Indigenous Stories

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife
Format: Paperback
  • A seminal collection of Haida myths and legends; now in a gorgeous new package.

    The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form.

    Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurst brings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton's careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe.

    Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London.

    Bringhurst brings these works to life in the English language and sets them in a context just as rich as the stories themselves one that reaches out to dozens of Native American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions around the world.

$24.95

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Beneath Raven Moon
Author: David Bouchard
Traditional Territory: Kwakwaka'wakw, Métis
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.

$24.95

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Black Sheep, White Crow and Other Windmill Tales: Stories from Navajo Country
Author: Jim Kristofic
Format: Paperback
  • When Kameron moves to his grandma's sheep camp on the Navajo Reservation, he leaves behind his cell phone reception and his friends. The young boy's world becomes even stranger when Kameron takes the sheep out to the local windmill and meets an old storyteller. As the seasons turn, the old man weaves eight tales that teach the deeper story of the Diné country and the Diné people.

$29.95

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Flight of the Hummingbird
Format: Hardcover
  • The hummingbird parable, with origins in the Quechuan people of South America, has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists who are committed to making meaningful change in the world. In this inspiring story, the determined hummingbird does everything she can to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home. The hummingbirdósymbol of wisdom and courageódemonstrates that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.The parable is embraced by two of the worldís most influential leaders: Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya who launched the Green Belt Movement (which you can read about here), and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who has spoken widely about his commitment to preserving the environment. This courageous little book features artwork by internationally renowned artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. His distinct and lively Haida Manga style engages perfectly with this inspirational story that encourages every individual to act on behalf of the worldís limited and precious resources.

$16.00

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Folk-Tales of the Coast Salish
Author: Various Authors
Traditional Territory: Coast Salish
Format: Paperback
  • First published in 1934, this collection of tales was recorded and edited by Thelma Adamson (1901–83), a student of Franz Boas and one of the first women to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the Pacific Northwest. A major contribution to our knowledge of western Washington Salish oral traditions, Folk-Tales of the Coast Salish contains 190 texts from nineteen consultants—most collected in English or in English translation. The 155 stories represent Upper Chehalis and Cowlitz Salish narrative traditions, primarily myths and tales, and constitute the largest published body of oral literature for either of these groups. Adamson included as many as four variants of the same tale-type, and Adele Froehlich prepared a useful forty-three-page section of abstracts with comparative notes from eight regional text collections. Folk-Tales of the Coast Salish provides a rich data source for those interested in the content and comparative analysis of Native texts told in English. With few exceptions, the tales refer to the time “when all the animals were people.”

    This new edition enhances Adamson’s seminal work with the inclusion of a biographical sketch of Adamson and of her friend and noted ethnomusicologist George Herzog, who produced the appended music transcriptions

$43.50

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Legends from the Forest
Format: Paperback
  • INDISPENSIBLE FOR UNDERSTANDING THE BOREAL CULTURE of the North, Legends of the Forest is a collection of foundation stories and other legends as passed down through generations by the Sandy Lake Cree. Foundation stories describe events that "occur in the pale before human beings were extant on earth. Only Weesakayjac and the creatures inhabit the forest world." The enigmatic Weesakayjac is a hunter, in human form. "... One can hardly find a better teacher on the wild behaviour of human beings."

    These stories are told by Chief Thomas Fiddler with help from his friends—Edward Rae, Titus Goodman, Thomas Linklater and Abel Fiddler. Together with Sacred Legends and Killing the Shamen this volume forms a trilogy of Sandy Lake stories from Penumbra Press.

$16.95

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Red Power
Format: Paperback
  • At the request of tribal elders in a southern community, Billy and his Native Movement chapter are called in to assist community members caught in the middle of a manufactured land struggle. The Native Movement, a political and spiritual group, spread far and wide across North America is active on both sides of the Canadian and United States border.

    Narrated by the wolf, the past is explained as current events unfold around the main characters who find themselves immersed in a bloody range war created by a corrupt band council chief and corporate/government interests. Throughout his journey Billy finds his own physical and spiritual place in the grand scheme of things. Treachery and beauty line the road to enlightenment.

$6.95

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The Blind Boy and the Loon
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Hardcover
  • Based on an acclaimed National Film Board of Canada animated short, The Blind Boy and the Loon is a beautiful retelling of a traditional Inuit story that both explains the origin of the narwhal and cautions listeners against the dangers of seeking revenge.

    Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s mystical, brooding animation has been adapted to a picture book format that is suitable for all ages. A timeless tale stunningly told.

$16.95

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The Country of Wolves (PB)
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
  • Now available in paperback!

    Based on the acclaimed animated film Amaqqut Nunaat, this visually stunning graphic novel takes readers on a mysterious adventure with two brothers who are lost at sea. It begins as an average hunting trip for two young men. But when they find themselves adrift at sea, the only safe haven to be found for miles—a mysterious village filled with the sounds of drum dancing and revelry—turns out to be even more dangerous than the frigid ocean.

$19.95

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The Hidden
Format: Hardcover
  • Forget fairies and forget vampires! Let yourself be drawn into the dark world of the shape-shifters, ogresses, trolls, and demons of the Canadian Arctic. This collection of field notes meticulously documents the dark side of Inuit legends, complete with hideous monsters and unspeakable deeds. Each creature is brought to life by the stunning illustrations of Mike Austin, a world-renowned tattoo artist.
    As the camp prepares to defend itself against the approaching newcomers, Kannujaq and a Tunit shaman boy named Siku discover that the Vikings may have motivations other than murder and warfare at the heart of their quest.

$29.95

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The Legend of Lightning and Thunder
Format: Hardcover
  • In The Legend of Thunder and Lightning, a traditional legend that has been told in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut for centuries, two siblings resort to stealing from their fellow villagers.

    In this tale of guilt and consequence, the actions of the two children lead them to flee punishment by escaping to the sky as thunder and lightning.

    This beautifully illustrated traditional legend weaves together elements of an origin story and a traditional cautionary tale, giving young readers an accessible window into centuries-old Inuit mythology that is specific to the Kivalliq region of Nunavut.

$16.95

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The Raven Steals the Light
Author: Bill Reid
Format: Paperback
  • Ten masterful, complex drawings by Bill Reid are accompanied by ten episodes from Haida mythology told by Bill Reid and Robert Bringhurst. The result brings Haida art and mythology alive as never before in an English-speaking world. The collection includes, says Reid, "a good selection of bestiality, adultery, violence, thievery and assault, for those who like that sort of thing."

$14.95

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Unikkaaqtuat: An Introduction to Inuit Myths and Legends
Format: Paperback
  • This exhaustive story collection makes the rich tradition of Inuit storytelling accessible to the rest of Canada for the first time. From creation myths to animal fables, Unikkaaqtuat gives non-Inuit readers a thorough introduction to the world of Inuit traditional stories. This definitive collection of legends and myths is thoughtfully introduced and carefully annotated to provide the historical and cultural context in which to understand this rich oral tradition.

$24.95

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Weenipeeg
Author: Bill Ballantyne
Format: Paperback
  • The name Weenipeeg (or Winnipeg) is known to mean dirty water. But how did it get that name? Weepipeeg, a story carried on by Elder Bill Ballantyne, is a children’s book that recounts the gripping true events that led to Winnipeg receiving its name. A journey story at its heart, this beautifully illustrated book will have you on the edge of your seat, while it shares important traditional knowledge.

$9.95

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