold, Echo fears for her friends and the future of her people in the Red River Valley.

Series Information
Red River Resistance is volume two in the graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo, by Katherena Vermette.

Additional Information
48 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

 

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A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

“It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer… The officials have arrived and the children must go.”

So began the school experience of many Indigenous children in Canada for more than a hundred years, and so begins the history of residential schools prepared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

Between 2008 and 2015, the TRC provided opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to share their experiences of residential schools and released several reports based on 7,000 Survivor statements and 5 million documents from government, churches, and schools, as well as a solid grounding in secondary sources.

A Knock on the Door, published in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), gathers material from the TRC reports to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools and inform the journey to reconciliation that Canadians are now embarked upon. An afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the NCTR, home to the archive of recordings and documents collected by the TRC.

Survivor and former National Chief of the Assembly First Nations, Phil Fontaine, provides a Foreword, and an Afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, home to the archive of recordings, and documents collected by the TRC.

As Aimée Craft writes in the Afterword, knowing the historical backdrop of residential schooling and its legacy is essential to the work of reconciliation. In the past, agents of the Canadian state knocked on the doors of Indigenous families to take the children to school. Now, the Survivors have shared their truths and knocked back. It is time for Canadians to open the door to mutual understanding, respect, and reconciliation.

Reviews
“The attempt to transform us failed. The true legacy of the survivors, then, will be the transformation of Canada.” – Phil Fontaine, from the Foreword

A Knock on the Door is a book that I hope every Canadian will read, and read deeply. The transformation of this country begins with acknowledging what happened after that knock on the door. Acknowledging, understanding the implications, and then resolving to do something for positive change. It’s right that the TRC Calls to Action are included, for we are all called to action.” – Shelagh Rogers, O.C., TRC Honorary Witness

"Seven volumes from a nationwide inquiry into the legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools have been condensed into a compelling book that is both accessible and well-documented. The central conclusion—that the schools were part of a deliberate cultural genocide policy aimed at the continent’s first peoples, spearheaded by the Canadian government with the support of mainline churches —is clearly supported by historical references, gut-wrenching personal stories, and a thorough analysis of a system that forcibly removed indigenous children from their families.” – Publishers Weekly 

Educator Information
This book is recommended for grade 11 and 12 students for courses in social studies and social justice (also useful for college/university students in courses of a similar nature).  This book is also a useful teacher resource.

Caution: physical and sexual abuse is discussed in this book.

Additional Information
Edited and Abridged | 296 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 11 b&w photographs | maps | bibliography

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A People on the Move: The Metis of the Western Plains
Authors:
Irene Ternier Gordon
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

This book paints a picture of Metis life and culture during the 19th century in the area that later became Saskatchewan and Alberta. Gordon brings history to life through the stories of individuals, such as Gabriel Dumont, Antoine Vermette and Edouard Beapr', and remarkable families, including the Rowand and Bird families of Fort Edmonton and the Cardinal and Desjarlis families of Lac La Biche. The tragedy of 1885, the founding of Willow Bunch and the coming of the NWMP are just some of the key events that are covered.

Suggested Grades: 9-12
ABPBC

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A Thousand Supperless Babes: The Story of the Metis
Authors:
Lon Borgerson
SUNTEP Theatre
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

A Thousand Supperless Babes: The Story of the Metis is a theatrical play and interactive Compact Disc compilation, revealing the history of the Metis through story, song and dance. Set in New York City, far from the Metis homeland, A Thousand Supperless Babes tells a poignant history of a Nation, unfolding using the stories and experiences of Metis individuals and the reminiscences of Honore Jaxon, one of Louis Riel's secretaries. Through the use of cast monologues, this play promotes and preserves the tradition of Metis storytelling, as monologues have been created using stories of Metis history told to cast members by their ancestors. The compilation includes the play's script in both printed and electronic formats and an electronic Flash Presentation of historical images to be used throughout the performance. The compact disc also includes the musical score, performed by singer/songwriters Andrea Menard and Don Freed, accompanying sheet music, and other information that can be used by teachers and drama instructors to produce and perform A Thousand Supperless Babes: The Story of the Metis. Depending upon the theatre group or drama class, the script can easily be modified to include new stories based on cast member's family stories or other significant events in Metis history.

Grade Level: Middle Years/Secondary/Post Secondary/Adult

 

$15.00

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An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature 4th Edition
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

This collection presents writing in English by Canadian Native authors featuring prose selections, traditional songs, short stories, plays, poems and essays, showing a complexity and rich wealth of this culture.

Twenty years after the publication of its groundbreaking first edition, this collection continues to provide the most comprehensive coverage of Canadian Native literature available in one volume. Emphasizing the importance of the oral tradition, the anthology offers a diverse selection of songs, short stories, poems, plays, letters, and essays crafted by exceptional writers from First Nation, Inuit, and Metis communities across Canada.

Reviews
"This textbook is indispensable to teachers and students of Native literature in Canada." --Allison Hargreaves, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

"This text is very much the gold standard of anthologies of contemporary Indigenous literatures in Canada. . . .Excellent new introduction by Armand Garnet Ruffo - the highlight of the new edition." --Daniel Heath Justice, University of Toronto

Educator Information
Grades 10/11 English First Peoples resource for various units.

Note: Some works in this anthology contain mature and challenging material that may not be suitable for all students.  Only specific works identified in English First Peoples units are recommended for classroom use.

Additional Information
688 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Please NoteThis item could take 2-3 weeks for delivery, as it is a special order item.

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April Raintree
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Very few of us have a proper understanding of the tragic and painful circumstances of native life in urban Canada. A truly black mark on the record of the Canadian government and Canadian society as a whole, these problems are dealt with by the astute and truthful writing of Beatrice Culleton. April Raintree is a work of autobiographical fiction that not only brings the reader into a genuine and difficult aspect of urban life, but also reveals Culleton`s significant talents.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 9-12.  This version of the novel was written specifically for students in grades 9-12 and does not contain the graphic scene that is contained in the original version, In Search of April Raintree.

Grades 10-12 English First Peoples resource.

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196 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.00

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Beneath Raven Moon: Ba'naboy' Laxa Gwa'wina 'Makwala
Format: Hardcover

There are as many Creation stories as there are First Nations on Turtle Island. The story of a Great Flood is known to indigenous people in every corner of the world. But what about the Moon? Who made her? What was her intended purpose?

Beneath Raven Moon is an enchanting tale of the creation of Grandmother Moon and of the first time she wove her spell on a young, unsuspecting couple.

The story unfolds in the territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw people – now also known as British Columbia’s Inside Passage – where Raven and Eagle join together in good-natured conspiracy to foster a heart-warming romance.

Follow the magical vision of Métis author David Bouchard and Kwakwaka’wakw artist Andy Everson to learn why Raven found it necessary to bless us with the heavenly sphere that guides we two-leggeds and illuminates our night sky. And enjoy the enchantment of the music and flute of Mary Youngblood as you sit in wonder ... Beneath Raven Moon.  

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$24.95

In Re-Print
Calling Down the Sky
Text Content Territories: Métis; Inuit; Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

Calling Down the Sky is a poetry collection that describes deep personal experiences and post generational effects of the Canadian Aboriginal Residential School confinements in the 1950's when thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were placed in these schools against their parents' wishes. Many were forbidden to speak their language and practice their own culture. The author portrays how the ongoing impact of the residential schools problem has been felt throughout generations and has contributed to social problems that continue to exist today.

Reviews
“Rosanna Deerchild’s poems roll off the tongue as easy as old country songs. With her deft hand, Deerchild finely tunes every word and weaves them together as intimately as she braids her girls’ hair. Together, these poems create a story that sings with beautiful tension, amazing resilience, and love as big as the sky." - Katherena Vermette, Metis Writer

"The poetry collection, called calling down the sky, describes personal experiences with the residential school system in the 1950s and the generational effects it had." - CBC 

"This poetry collection is fierce, raw and candid. It is also visceral, intricate and, above all, illuminating. By recounting her mother’s residential school experience in a powerfully poetic narrative, Deerchild expertly illustrates the heartbreaking trauma of that tragic saga and how it complicates relationships over generations. By beautifully and elaborately exploring those relationships and that devastating history, she finds and celebrates the resilient and hopeful spirit that many residential school survivors, like her mother, have managed to retain in the face of horror and torment. As a result, calling down the sky is an essential read in understanding the true modern history of this land and in honouring the people who survived it.” - Waubgeshig Rice

Additional Information
96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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DraMetis: Three Metis Plays
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

DraMetis is the first anthology to focus on the emerging discipline of Metis drama. The pieces have all been previously produced and highlight the diversity of Metis drama being written and performed in Canada.

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$19.95

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Extraordinary Canadians: Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont:A Penguin Lives Biography
Authors:
Joseph Boyden
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Louis Riel is regarded by some as a hero and visionary, by others as a madman and misguided religious zealot. The Métis leader who fought for the rights of his people against an encroaching tide of white settlers helped establish the province of Manitoba before escaping to the United States. Gabriel Dumont was a successful hunter and Métis chief, a man tested by warfare, a pragmatist who differed from the devout Riel. Giller Prize—winning novelist Joseph Boyden argues that Dumont, part of a delegation that had sought out Riel in exile, may not have foreseen the impact on the Métis cause of bringing Riel home. While making rational demands of Sir John A. Macdonald's government, Riel seemed increasingly overtaken by a messianic mission. His execution in 1885 by the Canadian government still reverberates today. Boyden provides fresh, controversial insight into these two seminal Canadian figures and how they shaped the country.

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$22.00

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Gabriel Dumont (The Canadians)
Authors:
George Woodcock
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Métis;

Born in St. Boniface in 1837 of French and Indian parentage, Gabriel Dumont's childhood was spent in the Saskatchewan country, where he grew accustomed to the semi-nomadic existence of the Métis. These were the proud days of the Métis nation, when its people roamed freely throughout the Prairies. The most stable social institution was the annual buffalo hunt with its rules. When Gabriel Dumont became head of the Great Saskatchewan Hunt in 1862 the end of the nomadic lifestyle was already in sight.

As the buffalo herds dwindled, the Métis began to form more permanent settlements, but were alarmed when their pleas for recognition of their land rights were ignored by Sir John A Macdonald's government. Dumont appealed to Louis Riel, leader of the Red River Rebellion.

Riel spoke up for the Saskatchewan Metis, but their petitions were ignored. In 1885, the Métis took up arms against the government forces. Dumont spurred the outnumbered rebels to several victories. After the Métis defeat, Dumont fled to the United States where he spent time with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show until an amnesty was declared and he was able to return to his home.

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of The Canadians Series.

Recommended Ages: 10-13 

Additional Information
64 pages | 6.50" x 8.50"

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Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

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.

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Hiraeth
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Métis;

Hiraeth is about women supporting and lending strength and clarity to other women so they know that moving forward is always possible-- and always necessary. It documents a journey of struggle that pertains to a dark point in Canadian history that few talk about and of which even fewer seem aware. Poems speak to the 1960's "scoop up" of children and how this affected the lives of (one or thousands) of First Nations and Métis girls-- girls who later grew to be women with questions, women with wounds, women who felt like they had no place to call home. That is, until they allowed themselves to be open to the courage others have lived and shared. "Hiraeth" is a word that is Celtic in origin and it means looking for a place to belong that never existed. But this place does exist -- in the heart.

Educator Information
The 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 9-12 for English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Caution: some poems contain depictions of violence and racism and use strong language.

Additional Information
112 pages | 7.50" x 6.00"

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I Am Raven: A Story of Discovery
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Métis;

David Bouchard dives into his own life and identity in this beautifully illustrated book. Personal totems are often described as animal spirit guardians. Totems are passed down through family lines. The beautiful prose describes an amazing personal journey of discovery, finally, inviting the reader to do the same.

An Elder once asked me if my spirit animal guardian was Bear. I must have looked somewhat confused because she went on to explain that Bear was the wise Elder, the teacher. She told me that Bear understood as well as any what to take from our mother Earth and how important it was to always put back that which we took. “You’ve been a teacher many years? Are you guided by Bear?” she asked. “YES!” I answered confidently. “Yes. In fact, my guardian is the Grizzly Bear” I smiled. 

Dear reader, you must understand that I have always been fascinated by the powerful giant, Bear. “If you want to be certain of this,” she said softly, “all you have to do is close your eyes before travelling to your dreamtime – close your eyes and picture your guardian. Thank it. Ask it for guidance. Try to see it. It will be there for you. It does not hide. It is proud to be part of who you are.” 

That night, I couldn’t wait to get to bed. I was very anxious to see my totem. I knew to be Bear. I closed my eyes and the first and only thing I saw was a big, goofy looking Raven staring straight at me. He looked ragged; one of his neck feathers was sticking off to the side. I spoke to him, respectfully. “Hello Raven. It is good to see you here in my dreamtime. However, I’d be grateful if you would just step over to the side – either side – just step aside please because Bear is trying to come into my vision and – just step aside a little – please. 

I fell asleep. The next day, I shared my story with the knowing Elder who didn’t hesitate to tell me that she wasn’t surprised to hear my story. She knew that I had succeeded in school in spite of the fact that I was a weak reader. She knew that I had done things in my life that could have been seen as being too much for me. She knew my wife and that I had to be very cunning indeed to have talked such a beautiful woman into marrying me. The lesson I learned from that Elder that day came to me through the last words she spoke to me. “David, surely you know that you are not Bear. You are Raven.”

Reviews
"I Am Raven represents another chapter in the Canadian children’s literature depiction of the First Nation experience in Canada. What’s more, however, is that the text is so well written and the illustrations so well crafted that I Am Raven is not presented in any sort of an exclusionary manner. Rather, the notion of totems and “animal spirit guardians” is presented as an idea for everyone, regardless of their cultural identity. The author, David Bouchard, is Métis, and the illustrator, Andy Everson, has K'omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations ancestry. The author and illustrator’s evident pride in their ancestry contributes to a powerful, engaging, fascinating and, simply, lovely book for readers young and old." - Gregory Bryan, CM Magazine 

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32 pages

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$19.95

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