Autobiographies

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A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Oji-Cree;

A compelling, harrowing, but ultimately uplifting story of resilience and self-discovery.

A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby’s extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism.

As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and in her teen years became alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counsellor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in Thunder Bay.

Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humour, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.

Reviews
“From groundbreaking and controversial AIDS awareness programs in the 1990s to the work she continues to do today, both with her own family and her extended reserve family, her life and this memoir ultimately serve as handbook of hope.”— Lara Rae, Winnipeg Free Press

"A Two-Spirit Journey is a raw and emotional story that doesn’t just show readers the author’s scars. Chacaby bares all in an honest telling of her life that includes flaws, like her struggles with substance abuse and a sometimes rocky path to sobriety. Despite the turmoil, the autobiography does have its uplifting moments and characters. Heartwarming stories of childhood friendships, and most importantly a powerful relationship between the author and her grandmother, weave feelings of optimism and hope into a life that is oftentimes surrounded by darkness.”— Scott Paradis, tbnewswatch.com

“An extraordinary account of an extraordinary life and very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Biography, LGBT, and Native American Studies collections.”— Midwest Book Review

“Activist, survivor, mother, counsellor, Ma-Nee Chacaby recounts her sometimes harrowing life with a calm and steady voice, infused with resilience and compassion. Effectively designed and edited to appeal to both the general public and those engaged in Indigenous studies, A Two-Spirit Journey presents an important story, powerfully told.”— Nik Burton, Rick Walker, and Carolyn Wood, Judges, 2017 Manitoba Book Awards

“The story that Chacaby and Plummer recount is truly an extraordinary one, but it is also one that will resonate with many people whose stories have not been often told. The perspective of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder is invaluable for LGBT Native youth and will be an enriching experience for many others, particularly those who have experienced abuse, disability, poverty, or the effects of colonization.”— Kai Pyle, Studies in American Indian Literatures

Educator Information
This book would be useful for courses in women's studies, social studies, and gender studies.  Recommended for students in grade 12 or at a college/university level.

Caution: discussion of physical and sexual abuse.

Additional Information
256 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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$24.95

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An Arctic Man: The classic account of sixty-five years in Canada's North
Authors:
Ernie Lyall
Format: Paperback
Ernie Lyall was born in Labrador in 1910 and joined the Hudson's Bay Company at a time when it was expanding its presence in the Eastern Arctic. He spent many years as a front-line player with the company, building stores and developing trade with the local people. He became part of the Inuit community by marrying an Inuk and together with his wife Nipisha he raised a large family, some members of which play significant roles in today's Nunavut. Ernie's fluency in both Inuktitut and English made him a key interpreter and witness to many historic events in the Baffin region for over half a century, giving him insight into both sides of the cultural divide in the North and earning him respect from many quarters. In 1949 he and his family settled in Taloyoak (then known as Spence Bay) where he eventually left the HBC to become a wildlife officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Ernie's story illustrates the realities of life for Inuit in the Canadian North during the last years in their camps on the land, a world that has now in large part been lost to history. His autobiography is unique in the perspective it offers and his original 1979 text is presented here with a foreword which provides new insights into Ernie's comments linking the old Inuit world with the new one in the modern Nunavut. Ernie's children reflect the cross-cultural bridging taught them by their parents and today contribute to the economic and community development of the North through a variety of roles, including leadership in the co-operative movement, land claim boards, business and government.

An Arctic Man not only tells about Inuit life as it was actually lived on the land but also illustrates how change, southern influences and the move into permanent communities impacted their society. This book offers a window onto the remarkable transition that occurred in the Canadian Eastern Arctic for much of the twentieth century with a frankness, insight and humour that was very much a part of Ernie Lyall's straightforward everyday style.
$19.95

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Bella Coola Man
Authors:
Harvey Thommasen
Format: Paperback

When Clayton Mack was a child, his parents wrapped him in wolf skin and dumped him in water four times so he would grow up strong and fierce in the woods like a wolf. True to this Nuxalk tradition, Mack grew up to be a world-famous grizzly bear hunter and guide.
Clayton Mack''s first book of amazing tales about bears and q''umsciwas (white men), "Grizzlies and White Guys," became an instant best seller when it was published in 1993. In "Bella Coola Man," Clayton Mack continues his hair-raising stories about pulling bears out of the bushes by their legs, eating fresh bear meat with Thor Heyerdahl, finding gold nuggets in the bush, murder in the Big Ootsa country and dead men's talking beans, plus Crooked Jaw the Indian agent and where to find good fishing.
Clayton Mack was a walking encyclopedia of tribal lore, and one of the best storytellers ever born. The stories in "Bella Coola Man" are the last he told, and reflect his desire to pass on as much information about Nuxalk life and legends as he could before his death. Hear about the man-eater dance performed at River's Inlet where the dancers ate a dead woman's head, or about the last Indian war on the coast, native remedies like devil's club tea which is "good for anything," Alexander Mackenzie''s travels through Bella Coola country along the Grease Trail, how native hunters killed mountain goats by prying them off cliffs with sticks, and about forgotten villages and places, which come alive again through Clayton Mack''s words.
Clayton Mack had a deep understanding and appreciation of life on British Columbia''s rugged coast. His stories are unique lessons in history, as well as pure entertainment. Here are the stories of the legend himself, Clayton Mack.

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$24.95

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Chilcotin Chronicles
Authors:
Sage Birchwater
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Dakelh; Nuxalk; Tsilhqot'in;
A compilation of stories that meld both culture and bloodlines, Chilcotin Chronicles by Sage Birchwater is set in the wild and untamed country of central British Columbia’s Chilcotin Plateau. West of the Fraser River, this high country is contained by an arc of impenetrable mountain ranges that separates it from the Pacific Coast. The first inhabitants of this region were fiercely independent, molded by the land itself. Those who came later were drawn to this landscape with its mysterious aura of freedom, where time stood still and where a person could find solace in the wilderness and never be found.

Birchwater reaches back to first European contact in British Columbia when the indigenous population spoke forty of Canada’s fifty-four languages and seventy of Canada’s one hundred dialects. The land known today as the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast was already an entity when Alexander Mackenzie arrived in 1793. Bonds of friendship, mutual support and family ties had long been established between the Dakelh, Tsilhqot’in and Nuxalk, giving cohesiveness to the region. Chilcotin Chronicles is about the men and women caught in the interface of cultures and the changing landscape. Indigenous inhabitants and white newcomers brought together by the fur brigades, then later by the gold rush, forged a path together, uncharted and unpredictable. Birchwater discovers that their stories, seemingly disconnected, are intrinsically linked together to create a human ecosystem with very deep roots. The lives of these early inhabitants give substance to the landscape. They give meaning to the people who live there today.
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$26.95

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Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit
Authors:
Lynn Gehl
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Anishinaabeg;
Denied her Indigenous status, Lynn Gehl has been fighting her entire life to reclaim mino-pimadiziwin--the good life. Exploring Anishinaabeg philosophy and Anishinaabeg conceptions of truth, Gehl shows how she came to locate her spirit and decolonize her identity, thereby becoming, in her words, "fully human." Gehl also provides a harsh critique of Canada and takes on important anti-colonial battles, including sex discrimination in the Indian Act and the destruction of sacred places.

Reviews
Gehl is at the cutting edge with her concepts and ideas... She is on a journey and documents it well.
Lorelei Anne Lambert, author of Research for Indigenous Survival

Clear, insightful, and desperately needed...
Lorraine F. Mayer, author of Cries from a Métis Heart

The discussion of the heart and mind knowledge, as well as the discussion on the Anishinaabeg Clan System of Governance, [are] major contributions to the research.
Marlyn Bennett, co-editor of Pushing the Margins

"Throughout Claiming Anishinaabe, the conversation remains rooted in the destructive effects of oppressive power on the human spirit, and an insistence that both knowledge and spirituality are key in reclaiming one’s sense of self."
Quill & Quire

Educator Information
This book would be useful for the following subject areas or courses: Indigenous Studies, Canadian History (Post-Confederation), Social Science, Autobiography/Biography Studies, Spirituality, and Law.

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Includes line drawings
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$24.95

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Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Crow (Apsáalooke); Native American;

Picture a Crow Indian elder, his wizened eyes catching yours in the ancient flicker of firelight. His mesmerizing stories span the ages, from Custer to World War II to the 21st Century. He is the last traditional chief of his people. He is over 90 years old. Now picture that same man lecturing at colleges nationwide, and addressing the United Nations on the subject of peace.

National Geographic presents the amazing life story of Joseph Medicine Crow, the man who begins life as Winter Man. Trained as a warrior by his grandfather, Yellowtail, he bathes in icy rivers and endures the ceremony of "counting coup"—facing fierce combat with an enemy Sioux boy.

An operation at the local hospital brings the young Crow face-to-face with his worst fears: a Sioux, a ghost, and a white man. He excels at the white man's school and is raised in the Baptist faith. He translates the stories of the elder chiefs, becoming the link to the ancient traditions of the pre-reservation generation. His own dramatic and funny stories span both ages, and the ancient Crow legends are passed on in the storytelling tradition.

Joseph Medicine Crow's doctorate degree was interrupted by the call to arms of World War II. On the battlefields of Germany he earned the ancient status of War Chief by completing the four war deeds required of the Crow warrior.

In 1948 the Crow Tribal Council appointed Joseph Medicine Crow (now called High Bird) their Tribal Historian and Anthropologist.

Counting Coup is a vibrant adventure narrative, bringing Native American history and culture alive for young readers. Joseph Medicine Crow's story illuminates the challenges faced by the Crow people as hurricanes of change raged through America. His epic story and its lessons are an essential legacy for us all.

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.55" x 8.55"

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$21.95

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Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl
Format: Paperback

Anahareo (1906-1985) was a Mohawk writer, environmentalist, and activist. She was also the wife of Grey Owl, aka Archie Belaney, the internationally celebrated writer and speaker who claimed to be of Scottish and Apache descent, but whose true ancestry as a white Englishman only became known after his death.

Devil in Deerskins is Anahareo’s autobiography up to and including her marriage to Grey Owl. In vivid prose she captures their extensive travels through the bush and their work towards environmental and wildlife protection. Here we see the daily life of an extraordinary Mohawk woman whose independence, intellect and moral conviction had direct influence on Grey Owl’s conversion from trapper to conservationist. Though first published in 1972, Devil in Deerskins’s observations on indigeneity, culture, and land speak directly to contemporary audiences.

Series Information
Devil in Deerskins is the first book in the First Voices, First Texts series. This new edition includes forewords by Anahareo’s daughters, Katherine Swartile and Anne Gaskell, an afterword by Sophie McCall, and reintroduces readers to a very important but largely forgotten text by one of Canada’s most talented Aboriginal writers.

Additional Information
240 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$27.95

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From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Dene; First Nations; Indigenous Canadian;

In this poetic, poignant memoir, Dene artist and social activist Antoine Mountain paints an unforgettable picture of his journey from residential school to art school—and his path to healing.

In 1949, Antoine Mountain was born on the land near Radelie Koe, Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. At the tender age of seven, he was stolen away from his home and sent to a residential school—run by the Roman Catholic Church in collusion with the Government of Canada—three hundred kilometres away. Over the next twelve years, the three residential schools Mountain was forced to attend systematically worked to erase his language and culture, the very roots of his identity.

While reconnecting to that which had been taken from him, he had a disturbing and painful revelation of the bitter depths of colonialism and its legacy of cultural genocide. Canada has its own holocaust, Mountain argues.

As a celebrated artist and social activist today, Mountain shares this moving, personal story of healing and the reclamation of his Dene identity.

Additional Information
272 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$30.00

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Half Breed
Authors:
Maria Campbell
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Métis;
Maria Cambpell's biography is a classic, vital account of a young Metis woman's struggle to come to terms with the joys, sorrows, loves and tragedies of her northern Saskatchewan childhood.

Maria was a strong and sensitive child who lived in a community robbed of its pride and dignity by the dominant culture. At 15 she tried in vain to escape by marrying a white man, only to find herself trapped in the slums of Vancouver; addicted to drugs, tempted by suicide, close to death. But the inspiration of her Cree great-grandmother, Cheechum, gives her confidence in herself and in her people, confidence she needs to survive and to thrive.

Half-Breed offers an unparalleled understanding of the Metis people and of the racism and hatred they face. Maria Campbell's story cannot be denied and it cannot be forgotten: it stands as a challenge to all Canadians who believe in human rights and human dignity
$14.95

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I Wanted to be Elvis, So What was I Doing in Moose Jaw
Authors:
Ray St. Germain
Format: Paperback
From sharing a stage with Johnny Cash and hosting his own national TV series to helping launch Winnipeg's original rock 'n roll scene, musician Ray St. Germain has enjoyed a career busy enough to keep several people on the go. His reflections are by turns rollicking and touching, with smiles to ease hard-won wisdom.
$21.95

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Isuma: The Art and Imagination of Ruben Komangapik
Format: Paperback
Ruben Anton Komangapik is one of the Arctic's most gifted sculptors.

His work has been exhibited across Canada with pieces on permanent loan to the Museum of Nature and Culture in Montreal. In Isuma, Ruben's vibrant, provocative sculpture, and his artistic process, are brought to life by photographer Estelle Marcoux Komangapik's arresting images.

Part autobiography, part art object, this book will introduce Canadians to one of the Arctic's most talented young artists.
$29.95

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My Name is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;
Germaine Arnaktauyok is one of the Canadian North's most prolific and recognizable artists. In this book, she tells the story of her life in her own words: her "very traditional Inuk life" growing up in Nunavut at a camp near Igloolik, and her experiences later in a residential school in Chesterfield Inlet; her education as an artist in Winnipeg and Ottawa; and her return to the North, where she continues to create drawings, etchings, and illustrations that have been featured in museums and galleries worldwide. She also provides commentary on several of her works, offering a seldom—seen perspective on her inspiration and process. Featuring over one hundred full—colour reproductions of Germaine Arnaktauyok's fascinating pieces from throughout her career, this beautiful book provides an in—depth look at one of the world's most important artists.
$24.95

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Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Ojibway;

Francis Pegahmagabow (1889–1952), a member of the Ojibwe nation, was born in Shawanaga, Ontario. Enlisting at the onset of the First World War, he became the most decorated Canadian Indigenous soldier for bravery and the most accomplished sniper in North American military history. After the war, Pegahmagabow settled in Wasauksing, Ontario. He served his community as both chief and councillor and belonged to the Brotherhood of Canadian Indians, an early national Indigenous political organization. Francis proudly served a term as Supreme Chief of the National Indian Government, retiring from office in 1950.

Francis Pegahmagabow’s stories describe many parts of his life and are characterized by classic Ojibwe narrative. They reveal aspects of Francis’s Anishinaabe life and worldview. Interceding chapters by Brian McInnes provide valuable cultural, spiritual, linguistic, and historic insights that give a greater context and application for Francis’s words and world. Presented in their original Ojibwe as well as in English translation, the stories also reveal a rich and evocative relationship to the lands and waters of Georgian Bay.

In Sounding Thunder, Brian McInnes provides new perspective on Pegahmagabow and his experience through a unique synthesis of Ojibwe oral history, historical record, and Pegahmagabow family stories.

Awards

  • Fred Landon Award, Ontario Historical Society (2018)
  • American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation (2017)
 
Reviews
“Debwemigad Nimkiig gaye Aadizookanag zhawenimaawaad. Brian McInnes has clearly been blessed by the Thunders and Great Storytellers. With Sounding Thunder he has achieved the perfect balance of personal memoir and scholarly inquiry. He shares with readers the stories that have connected one generation to another and in these cycles we find the truth about living. Dibaajimowinan omaada’oozhinang mii igo aanikoobijige.” – Margaret Ann Noodin, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Wisconsin
 
“This uniquely intimate portrait illuminates Francis’s commitment to live in a way that reflected the spiritual values of sharing and respect for life, despite his military record of 378 enemy kills for which he became renowned.” – Allyson Stevenson, University of Guelph, Canadian Journal of History
 
“McInnes’ Sounding Thunder brings complexity and nuance to the story (or stories) of Francis Pegahmagabow’s life. Past authors have portrayed Pegahmagabow alternatively as a warrior, a veteran, and/or a political activist. Certainly, these depictions capture snapshots of his character. But McInnes goes much further, adding breadth and depth to the sketch of the Nishnaabe man from Georgian Bay. He has produced a high-quality piece of historical research that tells an important story of Indigenous peoples as human beings with challenges that exist both within and without the constraints of colonialism.” – Eric Story, Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies 

Sounding Thunder is invaluable for those working in biographical, historical, Indigenous, military and political studies and the general reader. McInnes skillfully contextualizes his subject as one of Canada’s greatest war heroes as well as a member of his family, community, and Anishinaabe people.” – Brock Pitawanakwat, Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Sudbury

“Brian McInnes’ book is both elegant and masterful in its weaving of language, spirituality, storytelling, family, community, and physical place on the lands and waters of Georgian Bay as he presents the world and life of his great-grandfather, Francis Pegahmagabow. McInnes’ presentation of family stories in both Ojibwe and English, and his placement of them within their historical and geographical context, underlines Waubgeshig Rice’s claim in his foreword to Sounding Thunder that the book will remain ‘a vital resource for generations to come.’” – Jurors, Fred Landon Award, Ontario Historical Society

 
Educator Information
This book would be useful for social studies and history courses for students in grades 11 and 12 or at a college/university level.
 
Additional Information
240 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 31 b&w illustrations | 5 b&w tables | bibliography 
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$24.95

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Stolen Life: The Journey of a Cree Woman
Authors:
Rudy Wiebe
Format: Paperback
The powerful, major book, acclaimed across Canada, from the great-great-granddaughter of Chief Big Bear and Rudy Wiebe, twice winner of the Governor General''s Award for Fiction. A story of justice and social injustices, of murder and morality, and of finding spiritual strength in events that might break us, told with redeeming compassion and poetic eloquence. Stolen Life is a raw, honest, and beautifully written account of the troubled society we live in, and a deeply moving affirmation of spiritual healing.
$23.00

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