Alberta Literature to Support FNMI Student Success

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Literature to Support First Nations, Metis and Inuit(FNMI) Student Success was developed by the Southern Alberta Professional Development Consortium.
Date Published: June 2010
For each of the grades listed, located on the left side panel, you will find a downloadable copy of the full resource for each grade and the recommended use for each title. Just click on a grade level and the resource link will appear in this same area.


A Name for a Metis
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

What's in a name? A little boy might be known as Great Big Nose because he's so nosy, or Big Ears because he listens so carefully. Yet there's one name that might suit him even better!

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$10.95

In Re-Print
A Native American Thought of It
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Inventiveness and ingenuity from North America's First Nations.

Everyone knows that moccasins, canoes and toboggans were invented by the Aboriginal people of North America, but did you know that they also developed their own sign language, as well as syringe needles and a secret ingredient in soda pop?

Depending on where they lived, Aboriginal communities relied on their ingenuity to harness the resources available to them. Some groups, such as the Iroquois, were particularly skilled at growing and harvesting food. From them, we get corn and wild rice, as well as maple syrup.

Other groups, including the Sioux and Comanche of the plains, were exceptional hunters. Camouflage, fish hooks and decoys were all developed to make the task of catching animals easier. And even games-lacrosse, hockey and volleyball -- have Native American roots.

Other clever inventions and innovations include:

* Diapers
* Asphalt
* Megaphones
* Hair conditioner
* Surgical knives
* Sunscreen.

With descriptive photos and information-packed text, this book explores eight different categories in which the creativity of First Nations peoples from across the continent led to remarkable inventions and innovations, many of which are still in use today.

Series Information
This book is a part of the We Thought of It series, a series which takes readers on a fascinating journey across the world's second largest continent to discover how aspects of its culture have spread around the globe.

Additional Information
48 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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A Northern Alphabet
Authors:
Ted Harrison
Format: Paperback

Beautifully-illustrated alphabet book depicting the people, animals, and way of people living in the North.

Authentic Canadian Content
$9.99

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A Promise Is A Promise
Artists:
Vladyana Krykorka
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

Contrary to her mothers advice, Allashua decides to challenge the Qallupilluit, an imaginary Inuit character who lives under the sea ice near her home. After a surprising turn of events, the entire family is now free to fish on the ice because legend tells that children with their parents may never be captured, and a "promise is a promise."

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$7.95

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A River Ran Wild
Authors:
Lynne Cherry
Format: Paperback

A River Ran Wild is the True Story of the History, the Polluting and the Clean-up of the Nashua River.

From the author of the beloved classic The Great Kapok Tree, A River Ran Wild tells a story of restoration and renewal. Learn how the modern-day descendants of the Nashua Indians and European settlers were able to combat pollution and restore the beauty of the Nashua River in Massachusetts.

$10.99

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A Salmon for Simon
Authors:
Betty Waterton
Artists:
Ann Blades
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: Gr.1-Life Science

Winner of the Governor General's award and the Canadian Library Association's Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon
Illustrator's award when it was first published in 1979.

This simple story of a boy and a fish delivers a subtle environmental message that will resonate with readers. Simon, a native boy, has been trying all summer to catch a salmon. He's about to give up when a bald eagle suddenly drops a big coho into a clam hole right before his eyes. But when Simon discovers that the salmon is alive, he no longer wants to keep it. It's too strong and beautiful. He'd rather set it free, which means he has to figure out how to get the heavy fish back to the ocean.

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.63" x 8.75"

Authentic Canadian Content
$6.95

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A Sled Dog for Moshi
Authors:
Jeanne Bushey
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

The young Inuit child Moshi longs for a pet dog like the one owned by her friend Jessica. Moshi''s father explains that the puppies that Nuna, their missing sled dog, is expecting are work dogs not playthings. While out walking, Moshi and Jessica are surprised by a sudden whiteout. Nuna finds the children and leads them to shelter in a small shed, where the dog is keeping her puppies. While the girls huddle with the pups, Nuna runs off, soon returning with rescuers. Praised by her father for thinking "like an Inuk" to survive the snow, Moshi happily chooses a pup--deciding she would rather have a sled dog than a pet.

Additional Information
32 pages | 10.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$9.95

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Alego
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

Alego is a beautifully simple story, written in Inuktitut and English, about a young Inuit girl who goes to the shore with her grandmother to collect clams for supper. Along the way she discovers tide pools brimming with life -- a bright orange starfish, a creepy-crawly thing with many legs called an ugjunnaq, a hornshaped sea snail and a sculpin.

Written and illustrated by Ningeokuluk Teevee, one of the most interesting young artists in Cape Dorset, home to the great tradition of Inuit art, this is an enchanting and utterly authentic introduction to the life of an Inuit child and her world.

Educator Information
Alego includes an illustrated glossary of sea creatures as well as a map of Baffin Island. Ages 4-7.

This book is delivered in a dual-language format, written in Inuktitut and English.

Additional Information
24 pages | 7.63" x 9.63"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$17.95

In Re-Print
Annie and the Old One
Authors:
Miska Miles
Artists:
Peter Parnell
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Navajo;

Annie is a young Navajo girl who refuses to believe that her grandmother, the Old One, will die. Sadly, Annie learns that she cannot change the course of life.

Additional Information
44 pages | 8.50" x 9.25"

 

 

$9.00

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Arctic Stories
Artists:
Vladyana Krykorka
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

Acclaimed Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak weaves a tapestry of tales about ten-year-old Agatha and her accidental heroism in the high Arctic of 1958. The first of Agatha''s stories is based on one of Kusugak''s real life experiences, when an eerie, black airship flew over Chesterfield Inlet in 1958. A sleepy Agatha "saves" the community from the monstrous flying object.

In the second story, Agatha notices the playful antics of the winter ravens and takes an interest in the many migrating birds. As the seasons change, she begins to favor more beautiful and peaceful birds of spring, until the ravens return.

The third of Agatha''s stories takes place in the fall when Agatha is sent to school in Chesterfield Inlet, an English-speaking community south of her home. During an afternoon of skating, Agatha rescues a show-off priest, who has inadvertently demonstrated the danger of thin ice.

The three Agatha stories resonate with the nostalgia and affection of Kusugak''s childhood memories.

Reviews
"This collection of three tales, set in Repulse Bay, features an endearing 10-year-old heroine, named Agatha, through whose eyes the reader experiences life in the high Arctic.... The author weaves a tapestry of simply told stories, each of which, by skilful use of detail, manages to bring to life the experience of growing up in a small Inuit community.... Vladyana Krykorka's paintings give the reader a beautifully detailed rendition of the Arctic landscape in every season. Her depictions of Kusugak's human and animal characters are wonderfully satisfying, full of life and humour.... [They] complement the text brilliantly.... The beauty of Kusugak's work lies in his ability to evoke for his southern readers a vivid picture of a way of life that is fast disappearing. Arctic Tales will be a welcome addition to the resources that teachers and librarians look for as they plan their units on the Arctic and the Inuit. The book's Grade-three reading level should guarantee its popularity among young students doing projects on Inuit life. Recommended."— Valerie Nielsen, Canadian Materials, October 1999

 
"Vivid and engaging... This collection of stories captures a feeling for a transitional time in the Inuit culture and history and resonates with the storyteller's art" — Canadian Teacher, June 2013
 
Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 5-9.
 
This illustrated children's story is a grades 10/11 English First Peoples Resource for the unit First Steps - Exploring Residential Schools and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.
 
Additional Information
40 pages | 8.25" x 10.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$7.95

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As Long As the Rivers Flow (PB)
Artists:
Heather D. Holmlund
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In the 1800s, the education of First Nations children was taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures. 

As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl and watches his grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting and gathering trip.

Awards

  • In 2006, As Long As the Rivers Flow was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.
  • Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction 

Additional Information
48 pages | 7.25" x 10.25"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Baseball Bats for Christmas
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

A unique glimpse of childhood in the Arctic by an acclaimed Inuit storyteller.

The year is 1955 and Arvaarluk and his friends watch as Rocky Parsons lands his plane on the ice in Repulse Bay, a tiny community “smack dab on the Arctic Circle.” Having never seen trees before, the children try to guess what the six green spindly things are that Rocky delivers. One of the boys has a brilliant idea: why not use them as baseball bats?

Full of vibrant, richly-colored illustrations, this story introduces young readers to a time, place, and culture that may be new to them. The Arctic way of life is realistically portrayed by the author, whose narrative voice resonates with the lilt of his native language. Readers will be able to listen to Michael telling the story by connecting to a link given in the book. The illustrator spent time in the Arctic to ensure that her artwork was a faithful representation of the people and places in the story. With its winter landscapes and Christmas scenes, this would make an ideal holiday gift book.

Educator Information
Guided Reading Level: Fountas and Pinnell P

Themes: Inuit; Arctic; community; multicultural; friends; resourcefulness.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.25" x 10.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Battle Cry at Batoche
Authors:
Beverly J. Bayle
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree; Métis;

Ben and Charity Muldoon are 15-year-old twins who find themselves in the midst of politically charged events in the Saskatchewan River Valley in 1885. One day, as Ben is walking through a ravine, he encounters a Cree boy named Red Eagle, who quickly becomes his friend after a hair-raising rescue.

Ben eventually discovers that a confrontation between the North-West Mounted Police and the Natives, led by Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont, is imminent. As events unfold, Ben and Red Eagle witness the struggles of the Metis and Cree for recognition and the failed efforts to negotiate a settlement that ultimately lead to tragedy and war. Caught between his loyalty to Red Eagle and the authority of a Hudson's Bay Company uncle he has never trusted, Ben must decide where his allegiance lies. But as he soon learns, when it comes to friendship, there is no taking sides.

Additional Information
160 pages | 5.25" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
$11.95

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Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Lakota; Oglala Lakota;

Told from the Native American point of view, Black Elk’s Vision provides a unique perspective on American history. From recounting the visions Black Elk had as a young boy, to his involvement in the battles of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee, as well as his journeys to New York City and Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, this biographical account of Black Elk—an Oglala-Lakota medicine man (1863–1950)—follows him from childhood through adulthood.

S. D. Nelson tells the story of Black Elk through the medicine man’s voice, bringing to life what it was like to be Native American in the mid-to-late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The Native people found their land overrun by the Wha-shi-choos, or White Man, the buffalo slaughtered for sport and to purposely eliminate their main food source, and their people gathered onto reservations. Through it all, Black Elk clung to his childhood visions that planted the seeds to help his people—and all people—understand their place in the circle of life. The book includes archival images, a timeline, a bibliography, an index, and Nelson’s signature art.

Reviews
“A fine choice for story hours, this will also find wide curricular use.” —Booklist
 
“A modern-day story in the Sioux tradition of storytelling.” —Winston-Salem Journal
 
“Splendid acrylic artwork captures the action, humor, and spirit of the tale. A solid addition to collections of Native American tales and an enjoyable read-aloud.” —School Library Journal
 
“Nelson pulls it off with his confident style as a storyteller . . . polished illustrations . . . informative, well written.” —Kirkus Reviews

Educator Information
F&P level: U
F&P genre: B

Additional Information
48 pages | 10.50" x 10.37"

Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$26.95

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Caribou Song
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

Joe and Cody are young Cree brothers who follow the caribou all year long, tucked into their dog sled with their Mama and Papa. To entice the wandering herds, Joe plays the Kitoochigan, his accordion, and Cody dances, whirling like a young caribou. They are so busy playing and dancing, they don't hear the rumble of the caribou. Bursting from the forest, ten thousand animals fill the meadow like a lake. Joe is engulfed; he can barely see Cody a few yards away, perched like a doll on the caribou moss. Their parents seem to have disappeared.

And yet what should be a moment of terror turns into something mystical and magical, as the boys open their arms and their hearts to embrace the caribou spirit.

A tale that is perfectly simple and satisfying, yet infused with layers of wonder that will open both children's and adults' minds to the intriguing possibilities of independence, separation and the strength of the spirit, Caribou Song is the first in a three-book series about Joe and Cody.

Reviews
"Caribou Song is a story of family, tradition, spirit, and livelihood. Music weaves the elements together, making them soar just as Highway's words and Rombough's art beautifully and evocatively express a way of life that has slipped (or is slipping) away. Rombough's illustrations in Caribou Song are strongly influenced by the Woodland (or Anishinaabe) School, with its emphasis on dark outlines, vivid colours, and visionary imagery. Founding member Norval Morrisseau's iconic style lives on in Rombough's work, but where they diverge is in the almost effervescent quality of Rombough's paintings. Bubbling with circular imagery and spots of amethyst, sapphire and topaz, framed in black and laid over flat washes of colour, each scene is like a pane of stained glass; a mix of storytelling and spirituality that is simply magnificent." — 32pages.ca

"Tomson Highway's mastery creates an exciting, action-packed plot. Elements of suspense simultaneously entertain beauty, magic, and whimsy. Highway artfully crafts his scenes with the vivid river imagery capturing the full drama of the caribou's presence - the sound of their hooves beating on the earth like the pounding of drums. Caribou Song is an experience for the senses. — CM Magazine

Educator & Series Information
Written in English with Cree translations.

This is the first book in the Songs of the North Wind series.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 10.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$14.95

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