Grade 4

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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
Click the following link to download a copy of the resource for this grade:
(FNMI) Student Success - Grade 4


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 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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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
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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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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Come and Learn With Me: Ewo, seh Kedjdjh
Artists:
Tessa Macintosh
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Dene;

Nine-year-old Sheyenne lives in Sambaa K'e, Northwest Territories-that's Trout Lake in English. Come learn with her as she takes you on a journey to her community in the fall, the season of moose.

This is the fourth book in the popular series "The Land Is Our Storybook" and features the Dehcho region of the Dene. "The Land Is Our Storybook" is a series of books about the lands and cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories. In the books, storytellers, elders, and cultural leaders from the ten regions in the Territories share real stories of everyday life in the North today.

Reviews
"The non-fiction book is colorful with rich, brilliant photographs and maps. Well-organized . . . Intriguing facts are contained within this book, making it a valuable resource for in classrooms, libraries, and homes. Come and Learn With Me can be used with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal readers to learn about Trout Lake's daily life during the fall moose season. This book will help preserve and keep the Dene Yatie (used to be known as South Slavey) group's language and culture alive. It is an innovative teaching tool and a 'must have' to read." — CM magazine

"Readers would be hard pressed to find a book of better quality whether it be for information, text, illustrations, layout, photography, or overall presentation. The text is well written and informative. The text is enhanced by maps, glossary, sidebars, graphics and stunning photography." — Resource Links

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the "The Land Is Our Storybook" series, which considers the diverse lands and cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories. Told in a uniquely diverse range of northern voices, with a child-centred approach, books in the series highlight each official Aboriginal language group in the NWT, revealing a richly textured picture of life in the North -- on the trapline, around the campfire, in communities, at school, and within the outdoor school that is the land itself. The series celebrates the seasons, ages, genders, traditional activities, and communities of the NWT.

The stories are illustrated by the striking images of acclaimed northern photographer, Tessa Macintosh and depict the similarities in lifestyle between children of the North and South, as well as the marked cultural differences, and highlight the special relationship these First Nations people have with the land and how they are adapting to rapid change while remaining connected to the land. Images of the landscape and animals within it, of trapping, hunting, fishing, and bannock baking sit alongside pictures of children at school, swimming at recreation centres, and reading in libraries. Here is modern northern culture painted beautifully: a complex mix of the new and the old.

These wonderful books, written with a variety of provincial and territorial curricula in mind, are specially designed for the classroom and include special features such as glossaries relating details on animals biology and cultural definitions, regional and language maps. The text of the stories also have sidebars such as Our Stories, which contain the stories of the people and language group featured, and Our Words, which highlight words in the featured language that are important to the story.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00" | colour photographs and illustrations, map

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Crow And Weasel
Authors:
Barry Lopez
Artists:
Tom Pohrt
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Native American;

Long ago, when people and animals spoke the same language, two young men left their tribe to make an adventurous voyage through the wilderness, into the unknown northland. Set in the mythic past and inspired by the traditions of the North American Plains people, this fable of self-discovery follows Crow and Weasel as they face unfamiliar perils on a quest for knowledge and wisdom. Conquering their innermost fears, the two heroes come of age and learn more than they ever could have imagined--about humanity's relationship to the land, the importance of respecting other peoples and giving thanks, and even the very nature of friendship itself.

Reviews
"A brilliantly written and totally original New World adventure." - Jean Craighead George

“Mr. Lopez's story is a wonderful one, that is, full of wonders. It is a journey through a vast landscape, every part of which is electric with life and danger. It is also an interior, spiritual journey toward wisdom. And the illustrations are brilliant.”Paula Fox

“Crow and Weasel 
are two young men of the Northern plains who undertake a journey through unexplored wilderness to the tundra and back. Their quest is also a fable of inner discovery based on ideas and traditions of early American Indians. An engrossing story, which is imaginatively illustrated.”The New Yorker

Additional Information
80 pages | 7.00" x 8.85"

$17.50

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Frog Girl
Authors:
Paul Owen Lewis
Artists:
Paul Owen Lewis
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Haida; Tlingit;

When frogs suddenly vanish from a lake behind a village on the Northwest Coast, a nearby volcano awakens and a native girl is called to a dangerous adventure. Following the rich mythic traditions of Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, the stories often tell of individuals cast mysteriously into parallel worlds inhabited by animals in human form.

Summoned to a spectacular world beneath the lake, the girl is questioned by "Grandmother" about the disappearance of her "children." Just who is this mysterious old woman? And what will happen if her children are not returned? What follows both answers and deepens the mystery. 

Careful attention is paid to historical detail both in the story and in the vibrant illustrations. Frog Girl follows the rich mythic traditions of the Haida, Tlingit and other Native peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, whose stories often tell of individuals cast mysteriously into parallel worlds inhabited by animals in human form. 

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.75" x 10.62"

$11.95

Quantity:
Goodbye Buffalo Bay
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

Drama and humour combine in Goodbye Buffalo Bay by award-winning Cree author Larry Loyie. The sequel to the award-winning book As Long as the Rivers Flow. Goodbye Buffalo Bay is set during the author's teenaged years. In his last year in residential school, Lawrence learns the power of friendship and finds the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He returns home to find the traditional First Nations life he loved is over. He feels like a stranger to his family until his grandfather's gentle guidance helps him find his way. New adventures arise; Lawrence fights a terrifying forest fire, makes his first non-Native friends, stands up for himself in the harsh conditions of a sawmill, meets his first sweetheart and fulfills his dream of living in the mountains. Wearing new ice skates bought with his hard-won wages, Lawrence discovers a sense of freedom and self-esteem. Goodbye Buffalo Bay explores the themes of self-discovery, the importance of friendship, the difference between anger and assertiveness and the realization of youthful dreams.

Additional Information
160 pages | 4.90" x 7.36"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Goose Girl
Artists:
Rhian Brynjolson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Métis;

Many years ago, by a lake in Northern Canada, a young girl named Marie found a wordless understanding with a special goose that would change her life. Goose Girl is a gentle and moving story of love, faith and letting go.

Reviews
"The almost poetic text is written with a style consistent with an oral narrative. Together with Rhian Brynjolson's beautiful illustrations, the text enables one to liberate the imagination, freeing it to roam and explore the possibilities suggested by Goose Girl.

In Goose Girl, a young Métis girl, Marie, loves to walk to the lake every evening to watch the Canada Geese. Marie develops a special bond with the geese. "They were her family. They were her friends. They were her babies," the McLellans write. Marie is taught that the geese carry the spirits of the departed to the land of promise. Recognising the special bond that Marie has with the geese, the Elders give Marie a new name, Niskaw. The new name enables Marie to share the teachings and the healings of the geese with Marie's people.

Readers will be interested to see that Cree words and phrases occasionally are incorporated into the narrative, but these words are then repeated in English. For those unfamiliar with the language, the narrative flow need not be interrupted to try to pronounce the Cree words, but the presence of those words adds to the interest and educational value of the story."  -CM Magazine

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 7-9.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$10.95

Quantity:
Granny's Giant Bannock
Artists:
Kimberly McKay
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

A little miscommunication between English-speaking Larf and his Cree-speaking grandmother leads to hilarious results when a giant, sprawling bannock threatens to take over the town. Beyond its antic humour, this is a tender story about the need to listen and understand.

Additional Information
40 pages | 9.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$10.95

In Re-Print
Gray Wolf's Search
Authors:
Bruce Swanson
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Alaska Native; Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

Young Gray Wolf lives on the Pacific Northwest coast with the other members of the Wolf Clan. His uncle, the clan shaman, tells Gray Wolf that his future success depends on completing an important task--he must find a very important person and get to know him well. Gray Wolf enlists the help of his brothers and sisters in the woods and waters--Eagle, Bear, Whale, Beaver, Owl and Wolf. When he returns to his clan, older and wiser, he takes the talking stick from his uncle and shares his new wisdom.

Additional Information
24 pages | 12.31" x 9.30"

Please Note: This book is listed as containing Authentic Indigenous Artwork, as the artist, Gary Peterson, was adopted into the Kaach.adi Clan and named Walking Raven.  It is up to readers to determine whether this book contains authentic artwork for their purposes.

Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$18.95

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