Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools K-7 2012 - 2013

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Environmentalists from our First Nations
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Like the other books in the First Nations Series for Young Readers, this books offers ten short and engaging biographies of First Nations/Native activists who advocate not only for the environment but for Native rights. Their stories are full of highs and lows, triumphs and setbacks. Environmental trailblazers, these men and women are role models for children everywhere.

The men and women profiled here are united by their work to protect the environment and to support indigenous rights. Their stories take us from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to the Black Mesa in Arizona.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo uses her passion to stop oil extraction in Alberta’s tar sands.
Winona LaDuke is a voice for reclaiming Native lands, advocating renewable energy resources, and protecting Native cultures.
Clayton Thomas-Muller is a dynamic advocate for indigenous self-determination and campaigner against tar sands extraction.
Ben Powless brings his youthful energy and skills to addressing climate change issues.
Tom Goldtooth protects sacred sites and organizes global direct-action campaigns for the environment.
Grace Thorpe is a grandmother who dedicated her retirement years to keeping Native reservations from becoming nuclear waste dumps.
Sarah James is a voice from northern Alaska defending the Porcupine caribou herd and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Enei Begaye & Evon Peter are married activists who work as a team on environmental issues and sustainable strategies for Native people.
Klee Benally uses the media to empower Native communities in their fight for environmental justice.
Teague Allston works to ensure a tribal voice is heard in Washington DC.

Reviews
"These short biographies of environmentalists are sure to engage a whole classroom of readers. From the focus on a particular environmental crisis, to a description of each person's native heritage, to the writing style and level, the stories are accessible to readers young and old."— Canadian Teacher Magazine, March 2012

Series Information
This book is part of the First Nations Series for Young Readers. Each book is a collection of ten biographies of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women and men who are leaders in their fields of work, in their art, and in their communities. For ages 9-13.

Additional Information
128 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$10.95

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Free Throw
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Dene;

Matthew Eagletail is the star player for the Warriors, his basketball team on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation near Calgary.

When his mother remarries, everything in Matthew's life is suddenly different and new: a new school, a new father, five pesky new sisters, a new dog named Precious. Worst of all, he has to quit the Warriors. When he's asked to join his new school's team, the Bandits, he claims he'll never play for the competition. His sister Jazz thinks otherwise, and sets out to prove it.

Free Throw is the story of how one young man come to terms with change and returns to the court--with a little help from his friends.

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.00" x 7.75"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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How the Cougar Came to be Called the Ghost Cat
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi’kmaw;

The story of Ajig the cougar, who is trapped between two worlds, A symbol of the assimilation of First Nations through enforced Western education systems.

The human need to belong is very powerful, so much so that we often sacrifice parts of who we are in order to be accepted. This is the tale of a young cougar, Ajig, who makes this sacrifice – and pays dearly. A curious and adventurous cougar, Ajig decides to build a new home in a strange forest. When he finds that all of the animals in the forest are afraid of him, Ajig agrees to stop behaving like a cougar so that he can make friends. But when Ajig tries to return to his birthplace, he learns that he is no longer welcome. Lost between two worlds, the young cougar becomes a “ghost cat.”

This beautifully illustrated book, written in both Mi’kmaw and English, reflects the experiences of First Nations peoples’ assimilation into the Euro-Canadian school system, but speaks to everyone who is marginalized or at risk.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 10.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

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Jak's Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

Thirteen-year-old Jak Loren is a typical boy with the usual problems a family with older sisters and younger brothers presents. Never mind the troubles at school - bullies and girls!

When Jak goes to the ravine near his home in Brantford to get away from Steven Burke, a bully who's been tormenting him, he discovers the ravine has a history that's much older than he thought. He meets Grandfather Rock, who shares with him the story of the people who have lived near the ravine for thousands of years. Soon Jak's eyes are opened to a new world of beings and respect.

He learns about First Nations people and how their teachings inhabit the spirits of all living things that surround us even today. The tales of the First Nations help Jak to understand that the gift of life is something to be cherished. And when a construction crew arrives in his neighbourhood and threatens his beloved ravine, Jak knows he has to act to save it.

Reviews
"Jak's Story explores the issues of bullying and the environment and integrates First Nations storytelling, wisdom and history. The chapters are short and captivating and Bell manages to minimize coming off as preachy. I read this book in one sitting." — Waterloo Record

"This is an excellent story to teach youth about First Nations beliefs and culture. It also reminds the reader of the importance of protecting the environment by setting limits to the amount of development of land. Aaron Bells honesty and respect for land and community shines through his writing in this first book."— Resource Links, February 2011

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15

Additional Information
96 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$10.99

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Nenapohs Legends
Format: Paperback

These seven tales are the traditional teaching stories of Nenapohs, the Saulteaux culture hero and trickster. Oral in origin, they have been passed on through generations by the traditional teachers, the Elders.

For the first time, they are published and made available in Nahkawewin or Saulteaux, the westernmost dialect of the Ojibwe language. Each story is illustrated and is presented in both Standard Roman Orthography and syllabics, with English translation. The book also includes a pronunciation guide and a Saulteaux-to-English glossary.

Series Information
Nenapohs Legends is part of the First Nations Language Readers series. With a mix of traditional and new stories, each First Nations Language Reader introduces an Indigenous language and demonstrates how each language is used today. The University of Regina Press’s long-term goal is to publish all 60+ Indigenous languages of Canada.

Additional Information
112 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Narrated by Saulteaux Elders, Transcribed and Translated by Margaret Cote

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest
Authors:
Caitlyn Vernon
Format: Paperback
You don't have to live in the Great Bear Rainforest to benefit from its existence, but after you read Nowhere Else on Earth you might want to visit this magnificent part of the planet. Environmental activist Caitlyn Vernon guides young readers through a forest of information, sharing her personal stories, her knowledge and her concern for this beautiful place.

Full of breathtaking photographs and suggestions for ways to preserve this unique ecosystem, Nowhere Else on Earth is a timely and inspiring reminder that we need to stand up for our wild places before they are gone.

Visit the website for some great downloadable resources!
http://www.greatbearrainforest.ca/
$22.95

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Outcasts of River Falls
Format: Paperback
After the death of her parents, well-bred young city girl Kathryn must travel across country to live with her Aunt Belle. Arriving at her destination in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Kathryn is horrified to learn her new home is a group of shacks called River Falls, a Métis community. Kathryn has never known about her true heritage, a mix of Native-American and Euro-Canadian. She is even more shocked to discover theirs is not even a permanent home. Barred from owning land, the Métis must find a way to live in the road allowances, or ditches—the strips of government land between public highways and the private properties of recognized citizens. Excitement comes in the form of a mysterious stranger known as the Highwayman, a shadowy Robin Hood figure who rights wrongs against his people in his own way. When he is framed for a crime he did not commit, and Aunt Belle becomes involved, Kathryn must use all her resources to prove their innocence—and challenge the deep-seated prejudices of an entire community.
Outcasts of River Falls is a next-generation sequel to the award-winning Belle of Batoche.
$9.95

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Shannen and the Dream for a School
Authors:
Janet Wilson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Attawapiskat;
In 2012-2013 Shannen and the Dream for a School was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

All children have the right to a school.

This is the true story of Shannen Koostachin and the people of Attawapiskat, a Cree community in Northern Ontario, who have been fighting for a new school since 1979, when a fuel spill contaminated their original school building.

It is 2008, and thirteen-year-old Shannen and the other students at J.R. Nakogee Elementary are tired of attending class in portables that smell and don’t keep out the freezing cold winter air. They make a YouTube video describing the poor conditions, and their plea for a decent school gains them attention and support from community leaders and children across the country. Inspired, the students decide to turn their grade-eight class trip into a visit to Ottawa, to speak to the Canadian government. Once there, Shannen speaks passionately to the politicians about the need to give Native children the opportunity to succeed. The following summer, Shannen is nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Her passion and that of the other students makes politicians stand up and take notice, and becomes a rallying point for the community and for the country.

Shannen will never see her dream fulfilled. Tragically, she was killed in a car crash in 2010. Her family, friends, and supporters are continuing to fight and to honor her memory as they work for equality for children in communities everywhere.
$14.95

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Tecumseh (Laxer)
Authors:
James Laxer
Format: Hardcover
Two hundred years after his death, the Shawnee chief Tecumseh is still considered one of the greatest leaders of North America's First Peoples. This richly illustrated biography tells the story of his remarkable life, culminating in the War of 1812.

Tecumseh, born in 1768, lived during turbulent times: the thirteen colonies revolted against British rule, becoming the United States in 1776, and settlers had begun to push westward, rapidly encroaching on the traditional lands of the First Peoples. Tecumseh realized that unless the tribes came together to form a great confederacy, they would never be able to hold onto their land. And so he began to travel great distances, encouraging many tribes to join forces with him against the Americans.

On June 18, 1812, the US declared war on Great Britain. Tecumseh sided with the British, hoping to create an independent native state north of the Ohio River. He developed a magnetic friendship with Major General Isaac Brock, commander of the British troops in Upper Canada, and together they took Fort Detroit. Tecumseh and Brock agreed that one of the goals of their alliance should be to restore lands that had been taken from native peoples. But shortly afterwards Brock was killed in the Battle of Queenston Heights. Tecumseh rallied those loyal to him and fought on relentlessly, but was killed in the Battle of Moraviantown in 1813. Tecumseh's dreams were never fulfilled, but he remains a symbol of justice for the First Peoples of North America.

Tecumseh will be published on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The book includes an epilogue, a timeline, a glossary and maps.
$19.95

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The Boy from Left Field
Authors:
Tom Henighan
Format: Paperback
Bullies, baseball, and kids who defy the odds. Hawk, a poor, half-Native boy who lives on the street, is eager to go back to school, to play baseball, and to please both his divorced parents. When Mr. Rizzuto, his baseball coach, tells him how the great Babe Ruth, playing on nearby Toronto Island in 1914, hit his first professional home run, the question arises: what happened to the baseball? Did it land in the waters of Lake Ontario and disintegrate over time? Or did someone fish it out?

This is the story of a quest for a lost baseball treasure, and of a boy finding his own family roots and a place in the big city. A lively tale, it shows how kids who seem powerless can work together to take on some of life's daunting challenges as they deal with schoolroom bullies and street gangs.
$12.99

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The Lynching of Louie Sam
Authors:
Elizabeth Stewart
Format: Paperback
Racism, murder, and injustice wreak havoc in a frontier town.

"Without a word, Father pulled me up behind him into the saddle. I kept my face buried in his back so I wouldn't have to see Louie Sam again. But I saw him in my mind, anyway. I will see him there forever."

Between 1882 and 1968 there were 4,742 lynchings in the United States. In Canada during the same period there was one--the hanging of American Indian Louie Sam.

The year is 1884, and 15-year-old George Gillies lives in the Washington Territory, near the border with British Columbia. In this newly settled land, white immigrants have an uneasy relationship with the Native Indians. When George and his siblings discover the murdered body of a local white man, suspicion immediately falls on a young Indian named Louie Sam. George and his best friend, Pete, follow a lynch mob north into Canada, where the terrified boy is seized and hung.

But even before the deed is done, George begins to have doubts. Louie Sam was a boy, only 14--could he really be a vicious murderer? Were the mob leaders motivated by justice, or were they hiding their own guilt? As George uncovers the truth--implicating Pete's father and other prominent locals--tensions in the town rise, and he must face his own part in the tragedy. But standing up for justice has devastating consequences for George and his family.

Inspired by the true story of the lynching, recently acknowledged as a historical injustice by Washington State, this powerful novel offers a stark depiction of historical racism and the harshness of settler life. The story will provoke readers to reflect on the dangers of mob mentality and the importance of speaking up for what's right.
$12.95

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The Rabbit's Race
Format: Hardcover

It is Grandparents Day at Joey's school. Joey's grandfather has been asked to be the guest speaker.

As grandpa enters the school gym stage he sits down on the chair provided to him and starts...

"When I was a boy, my grandfather always had a story for every occasion," he said. "He told me that while some stories are meant to be enjoyed, others have a lesson to help you grow. So, I'm going to do what my grandfather did with me when I was growing up. I'm going to tell a story."

Grandpa retells a story of a great rabbit race not only was it a race of speed, but it was also a race between two different races of rabbits, the bush rabbits and the jackrabbits. Much like the famous story about The Rabbit and Turtle, this story also has a surprising twist and valuable lessons.

Reviews
"The Rabbits’ Race tells a story about respectfully appreciating elders, and working together and sharing. On Grandparents Day at school, Joey’s grandfather shares the story of a race between two bush rabbits and a large jackrabbit. The race contestants fall into an old abandoned beaver lodge and cannot get out of the hole." - CM Magazine

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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Triple Threat
Format: Paperback
Matthew Eagletail can't wait until his on-line friend John Salton flies from San Francisco to Bragg Creek, Alberta for a summer visit. John is almost as big a basketball fan as Matt is, and dreams of being the first coach in the NBA to use a wheelchair.

When Matt's sister Jazz tells them about the upcoming Rocky Mountain Summer Basketball League in Calgary, they decide immediately to get a team together. Unfortunately, so does Matt's archrival, John Beal. Soon the Bobcats and the Mean Machine are fighting it out on the court, determined to win by any means necessary. It's too close to call, until Matt and John get some crucial advice from an unexpected source.

Free Throw is a basketball novel that smokes down court with hard-hitting action and suspense.
$9.95

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