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Poetry

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A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System
Authors:
John S. Milloy
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

“I am going to tell you how we are treated. I am always hungry.” — Edward B., a student at Onion Lake School (1923)

“[I]f I were appointed by the Dominion Government for the express purpose of spreading tuberculosis, there is nothing finer in existence than the average Indian residential school.” — N. Walker, Indian Affairs Superintendent (1948)

For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Begun in the 1870s, it was intended, in the words of government officials, to bring these children into the “circle of civilization,” the results, however, were far different. More often, the schools provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of neglect, disease, and often abuse.

Using previously unreleased government documents, historian John S. Milloy provides a full picture of the history and reality of the residential school system. He begins by tracing the ideological roots of the system, and follows the paper trail of internal memoranda, reports from field inspectors, and letters of complaint. In the early decades, the system grew without planning or restraint. Despite numerous critical commissions and reports, it persisted into the 1970s, when it transformed itself into a social welfare system without improving conditions for its thousands of wards. A National Crime shows that the residential system was chronically underfunded and often mismanaged, and documents in detail and how this affected the health, education, and well-being of entire generations of Aboriginal children.

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$26.95

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Burning in this Midnight Dream
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

Burning in the Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded.

In heart-wrenching detail, Halfe recalls the damage done to her parents, her family, herself. With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures.

Halfe's poetic voice soars in this incredibly moving collection as she digs deep to discover the root of her pain. Her images, created from the natural world, reveal the spiritual strength of her culture.

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$16.95

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Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poetry
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

This critical edition delivers a unique and comprehensive collection of the works of Ktunaxa-Secwepemc writer and educator Vera Manuel, daughter of prominent Indigenous leaders Marceline Paul and George Manuel. A vibrant force in the burgeoning Indigenous theatre scene, Vera was at the forefront of residential school writing and did groundbreaking work as a dramatherapist and healer. Long before mainstream Canada understood and discussed the impact and devastating legacy of Canada’s Indian residential schools, Vera Manuel wrote about it as part of her personal and community healing. She became a grassroots leader addressing the need to bring to light the stories of survivors, their journeys of healing, and the therapeutic value of writing and performing arts.

A collaboration by four Indigenous writers and scholars steeped in values of Indigenous ethics and editing practices, the volume features Manuel’s most famous play, "Strength of Indian Women"—first performed in 1992 and still one of the most important literary works to deal with the trauma of residential schools—along with an assemblage of plays, written between the late 1980s until Manuel’s untimely passing in 2010, that were performed but never before published. The volume also includes three previously unpublished short stories written in 1988, poetry written over three decades in a variety of venues, and a 1987 college essay that draws on family and community interviews on the effects of residential schools.

Reviews
“An invaluable contribution to our literature about residential school experiences and the effects of transgenerational trauma. With so many current projects focused on “reconciliation,” this republication of Vera Manuel’s works recalls the often forgotten side of the equation: the truth, unvarnished by politics or bureaucracy.”– Jesse Archibald-Barber, Associate Professor of Indigenous Literatures and Performance, First Nations University of Canada

“Layered with intergenerational wisdom, replete with lived experience, this collection deftly presents both the devastating legacy of residential schools and the complex systems of care that sustain Indigenous women and fuel Indigenous resurgence.”– Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the First Voices, First Texts series.

Topics: Indigenous Studies, Literature, Performing Arts, Poetry.

Additional Information
416 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 13 b&w photographs | bibliography

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$24.95

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Inconvenient Skin / nayêhtâwan wasakay
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Inconvenient Skin challenges how reconciliation has become a contested buzzword filled with promises and good intentions but rarely any meaningful follow-through. While Canada's history is filled with darkness, these poems aim to unpack that history to clean the wounds so the nation can finally heal. Powerful and thought-provoking, this collection will draw you in and make you reconsider Canada's colonial legacy. The cover features the art of Kent Monkman, and the interior features work by Joseph Sanchez, a member of the Indian Group of Seven.

Written in English and Cree.

Educator Information
This book features Shane Koyczan's poem, "Inconvenient Skin," delivered in a dual-language format of English and Cree and paired with illustrations, artwork, and photography.

Additional Information
80 pages | 8.50" x 8.50" | Colour Illustrations

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$29.95

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Stars
Artists:
Michael Joyal
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In this second installation of the Overhead Series, Lucy Haché once again transports the reader with intimate revelations on identity by exploring both her personal and ancestral relationship to the sky and stars. Hache's prose is extraordinary in its combination of self-awareness yet unselfconscious honesty and skillful restraint, creating a sense of connection under the vastness of the stars above. Masterfully illustrated by artist Michael Joyal, his evocative astronomic drawings contribute to the overall sensory and transcendent experience.

Reviews
"[Hache] uses the stars to remember not only the tribulations of the past - Residential Schools and the loss of her traditional village - but also to remember the happiness of her grandmothers and to remember her language. Her poetic prose if full of imagery so rich that the reader can feel swept away with the power of the language." - Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2018-2019

"Indigenous People have always had a strong relationship with the sky. Here, Joyal's stark, beautiful illustrations combine perfectly with Haché's voice as she sings a story of loss, and ultimately, reclamation." --David A. Robertson, author of When We Were Alone (winner 2017 Governor General's Literary Award) and Strangers

Educator & Series Information
Recommended resource for Grades 8-12 for these subject areas: English Language Arts. 

A Kwak'wala language glossary is found at the back of the book.

This book is part of the Overhead Series.

Additional Information
80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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Stoney Creek Woman
Authors:
Bridget Moran
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene; Dakelh (Carrier);
Grade Levels: 10; 11;

The captivating story of Mary John (who passed away in 2004), a pioneering Carrier Native whose life on the Stoney Creek reserve in central BC is a capsule history of First Nations life from a unique woman's perspective.

A mother of twelve, Mary endured much tragedy and heartbreak the pangs of racism, poverty, and the deaths of six children but lived her life with extraordinary grace and courage. Years after her death, she continues to be a positive role model for Aboriginals across Canada. In 1997 she received the Order of Canada. This edition of Stoney Creek Woman, one of Arsenal's all-time bestsellers, includes a new preface by author Bridget Moran, and new photographs.

Shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Now in its 14th printing.

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$19.95

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That Tongued Belonging
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12;

That tongued belonging, the newest book from award-winning Metis poet Marilyn Dumont, is a collection of poems which search for acceptance in language, culture, love and geographical landscapes. These poems celebrate the humour and tenacity of Aboriginal women, lament the death of a mother, deride the political correctness of those ignorant of Aboriginal issues, and chide the writer against the seduction of pop stardom, while challenging accepted ideas of love, age and femininity.

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$15.00

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Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths delves into the life and the healing of an lnnininew woman from the ancestral lands of the Moshkekowok, now called Northern Ontario. It is through the process of writing broken poetry--visual poetry rooted in the haunting memories of her childhood--that she provides the reader a glimpse into the mind of child survivor who was saved by her ancestors. This thought provoking poetry sheds light on a personal account of how she comes to terms with intergenerational trauma inflicted by the residential school system.

To unearth our secrets means we must face our past, and in doing so, we will find our voice. Unearthing Secrets: Gathering Truths explores the heartfelt and evocative fragmented experiences through the eyes of an Indigenous woman. Through the honesty of her words, she embraces the spirit world, the resilience of her foremothers, the integral healing powers of disassociation as a survival mechanism, and the richness of her mitewin - dreams, which reconnects her to herself. Through her poetry, she has found the courage to face her difficult past, and now as a mother, she is gathering the truths of her family to help in the healing process.

Additional Information
97 pages | 6.50" x 10.00" | 8 illustrations

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$18.00

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