First Nation Communities Read

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Ancient Thunder
Author: Leo Yerxa
Format: Paperback
  • In 2008, Ancient Thunder was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    A visionary and beautiful book, "Ancient Thunder" celebrates wild horses and the natural world in which they lived in harmony. Using an extraordinary technique, artist of Ojibwa ancestry, Leo Yerxa makes paper look like leather, so that his illustrations seem to be painted on leather shirts. Each shirt is accompanied by a rich, wild song of praise for the wild horses that came to play such an important role in the lives of the First Peoples. Years in the making, the book is truly a work of art, one that reflects Yerxa''s sense of nature and the place of native people within it.
    Ages 3+

$9.95

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As Long As the Rivers Flow (PB)
Author: L. Loyie
Format: Paperback
  • 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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Dragonfly Kites
Author: Tomson Highway
Format: Hardcover
  • Dragonfly Kites is the third book in Tomson Highway's magical Songs of the North Wind trilogy. Like Fox on the Ice and Caribou Song, it has a bilingual text, written in English and Cree. And once again Tomson Highway brilliantly evokes the very essence of childhood as he weaves a deceptively simple story about the power of the imagination.


    Joe and Cody, two young Cree brothers, along with their parents and their little dog Ootsie, are spending the summer by one of the hundreds of lakes in northern Manitoba. Summer means a chance to explore the world and make friends with an array of creatures, But what Joe and Cody like doing best of all is flying dragonfly kites. They catch dragonflies and gently tie a length of thread around the middle of each dragonfly before letting it go. Off soar the dragonflies into the summer sky and off race the brothers and Ootsie too, chasing after their dragonfly kites through trees and meadows and down to the beach before watching them disappear into the night sky. But in their dreams, Joe and Cody soar through the skies with their kites until it's time to wake up.

$19.95

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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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Shannen and the Dream for a School
Author: Janet Wilson
Traditional Territory: Attawapiskat
Format: Paperback
  • In 2012-2013 Shannen and the Dream for a School was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    All children have the right to a school.

    This is the true story of Shannen Koostachin and the people of Attawapiskat, a Cree community in Northern Ontario, who have been fighting for a new school since 1979, when a fuel spill contaminated their original school building.

    It is 2008, and thirteen-year-old Shannen and the other students at J.R. Nakogee Elementary are tired of attending class in portables that smell and don’t keep out the freezing cold winter air. They make a YouTube video describing the poor conditions, and their plea for a decent school gains them attention and support from community leaders and children across the country. Inspired, the students decide to turn their grade-eight class trip into a visit to Ottawa, to speak to the Canadian government. Once there, Shannen speaks passionately to the politicians about the need to give Native children the opportunity to succeed. The following summer, Shannen is nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Her passion and that of the other students makes politicians stand up and take notice, and becomes a rallying point for the community and for the country.

    Shannen will never see her dream fulfilled. Tragically, she was killed in a car crash in 2010. Her family, friends, and supporters are continuing to fight and to honor her memory as they work for equality for children in communities everywhere.

$14.95

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SkySisters
Format: Paperback
  • In 2005, SkySisters was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: Gr.3-Earth and Life Science

    Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits midnight dance. It isn't easy for the younger sister to be silent, but gradually she begins to treasure the stillness and the wonderful experiences it brings. After
    an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits - the Northern Lights - dancing and shimmering in the night sky. This powerful story, with its stunning illustrations, captures the chill of a northern night, the warmth of the family circle and the radiance of a child's wonder.

$8.95

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Solomon's Tree
Author: Andrea Spalding
Format: Paperback
  • In 2004, Solomon's Tree was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: Gr.1-Life Science

    Solomon has a special friendship with the big old maple outside his house. He knows the tree in all seasons and all weathers. When a terrible storm tears it up by its roots, Solomon is devastated. But through the healing process of making a mask from part of the tree with his uncle, he learns that the cycle of life continues and so does the friendship between himself and the tree.


$10.95

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Which Way Should I Go?
Author: Sylvia Olsen
Traditional Territory: Tsartlip
Format: Paperback
  • In 2009, Which Way Should I Go? was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    Joey is a happy Nuu-chah-nulth boy, eager to help and quick to see the bright side of things. But when he loses his beloved grandmother, the sun goes out in his world. Fortunately, she has left something of herself behind, a song, which keeps knocking on Joey's heart, and a dance, which urges him to get up on his feet and choose again. Choosing was what their song was about, and Grandma's lessons prove strong indeed. Joey chooses to remember Grandma with joy and to take up his daily life again with a spring in his step.

$9.95

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