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Indigenous Astronomy

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Byron Through the Seasons
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

This Dene-English story book was produced by the students and teachers of Ducharme Elementary School in La Loche, Saskatchewan, with assistance from local advisors and elders. Together, they wrote the story, translated it, and worked on the pictures. 

Their goal was to highlight some aspects of Dene culture that were vital in the past and are still important today. They wanted to show the continuity of a genuine and successful way of life, and emphasize culturally-significant events and attitudes. 

To produce the book, over 400 hundred students provided ideas for the storyline and art samples for the illustrations. Two hundred letters went out to the community families, asking for ideas and information with regard to story content. A dozen elders were consulted to provide accurate and culturally-correct information. A teacher committee of six worked on the project for two years. 

Byron Through the Seasons is a story told by Grandfather Jonas and imagined by his grandson, Byron. The balloon diagram in each picture represents the symbolic journey taken by Byron as he listens to stories of what Dene life is like during the four seasons of the year.

Favored selection by the Canadian Children's Book Centre, Byron Through the Seasons: A Dene-English Story Book recalls early aspects of Dene lifestyle, from tanning and medicine to camping and food preservation.

Educator Information
B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: Gr.1- Earth and Space Science

Recommended ages: 4-8.

Written in English and the Dene language (Chipewyan).

Additional Information
32 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$10.95

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Coyote and the Sky: How the Sun, Moon, and Stars Began
Artists:
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

According to Santa Ana Pueblo legend, the animals' spirit Leader created the sun, moon, and stars by using woven yucca mats and hot coals. He selected certain animals to climb from their homes in the Third World up to the Fourth World. The Squirrel, the Rabbit, and the Badger were all allowed to go. The Coyote, however, was forbidden to accompany them because he was always causing trouble and stealing food from the others.

Regardless of what he was told, Coyote refused to stay in the Third World. He found a hiding place and waited for a chance to follow the animals to the Fourth World. When the other animals discovered Coyote, they summoned the Leader to the Fourth World to deal with him. Coyote's punishment is a lesson in what happens to animals, or people, when they refuse to obey instructions.

Writing for the younger reader, Emmett "Shkeme" Garcia, a member of the Santa Ana tribe, shares his Pueblo's story of the beginnings of the stars and constellations. Victoria Pringle's illustrations provide visual elements that enhance the action of the story.

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

Recommended for ages 6+.

Additional Information
32 pages | 10.22" x 8.76" | 14 colour illustrations, 12 line drawings.

Authentic Indigenous Text
$29.95

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Hold Up the Sky: And Other Native American Tales from Texas and the Southern Plains
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

Nearly all that remains of some Indian tribes of Texas and the Southern Plains are their stories. Here twenty-six tales are brought together from fourteen tribes and at least five different cultures. They are stories of humor, guidance, and adventure that have been passed down through the generations.

From the Tejas story that explains how the universe began, to the Lipan Apache tale in which a small lizard smartly outwits a hungry coyote, these stories are sure to delight young readers. Additional information about each tribe is included in the "About the Storytellers" section.

Once again Jane Louise Curry has skillfully retold traditional tales of Native Americans. Hold Up the Sky is in keeping with the style of her previous, highly acclaimed collections of Native American stories, Back in the Beforetime, The Wonderful Sky Boat, and Turtle Island. This, too, is a collection to be treasured.

Educator Information
Information on the source of each story retold by Jane Louise Curry is provided at the back of the book.

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

$14.95

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How Raven Stole the Sun (Tales of the People)
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Alaska Native; Tlingit;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4;

A long time ago, Raven was pure white, like fresh snow in winter. This was so long ago that the only light came from campfires, because a greedy chief kept the stars, moon, and sun locked up in elaborately carved boxes. Determined to free them, the shape-shifting Raven resourcefully transformed himself into the chief's baby grandson and cleverly tricked him into opening the boxes and releasing the starlight and moonlight. Though tired of being stuck in human form, Raven maintained his disguise until he got the chief to open the box with the sun and flood the world with daylight, at which point he gleefully transformed himself back into a raven. When the furious chief locked him in the house, Raven was forced to escape through the small smokehole at the top--and that's why ravens are now black as smoke instead of white as snow.

This engaging Tlingit story is brought to life in painted illustrations that convey a sense of the traditional life of the Northwest Coast peoples.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.50" x 9.60"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$20.95

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How the Stars Fell Into the Sky: A Navajo Legend
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

This retelling of a Navajo folktale explains how First Woman tried to write the laws of the land using stars in the sky, only to be thwarted by the trickster Coyote.

Educator Information
As indicated at the beginning of this book, this is a retelling of a legend told to the Najavo by Hosteen Klah, their great medicine man, at the turn of the twentieth century.

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.75" x 10.00"

$11.99

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Keepers of the Night: Native Stories and Nocturnal Activities for Children
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

Native lore, stories, and activities encourage children to explore the fascinating night world. By studying astronomy, Native beliefs, nighttime weather, and North American nocturnal plants and animals, children aged 5 to 12 learn to appreciate the importance of night in the natural cycle and overcome common fears about the nighttime world.

Educator & Series Information
B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: Gr.3-Earth and Life Science

B.C. Science Supplementary Resouce Gr.4- Life Science.

Filled with interdisciplinary activities, legends, and illustrations to inspire children and educators alike.

This book is part of the Keepers series.

Additional Information
146 pages | 9.75" x 6.75"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$14.95

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Mouse Celebrates the Winter Solstice
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10;

It is winter. The land lies still, quiet and stark beneath a blanket of snow. The tiny footprints of a mouse can be seen in the light of the moon.

"Wrapped in the quiet, and there in the bleak, there stood a wise mouse, preparing to speak."

The words that mouse chose were from many years past. She spoke them into the cold night air. So begins the enchanting story of a very special Winter Solstice celebration.

Kwakwaka’wakw author Terri Mack and Tsimshian artist Bill Helin have collaborated to bring us this story of strength, friendship and celebration. The lyrical text and engaging illustrations will appeal to readers of all ages.

Author's note:
Gila'kasla!
I spent a year writing and rewriting this poem to be sure to convey the message clearly to my audience. It was important to me that the poem reflect the importance of us all joining together to find the sacredness in celebration, the joy of belonging within a greater community and the voice of determination inside of each of us. Inspired by Indigenous Peoples rising, healing and joining together I hope that this poem inspires our youth to be strong and determined in all their future goals.
~Terri Mack

Additional Information
24 pages | 9" x 12" | ISBN: 9781771740555

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$14.95

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Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

The story of Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters is a very old Mi'kmaw legend. It happens in the North Sky as the stars that show the story of Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters move around Tatapn, the North Star.

In pictures in this book you can see how these stars, shown as they appear two hours before dawn, move through the night sky. They are in a different position each of the seasons because they are the time-keepers, the calendar. All through the year, as the stars and plants travel through the sky, the Mi'kmaq watch the story of Muin and the Seven Bird Hunters as it unfolds before their eyes.

Educator Information
Text is in Mi'kmaq and English.

Additional Information
36 pages | 8.50" x 8.50"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Nunavummi Reading Series: The Northern Lights
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

Learn all about the northern lights!

This book is an introduction to the northern lights, what they look like, where they can be seen, what causes them, and traditional stories about them.

Educator Information 
This book is part of the Nunavummi Reading Series, a Nunavut-developed series that supports literacy learning while teaching readers about the people, traditions, and environment of the Canadian Arctic.  It is a Level 8 book in the series. 

Nunavummi Reading Series books have also been officially levelled using the Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient™ Levelling System. This book's F&P Level is G.

Curriculum Connections: Language and literacy; Indigenous perspectives; Diversity; History; Heritage; Environmental Awareness. 

Recommended for ages 4-6.

Additional Information 
20 pages | 8.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
$8.95

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SkySisters
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$8.95

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Skywatcher's Companion
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

Skywatcher's Companion: Constellations and Their Mythology
A Starry Starry Night Discovery Book (series)

A colourful and informative sidekick to Stan Shadick's hugely popular Skywatchers Calendar

The star-studded night sky is the biggest movie screen in the universe, and it has fired the human imagination ever since our ancestors first looked up in awe and marvelled at its grandeur and its mysterious twinkling lights. Over the last 5,000 years, people from many different cultures have been inspired to create stories about the formations that the sky's billions of stars seem to make.

Each culture's stories, or myths, are known collectively as a mythology. They were created to explain mysteries of the natural world, such as why storms occur, why the seasons change and why crows do not sing like other birds. Among the first people to tell these stories were the ancient kingdoms of Mesopotamia, located roughly where the country of Iraq is today. As these kingdoms grew and prospered, mythological beliefs came to be tied to the heavens above. Star formations were attributed to the gods-for if not the work of the greatest gods, what could these jewel-like objects, so beautiful and constantly changing, possibly be?-and often represented legendary heroes on Earth who had somehow earned an eternal place in the night sky. Storytellers made up new tales to explain how the lives and actions of those gods influenced the lives of humans.

Discover the wonders of the night sky and learn how to find the star patterns that have inspired the myths and storytelling of great cultures of the past. Meet the gods and goddesses of Rome, Greece and Mesopotamia and see how they found their way into the many constellations that dominate the ever-changing northern sky. Learn how the same stars inspired legends of the Native peoples in Canada, the United States, northern Europe and elsewhere. See how the sky changes with the seasons but always remains the biggest movie screen in the universe.

These myths give us insights into how ancient people tried to make sense of the world they lived in and the sky above it. Learning about the constellations and their mythology is the focus of this book; future books in this new series will explore other aspects of our starry, starry nights.

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.95

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Strong Stories Kanyen’keha:ka: Big Bear
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

Through the seasons, the stars move across the night sky. One set of stars tells the story of seven hunters chasing a big bear. Follow the stars through each season to discover the story. This Kanyen'kehà:ka (Gan-yeh-ga-ha-ga) story is about not giving up on your goals. The Kanyen'kehà:ka is one of Six Nations that together are the Haudenosaunee.

Educator & Series Information
Big Bear is part of the Strong Stories: Kanyen'kehà:ka series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

 

 

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Authentic Indigenous Text
Available as an iBook
$8.50

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Strong Stories Kanyen’keha:ka: Big Bear 6-Pack
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

Through the seasons, the stars move across the night sky. One set of stars tells the story of seven hunters chasing a big bear. Follow the stars through each season to discover the story. This Kanyen'kehà:ka (Gan-yeh-ga-ha-ga) story is about not giving up on your goals. The Kanyen'kehà:ka is one of Six Nations that together are the Haudenosaunee.

Educator & Series Information
This is a 6-Pack Bundle, which contains 6 copies of Big Bear.

Big Bear is part of the Strong Stories: Kanyen'kehà:ka series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$51.00

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Strong Stories MĂ©tis: How the Moon Came to Be
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; MĂ©tis;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6;

A beautiful traditional Métis story about the creation of the moon. How did Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon come to be named as they are? Do you know why you have the name you were given?

Educator & Series Information
Recommended for intermediate students (grades 4-6).

How the Moon Came to Be is part of the Strong Stories: Métis series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$8.50

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Strong Stories MĂ©tis: How the Moon Came to Be 6-Pack
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; MĂ©tis;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6;

A beautiful traditional Métis story about the creation of the moon. How did Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon come to be named as they are? Do you know why you have the name you were given?

Educator & Series Information
There are six copies of this title included in this 6-pack set. 

Recommended for intermediate students (grades 4-6). 

How the Moon Came to Be is part of the Strong Stories: Métis series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$51.00

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