Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools 8 - 12 2011-2012

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Inuit Modern: Masterworks from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection
Author: Gerald McMaster
Format: Paperback
  • A gorgeous retrospective on the transformation of Inuit art in the 20th century, mirroring the vast and poignant cultural changes in the North. In response to a rapidly changing Arctic environment, Inuit have had to cope with the transition from a traditional lifestyle to the disturbing realities of globalization and climate change. Inuit art in the latter half of the 20th century reflects the reciprocal stimulus of contact with Euro-Canadians and embodies the evolution of a modern Inuit aesthetic that springs from an ancient cultural context, creating an exciting new hybridized art form. Inuit Modern: Art from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection situates modern Inuit art within a larger framework that reinterprets the Canadian Arctic. Essays by leading Canadian scholars in the field including Ingo Hessel, Robert McGhee, Christine Laloude, Heather Igloliorte, Dorothy Eber and Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad examine the social, political and cultural transformation through the dynamic lens of colonial influence and agency. Inuit Modern also features interviews with David Ruben Piqtoukun and Zacharias Kunuk.

$24.99

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Maskepetoon: Leader, Warrior, Peacemaker
Author: Hugh A. Dempsey
Format: Paperback
  • As a leader, Maskepetoon was respected for his skill as a hunter, his generosity and his wisdom. He was considered a "lucky" chief, a man who found buffalo on the edge of the plains, who avoided unnecessary conflicts with enemies, but protected his camp like a mother grizzly with her cubs. And in the turbulent mid-1800s, that's exactly the kind of leader the Rocky Mountain Cree needed. Maskepetoon followed his own inclinations for peace and friendship. He formed allegiances with missionaries and guided settlers through the Rockies. Yet if necessary he could kill with impunity, rule with an iron hand and show no mercy where he believed none should be shown. He transformed his people from woodland trappers to buffalo hunters and from woodsmen to prairie dwellers, always keeping their interests at heart. Hugh Dempsey's account of the legendary chief and his life includes insights from the Cree people of today, including descendants of Maskepetoon, and new information on the chief of the same name who lived in the United States during this time.

$19.95

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News: Postcards From The Four Directions
Format: Paperback
  • Exotic postcards from playwright, novelist and screenwriter Drew Hayden Taylor's globetrotting adventures, with news about aboriginal peoples around the world.

$24.95

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Oka: A Political Crisis and Its Legacy
Author: Harry Swain
Format: Paperback
  • On July 11, 1990, tension between white and Mohawk people at Oka, just west of Montreal, took a violent turn. At issue was the town's plan to turn a piece of disputed land in the community of Kanesatake into a golf course. Media footage of rock-throwing white residents and armed, masked Mohawk Warriors facing police across barricades shocked Canadians and galvanized Aboriginal people from coast to coast. In August, Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa called for the Canadian army to step in. Harry Swain was deputy minister of Indian Affairs throughout the 78-day standoff, and his recreation of events is dramatic and opinionated. In Oka, Swain writes frankly about his own role and offers fascinating profiles of the high-level players on the government's side -- Quebec Native Affairs Minister John Ciaccia, federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon, Chief of the Defence Staff General John de Chastelain, Premier Robert Bourassa and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Swain offers rare insight into the workings of government in a time of crisis, but he also traces what he calls the 200-year tail of history and shows how the Mohawk experience reflects the collision between European and Aboriginal cultures. Twenty years on, health, social and economic indicators for Aboriginal Canadians are still shameful. The well-funded "Indian industry" is a national disgrace, Swain says, and the Indian Act is in urgent need of replacement. Identifying current flashpoints for Aboriginal land rights across the country, he argues that true reconciliation will not be possible until government commits to meaningful reform.

$34.95

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Old Lives: In the Chilcotin Backcountry
Author: John Schreiber
Format: Paperback
  • Set in the wild country north of Lillooet and west of the great Fraser River, Old Lives paints the rugged landscape and equally rugged lives of the Chilcotin's enigmatic old-timers: aboriginal and settler, male and female, deceased and alive. It takes vigilance, persistence, courage and humour to live where survival requires a deep knowledge and trust of the land, where prosperity is synonymous with self-sufficiency and where thriving is dependent upon a community of neighbours and friends who can be counted on in the direst of times.

    In his second collection of Chilcotin stories, John Schreiber unveils an urban life that continues to encroach upon the BC Interior, and as it does, the old ways disappear; traditional knowledge and skills are forgotten, and the legends fade into myth. Old Lives is a book that acknowledges and honours the region's backcountry elders, their way of life and the wild liveliness of the great Chilcotin land where they have existed for centuries.

$22.95

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Old Square Toes and His Lady: The Life of James and Amelia Douglas
Author: John Adams
Format: Paperback
  • August 12, 2003, marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir James Douglas. Although he played an integral role in British Columbia's history, in many ways Douglas remains misunderstood and an enigma. He is known for his contradictory qualities - he was self-serving, racist, a military hawk, sometimes violent and arrogant. Yet he was also extremely community oriented, a humanitarian, brave and a devoted family member.

    John Adam's bestseller Old Square-Toes and His Lady: The Life of James and Amelia Douglas serves as an important source of information regarding Douglas's public and private lives. As Adams writes, [the term] old square-toes characterizes him as an unbending, stodgy, boring individual, but nothing could be further from the truth.

    At the pinnacle of his career, Douglas was knighted by order of Queen Victoria. Considering his modest, mixed-race beginnings in South America, his lofty status is, indeed, remarkable. Equally so is the life of his wife, Amelia. She was also of mixed blood, her mother being Cree and her father Irish. But unlike Douglas, who was educated in Scotland, she never left the northern forests until they married. Their ending up as a knight and lady of the British Empire was an unusual achievement.

    Old Square-Toes discusses the Douglases' diverse experiences of astonishing contrasts, from crossing North America by canoe to touring Europe by train, from Native uprisings to the frantic gold rush. Besides finding glory, they also faced grief in losing seven of their beloved children. This is a story of the adventure, heartbreak, and devotion that lies at the roots of western Canada.

$19.95

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One Step Over the Line: Toward a History of Women in the North American Wests
Format: Paperback
  • This eclectic and carefully organized range of essays—from women’s history and settler societies to colonialism and borderlands studies—is the first collection of comparative and transnational work on women in the Canadian and U.S. Wests. It explores, expands, and advances the aspects of women’s history that cross national borders. Out of the talks presented at the 2002 “Unsettled Pasts: Reconceiving the West through Women’s History,” Elizabeth Jameson and Sheila McManus have edited a foundational text for pioneering scholars of this emergent, interdisciplinary field.

$34.95

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One Story, One Song
Format: Hardcover
  • A new collection of warm, wise and inspiring stories from the author of the bestselling One Native Life.

    Since its publication in 2008, readers and reviewers have embraced Richard Wagamese's One Native Life. In quiet tones and luminous language,wrote the Winnipeg Free Press,Wagamese shares his hurts and joys, inviting readers to find the ways in which they are joined to him and to consider how they might be joined to others.

    In this new book, Richard Wagamese again invites readers to accompany him on his travels. This time, his focus is on stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four Ojibway storytelling principles: balance, harmony, knowledge and intuition.

    Whether the topic is learning from his grade five teacher about Martin Luther King, gleaning understanding from a wolf track, lighting a fire for the first time without matches or finding the universe in an eagle feather, these stories exhibit the warmth, wisdom and generosity that made One Native Life so popular. As always, in these pages, the land serves as Wagamese' guide. And as always, he finds that true home means not only community but conversation good, straight-hearted talk about important things. We all need to tell our stories, he says. Every voice matters.


$29.95

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Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson
Author: Betty Keller
Format: Paperback
  • Brought up in a strict and sheltered household, the daughter of a Mohawk chief and a non-native woman, Pauline Johnson struggled to make an independent life for herself.

    She found it as a poet and performer whose dramatic recitals skirted the boundaries of what was acceptable to "respectable" Canadian society. Her performances took her from the backwoods of British Columbia's gold country to the drawing rooms of England. Onstage she assumed the role of an Indian princess, while in her personal life she observed Victorian moral strictures, all the while falling regularly and desperately into unrequited love.

    Pauline is the fascinating story of a charismatic woman whose struggles with culture and identity still engage us today.

$9.95

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People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich'in Elders / Googwandak Nakhwach'anjoo Van Tat Gwich'in
Format: Paperback
  • Many people have a mental picture of the Canadian north that juxtaposes beauty with harshness. For the Van Tat Gwich'in, the northern Yukon is home, with a living history passed on from elders to youth. This book consists of oral accounts that the Elders have been recording for 50 years, representing more than 150 years of their history, all meticulously translated from Gwich'in. Yet this is more than a gathering of history; collaborator Shirleen Smith provides context for the stories, whether they are focused on an individual or international politics. Anthropologists, folklorists, ethnohistorians, political scientists, economists, members of First Nations, and readers interested in Canada's northernmost regions will find much to fascinate them.

$34.95

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Red Serge and Polar Bear Pants: The Biography of Harry Stallworthy, RCMP
Author: William Barr
Format: Paperback
  • Harry Stallworthy spent 20 years in the Canadian North with the RCMP. While stationed at Bache Peninsula, Stallworthy led one of the longest arctic sledge patrols in the history of the Force, searching for traces of German geologist Dr. Hans Krüger. In 1934 he set off with the Oxford University Ellesmere Land Expedition. He was present at the historic meeting of Roosevelt and Churchill in Quebec in 1944 and in the late 1950s was in charge of security for the eastern half of the DEW Line. From policing and prospecting in the Yukon to coordinating aerial surveillance patrols against rum-runners in the Gaspé, the story of Stallworthy’s life was rarely uneventful. It captures the excitement, adventure, and mystery of the North.

$34.95

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Relatives With Roots
Traditional Territory: Métis
Format: Paperback
  • Relatives With Roots: A Story About Métis Women’s Connection to the Land is a heartfelt story about a Métis grandmother who takes her granddaughter out into the bush to teach her how to pick traditional medicines. As the granddaughter learns the traditional beliefs and stories about how the Métis people use the plants for food and medicine, she feels happy to be a Métis child with access to such wonderful cultural knowledge. This charming and vibrant book introduces young readers to key concepts in the traditional Métis worldview while focusing on the special relationship between a young Métis girl and her grandmother. Relatives With Roots is the second in a series of children’s books relating to traditional Métis values by Leah Marie Dorion. The first book, The Giving Tree: A Retelling of a Traditional Métis Story, was nominated in 2010 for a Willow Award in the Shining Willow category.

$12.95

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Stories of the Road Allowance People: The Revised Edition
Author: Maria Campbell
Format: Paperback
  • Maria Campbell’s highly-acclaimed Stories of the Road Allowance People is the quintessential collection of traditional Michif stories. Since it was first published in 1995, this treasured resource has given voice to Métis Elders and has informed both Métis and non-Métis about the traditional Michif worldview. The Gabriel Dumont Institute is honoured to offer this invaluable book in a new edition. With a new story and introduction by Maria Campbell, new artwork by Sherry Farrell Racette and a narration component in English and in Michif, Stories of the Road Allowance People provides readers with poignant retellings of Michif traditional stories handed down from lii vyeu—the Old People.

$28.50

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Tecumseh: Diplomat and Warrior in the War of 1812
Format: Paperback
  • This is the biography of Tecumseh, a legendary nineteenth century Shawnee warrior, a hero of the War of 1812 and a man who spent most of his life trying to build a Native confederacy to withstand the pressure on native lands from American settlement.It also tells the story of his younger brother Lalawethika and of Lalawethika's transformation from a drunken ne'er-do-well to the charismatic spiritual leader known as The Prophet.As a diplomat, Tecumseh dealt with the British and American authorities, with settlers and with First Nations peoples on both sides of the border. He fought with the British in the War of 1812, and lost his life at the Battle of Moraviantown.

$9.95

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The Edward Curtis Project: A Modern Picture Story
Format: Paperback
  • A profoundly moving new drama by Marie Clements, combined with a spectacular contemporary photo exhibit by Rita Leistner.

$24.95

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