Biographies

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All the Way: My Life on Ice
Format: Paperback
  • It seemed as though nothing could stop Jordin Tootoo on the ice. The captain of Canada’s Under-18, a fan favourite on the World Junior squad, and a WHL top prospect who could intimidate both goalies and enforcers, he was always a leader. And when Tootoo was drafted by Nashville in 2000 and made the Predators out of camp in 2003, he became a leader in another way: the first player of Inuk descent to suit up in the NHL. The stress of competition in the world’s top hockey league, the travel, the media, the homesickness—and the added pressure to hold one’s head high as a role model not only for the young people of his hometown of Rankin Inlet but for the culture that had given him the strength and the opportunities to succeed—would have been more than enough to challenge any rookie. But Tootoo faced something far more difficult: the loss of his brother in the year between his draft and his first shift for the Predators. Though he played through it, the tragedy took its inevitable toll. In 2010, Tootoo checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction. It seemed a promising career had ended too soon. But that’s not the way Tootoo saw it and not the way it would end. As heir to a cultural legacy that included alcohol, despair, and suicide, Tootoo could also draw on a heritage that could help sustain him even thousands of miles away from Nunavut. And in a community haunted by the same hopelessness and substance abuse that so affected Tootoo’s life, it is not just his skill and fearlessness on the ice that have made him a hero, but the courage of his honesty to himself and to the world around him that he needed to rely on others to sustain him through his toughest challenge. All the Way tells the story of someone who has travelled far from home to realize a dream, someone who has known glory and cheering crowds, but also the demons of despair. It is the searing, honest tale of a young man who has risen to every challenge and nearly fallen short in the toughest game of all, while finding a way to draw strength from his community and heritage, and giving back to it as well.

$21.00

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Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition
Format: Paperback
  • Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time. Black Elk’s searing visions of the unity of humanity and Earth, conveyed by John G. Neihardt, have made this book a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable.

    Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and asked Neihardt to share his story with the world. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk’s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind.

    This complete edition features a new introduction by historian Philip J. Deloria and annotations of Black Elk’s story by renowned Lakota scholar Raymond J. DeMallie. Three essays by John G. Neihardt provide background on this landmark work along with pieces by Vine Deloria Jr., Raymond J. DeMallie, Alexis Petri, and Lori Utecht. Maps, original illustrations by Standing Bear, and a set of appendixes rounds out the edition.

    Paperback: 424 pages
    Physical Dimensions: 5.98" x 8.97"

$29.95

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Breakfast at the Hoito: And Other Adventures in the Boreal Heartland
Author: Charles Wilkins
Format: Paperback
  • Breakfast at the Hoito brings together a collection of stories and essays on the dreamlike world of Lake Superior's north shore ... on wilds and wildlife, people and places.

    Spend a day in the kitchen of the famed Hoito Restaurant in Thunder Bay. Discover the secret life of ravens; the passions of the blueberry picker; the thrills and fears of the novice ice climber. Tour Silver Islet, an eccentric summer community that has evolved from the relics of what was once the world's richest silver mine; and the town of Schreiber, half of whose 2,000 residents trace their roots to the Italian city of Siderno. Visit a 16th-century pine forest, and meet Freda McDonald, one of Canada's most respected aboriginal elders. Accompany the author on a refreshingly candid tour of contemporary Thunder Bay.

$22.99

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Buffy Sainte-Marie: It's My Way
Format: Paperback
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie is a symbol of the free expression movement of the 1960s and her powerful songs inspired countless people seeking hope and change. Her life has been one of transitions; from songwriter to famous intellectually-oriented folk and protest singer, to country and western and rock and roll musician, to social activist, mother, script-writer, actress, digital artist, philanthropist, children's educator, and "medicine woman." Within all these roles, and throughout her incredibly diverse and engaging, though private, life, Buffy Sainte-Marie has cultivated her unique vision for achieving collective beauty and purpose in an often lonely world.

    In this ambitious biography of an international cultural icon, Blair Stonechild seeks to bring together the many facets of a remarkable life, and to develop a sense of the woman behind it all. In doing so, Stonechild also traces some of the tumultuous history of the Cree people, and offers a fascinating, and challenging, view into the impoverished Saskatchewan reserve where Sainte-Marie was born, and an exploration of the story and context of a Native culture, which Buffy continues to inspire today.

    Blair Stonechild is a member of the Muscowpetung First Nation in Saskatchewan. He obtained his B.A. from McGill, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Regina, and in 1976 was the first academic hired by the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC). Blair is currently Professor of Indigenous Studies and has served as Dean of Academics and Executive Director of Development for the First Nations University of Canada (formerly Saskatchewan Indian Federated College). He co-authored with Dr. Bill Waiser, Loyal Till Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion, which won the Saskatchewan Book Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award in 1997. Dr. Stonechild’s book on First Nations post-secondary policy, The New Buffalo: Aboriginal Post-secondary Policy in Canada (2006), was a finalist for the Saskatchewan Book Award. Blair was a Trustee of the Canadian Museum of Civilization from 1990 to 1998. He has done extensive consulting on Aboriginal education. Blair is married to Sylvia and is father to Michael, Rachel, and Gabrielle.

$24.95

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Creating Space: My Life and Work in Indigenous Education
Author: Verna Kirkness
Format: Paperback
  • Verna J. Kirkness grew up on the Fisher River Indian reserve in Manitoba. Her childhood dream to be a teacher set her on a lifelong journey in education as a teacher, counsellor, consultant, and professor.

    As the œfirst cross-cultural consultant for the Manitoba Department of Education Curriculum Branch she made Cree and Ojibway the languages of instruction in several Manitoba schools. In the early 1970s she became the œfirst Education Director for the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs) and then Education Director for the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations). She played a pivotal role in developing the education sections of Wahbung: Our Tomorrows, which transformed Manitoba education, and the landmark 1972 national policy of Indian Control of Indian Education. These two major works have shaped First Nations education in Canada for more than 40 years.

    In the 1980s she became an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia where she was appointed Director of the Native Teacher Education Program, founded the Ts’‘Kel Graduate Program, and was a driving force behind the creation of the First Nations House of Learning. Honoured by community and country, Kirkness is a visionary who has inspired, and been inspired by, generations of students.

    Like a long conversation between friends, Creating Space reveals the challenges and misgivings, the burning questions, the successes and failures that have shaped the life of this extraordinary woman and the history of Aboriginal education in Canada.

$34.95

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Daylight in the Swamp: Memoirs of Selwyn Dewdney
Author: Selwyn Dewdney
Format: Hardcover
  • Daylight in the Swamp is the bush memoirs of Selwyn Dewdney, a noted Canadian artist and recorder of native rock art. His two great loves, art and the Canadian north, come together in this book. His respect for native culture and art is reflected in his own work, his insight into native rock art, and his passion for canoeing and the northern experience.

    The third theme of the book is history spanning the period from 1910 through to the 1970s during which the old north largely vanished. Dewdney was there to record the images of forgotten dreams painted on rocks and cliffs throughout the Canadian Shield.

$29.99

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Edward S. Curtis Above the Medicine Line
Format: Paperback
  • Edward S. Curtis Above the Medicine Line is both an introduction to the Seattle-based photographer and a tribute to a true visionary. While Curtis’s photographs will long be his legacy, his own story is likewise compelling. Curtis built his first camera at 12 and developed that interest into a large Seattle photo studio by the age of 30. Then, on an expedition to Alaska in 1899, Curtis was exposed to First Nations cultures in a way that affected him profoundly. First Nations people had been decimated due to the diseases and aggressions of white settlers. Curtis, alarmed that their traditional ways of life were in danger of disappearing forever, made an incredible effort to capture their daily routines, character and dignity through photography and audio recordings. Curtis had planned to document only the First Peoples of the United States and Alaska, but his exposure to Canada’s Blackfoot Nation spurred him to include all of North America. The visual result was The North American Indian, a 20-volume record of 75 of North America’s Native peoples. This collection of Curtis’s images includes 100 of his most striking images and a biography.

$19.95

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I am a Métis
  • Gerry St. Germain's story begins in "Petit Canada" on the shores of the Assiniboine, growing up with his two younger sisters, his mother and his father--a shy Metis trapper and construction worker who sometimes struggled to put food on the table. St. Germain was initially troubled in school, scrapping with classmates and often skipping out to shoot pool, but an aunt and uncle with some extra cash paid his tuition to Catholic school, where a nun recognized his aptitude for math and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. He would go on to become an air force pilot, undercover policeman and West Coast chicken farmer. Business gave way to politics, and in 1988 he became one of a tiny number of Aboriginal Canadians named to a federal cabinet. That milestone was just one of many for a man who played a critical role in Canada's Conservative movement for a generation.


    From the Brian Mulroney era to the roller-coaster leadership of Kim Campbell, then to the collapse of the Progressive Conservative party in 1993 and the subsequent rebuilding of the movement under Stephen Harper, St. Germain remained a trusted confidant of prime ministers and a crucial and often daring behind-the-scenes broker in bringing warring factions together. But he is most proud of his efforts during his later years in the Senate, when he was a quiet hero to Canada's Aboriginal community. He spearheaded major Senate reports on key issues like land claims and on-reserve education during the Harper era, when there were few friendly faces for First Nations leaders on Parliament Hill. That role reflected St. Germain's profound determination to help people who are still dealing today the brutal legacy of residential schools and the paternalistic Indian Act. Memories of his humble beginnings, and the shame he once felt over his Metis heritage, bubbled to the surface in his final address to Canada's Parliament in 2012, when he said in a voice quaking with emotion: "I am a Metis."

$32.95

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Moose to Moccasins: The Story of Ka Kita Wa Pa No Kwe
Format: Paperback
  • Having been born in a tent on Bear Island, Lake Temagami, in 1908, Madeline Katt Theriault could recall an earlier independent and traditional First Nations lifestyle. In this book, the late author proudly tells of her youth and coming of age by sharing her vivid memories and drawing on exceptional old family photographs. In her own words, she writes of a time long ago – a time that was difficult, but not without personal rewards.

$16.95

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Not My Fate: The Story of a Nisga'a Survivor
Author: Janet Romain
Traditional Territory: Métis
Format: Paperback
  • Josephine Caplin (Jo) was born into a world marred by maternal abandonment, alcoholism and traumatic epileptic seizures. In grade three, she was apprehended by child services and separated from her protective brother and her early caregivers, her father and uncle, who were kind men with drinking problems. Placed into many alienating and lonely foster homes, Jo would not see her family again until she was fourteen. Throughout her life Jo fought symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome, abuse by sadistic men and the collective horror of generations of ancestors forced into residential schools, causing many to believe Jo was destined to repeat a hopeless cycle. Yet she did not surrender to others' despairing expectations: against all odds, Jo fought to create her own cycle full of hope and growth.

    Born of a Métis-Canadian background, author Janet Romain delicately and proudly tells the story of her heroic friend and explores the tragic aftermath of Canada's residential schools and the effects of colonization. Jo is a courageous woman who determined her own fate and reclaimed her life. NOT MY FATE: STORY OF A NISGA'A SURVIVOR is her struggle to move past a legacy of hardship toward a life of peace and forgiveness.

$24.95

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Payepot and His People
Author: Abel Watetch
Format: Paperback
  • Payepot and His People was first published serially by The Western Producer. In 1957 it was published in book form by the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society. Abel Watetch was a nephew of Chief Payepot and a veteran of World War I. As noted in the introduction to the 1957 edition, Watetch had earlier set down in "fine, clear handwriting" the previously unwritten history of his people, having "assembled many of the recollections of his kin to 'set the record right'." These writings were the basis of the story told here, supplemented by further recollections by Watetch and his friend, Chief Sitting Eagle Changing Position (Harry Ball), documented either on tape or through written correspondence.

$14.95

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Restoring the Balance
Format: Paperback
  • First Nations peoples believe the eagle flies with a female wing and a male wing, showing the importance of balance between the feminine and the masculine in all aspects of individual and community experiences. Centuries of colonization, however, have devalued the traditional roles of First Nations women, causing a great gender imbalance that limits the abilities of men, women, and their communities in achieving self-actualization.

    Restoring the Balance brings to light the work First Nations women have performed, and continue to perform, in cultural continuity and community development. It illustrates the challenges and successes they have had in the areas of law, politics, education, community healing, language, and art, while suggesting significant options for sustained improvement of individual, family, and community well-being.

    Written by fifteen Aboriginal scholars, activists, and community leaders, Restoring the Balance combines life histories and biographical accounts with historical and critical analyses grounded in traditional thought and approaches. It is a powerful and important book.

$27.95

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Saskatchewan First Nations: Lives Past & Present
Format: Paperback
  • In this volume are more than 125 biographies, which together demonstrate the diversity and depth of Saskatchewan’s First Nations community and the contributions of First Nations people to the province.

    "This book ... provides an opportunity to set our history to paper — our stories, our experience, our realities, our wisdom, our worldview; perhaps what is most important, it is in our own words." (From the "Foreword")

$19.95

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Shore to Shore: The Art of Ts'uts'umutl Luke Marston
Format: Paperback
  • Stanley Park, Vancouver, September 2014. A fourteen-foot bronze-cast cedar sculpture is being erected. Dignitaries from all levels of government are present, including leaders of the Coast Salish First Nations and representatives from Portugal's Azores Islands. Luke Marston, carver/artist, supervises as his three-year project is revealed to the world.

    The sculpture--titled Shore to Shore--depicts Luke's great-great-grandparents, Portuguese Joe Silvey, one of BC's most colourful pioneers, and Kwatleematt (Lucy), a Sechelt First Nation matriarch and Silvey's second wife. Silvey and Kwatleematt are flanked by Khaltinaht, Silvey's first wife, a noblewoman from the Musqueam and Squamish First Nations. The trio are surrounded by the tools of Silvey's trade: seine nets, whaling harpoons, and the Pacific coast salmon that helped the family thrive in the early industries of BC. The sculpture references the multicultural relationships that are at the foundation of BC, while also showcasing the talents of one of Canada's finest contemporary First Nations carvers.

    Combining interviews, research and creative non-fiction narration, author Suzanne Fournier recounts Marston's career, from his early beginnings carving totems for the public at the Royal BC Museum, to his study under Haida artist Robert Davidson and jewellery master Valentin Yotkov, to his visits to both his ancestral homes: Reid Island and the Portuguese Azores island of Pico--journeys which provided inspiration for the Shore to Shore statue.

$26.95

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The Amazing Mazie Baker
Author: Kay Johnston
Format: Paperback
  • When author Kay Johnston first met Mazie Baker, she came to know her as the reigning queen of bannock, selling out batch after batch of fluffy, light frybread at local powwows. She soon learned that Mazie, a matriarch and an activist, had been nurturing and fiercely protecting her community for a lifetime.

    In 1931, Mazie Antone was born into the Squamish Nation, a community caught between its traditional values of respect-for the land, the family and the band-and the secular, capitalistic legislation imposed by European settlers. When she was six, the police carried her off to St. Paul's Indian Residential School, as mandated by the 1920 Indian Act. There, she endured months of beatings, malnourishment and lice infestations before her family collected Mazie and her siblings and fled across the border.

    Once in Washington, the Antones weathered the Depression by picking fruit and working in the shipyard. After the war, the children were old enough that the family could safely return to their home on the Capilano Reserve. At sixteen, Mazie began working at a cannery; she packed salmon for eleven years, all the while learning to defend herself from supervisors and fellow packers foolish enough to make her a target.

    Mazie married her sweetheart, Alvie Baker, and together they raised nine children. Part of the legacy of residential school was that Mazie and her generation were alienated from their culture and language, but through her children, she reconnected with her Squamish identity. She came to mourn the loss of the old style of government by councils of hereditary chiefs and to criticize the corruption in the band leadership created in 1989 by federal legislation.

    Galvanized by the injustices she saw committed against and within her community-especially against indigenous women, who were denied status and property rights-she began a long career of advocacy. She fought for housing for families in need; she pushed for transparency in local government; she defended ancestral lands; she shone a bright light into the darkest political corners. Her family called her ch'sken: Golden Eagle.
    This intimate biography of a community leader illuminates a difficult, unresolved chapter of Canadian history and paints a portrait of a resilient and principled woman who faced down her every political foe, unflinching, irreverent, and uncompromising.

$24.95

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