Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools 8 - 12 2013-2014

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7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback
  • The 7 Generations series is available in one book, and the illustrations are in vivid colour. 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga includes the four graphic novels: Stone, Scars, Ends/Begins, and The Pact.

    Edwin is facing an uncertain future. Only by learning about his family's past—as warriors, survivors of a smallpox epidemic, casualties of a residential school—will he be able to face the present and embrace the future.

$34.00

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Bruno and the Beach: The Beachcombers at 40
Format: Paperback
  • Bruno and the Beach is a lively, highly illustrated book celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Canada's longest running dramatic TV production, The Beachcombers, which aired on CBC TV from 1972 to 1990.

    The remarkable saga of The Beachcombers--or "Beach," as it was called by both industry insiders and locals of the seaside town of Gibsons, BC, where the series was located--would never have unfolded without the show's larger-than-life star, Bruno Gerussi (Nick Adonidas). His passionate battles to keep the show on air for nearly twenty years were as dramatic as anything that occurred on camera.

    Groundbreaking for its First Nations content and notable for an outstanding supporting cast that includes Robert Clothier (Relic), Pat John (Jesse) and Rae Brown (Molly), The Beachcombers is a Canadian treasure that became famous around the world. Generously illustrated with photos and memorabilia, Bruno and the Beach includes insiders' anecdotes, Beachcombers trivia, production crew pranks and personal stories of the folks who appeared on both sides of the camera.

    Written by co-creator Marc Strange and series actor Jackson Davies (Constable John Constable), this book offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of those who gathered at Molly's Reach and shaped a national pastime.

$26.95

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Carrying on "Irregardless"
Format: Paperback
  • Carrying on "Irregardless" is a handsomely illustrated paperback based on the first exhibition to focus on humour in Northwest Coast First Nations art. The show, mounted by the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver is titled after one of Bill Reid's favourite deliberate grammatical blunders that were part of the sense of humour that, as Martine J. Reid says in her introduction, "was perhaps a part of his survival kit, as it often seems to be for First Nations people."

    Within this book are the photographed artworks of twenty-eight prominent Northwest Coast artists, including such varied approaches to humour as a rare prehistoric Coast Salish bowl featuring a smiling face carved from stone, a 1990s etching depicting Raven and the First Men Overlooking Wreck Beach (to catch a glimpse at all the nudists, of course!) and a pair of red and yellow cedar bark high heels titled Too Haida. Collected here are artworks that act as political weapons, bold challenges to stereotypes, and nods to the Trickster. They satirize, ridicule and play. And, above all, they make us laugh, and think, and laugh again.

    Accompanying the work are descriptions, quips and jokes from the artists themselves. And preceding it stands three impassioned contextualizing essays that range from the poetic to the academic to the anecdotal, by Tahltan artist, stand-up comedian and co-curator, Peter Morin; Director of Content and Research for the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and co-curator, Martine J. Reid; and CEO of the Bill Reid Trust and Director for the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, Mike Robinson.

$24.95

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Centering Anishinaabeg Studies
Author: Jill Doerflier
Format: Paperback
  • For the Anishinaabeg people, who span a vast geographic region from the Great Lakes to the Plains and beyond, stories are vessels of knowledge. They are bagijiganan, offerings of the possibilities within Anishinaabeg life. Existing along a broad narrative spectrum, from aadizookaanag (traditional or sacred narratives) to dibaajimowinan (histories and news)—as well as everything in between—storytelling is one of the central practices and methods of individual and community existence. Stories create and understand, survive and endure, revitalize and persist. They honor the past, recognize the present, and provide visions of the future. In remembering, (re)making, and (re)writing stories, Anishinaabeg storytellers have forged a well-traveled path of agency, resistance, and resurgence. Respecting this tradition, this groundbreaking anthology features twenty-four contributors who utilize creative and critical approaches to propose that this people’s stories carry dynamic answers to questions posed within Anishinaabeg communities, nations, and the world at large. Examining a range of stories and storytellers across time and space, each contributor explores how narratives form a cultural, political, and historical foundation for Anishinaabeg Studies. Written by Anishinaabeg and non-Anishinaabeg scholars, storytellers, and activists, these essays draw upon the power of cultural expression to illustrate active and ongoing senses of Anishinaabeg life. They are new and dynamic bagijiganan, revealing a viable and sustainable center for Anishinaabeg Studies, what it has been, what it is, what it can be.

$29.95

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Disinherited Generations
Author: Linda Goyette
Format: Paperback
  • This oral autobiography of two remarkable Cree women tells their life stories against a backdrop of government discrimination, First Nations activism, and the resurgence of First Nations communities. Nellie Carlson and Kathleen Steinhauer, who helped to organize the Indian Rights for Indian Women movement in western Canada in the 1960s, fought the Canadian government’s interpretation of treaty and Aboriginal rights, the Indian Act, and the male power structure in their own communities in pursuit of equal rights for Aboriginal women and children. After decades of activism and court battles, First Nations women succeeded in changing these oppressive regulations, thus benefitting thousands of their descendants. Those interested in human rights, activism, history, and Native Studies will find that these personal stories, enriched by detailed notes and photographs, form a passionate record of an important, continuing struggle.

$24.95

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Father August Brabant
Author: Jim McDowell
Format: Paperback
  • Father August Brabant (1845–1912) was the first Roman Catholic missionary to live and work among aboriginal people on the west coast of Vancouver Island during the colonial period. He endured long periods of isolation, built a number of log churches and undertook extraordinarily difficult trips along the west coast in dugout canoes. His thirty-three-year-long effort to transform Nuu-chah-nulth culture gives us a provocative case study of the dynamics that shaped, and continue to define, the settler-colonial relationship between indigenous peoples and the state in Canada. Convinced he had a mission to save the indigenous people from being themselves, the zealous priest strove to instill alien spiritual beliefs. He served as a willing instrument for imposing colonial power by introducing new forms of justice, commerce, dress, housing, personal identity, and—most devastating of all—schooling. As the father of British Columbia's first residential school, Brabant precipitated the single institution that proved most destructive to the people he set out to rescue. Brabant's biography will be of interest to historians, anthropologists, political scientists, individuals engaged in First Nations Studies, and general readers.

$24.95

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Gardens Aflame
Author: Maleea Acker
Format: Paperback
  • Accustomed to the dark, dripping stands of Douglas–fir, spruce and hemlock that blanketed the Hudson's Bay Company outposts on the remote western coast of the "new World", the first Europeans were surely startled to see the wide–open landscapes of the Garry oak meadows they encountered on Southern Vancouver Island ––– landscapes that might have reminded any explorers who had ventured into the African savannahs of what they had seen there.

    Though slow in comprehending what they had stumbled upon, the Europeans immediately recognized the deep, rich deposits of black soil that extended many feet below the surface, and James Douglas chose the site as the ideal location for the HBC's new fort, and settlement.

    What the newcomers failed to appreciate is that these meadows were not the work of nature alone, but of the Coast Salish peoples who had been living in these parts for millennia. With the construction of the fort of Victoria began an encroachment on these Garry oak meadows, built up over centuries if not millennia, a process that continues today.

    In Gardens Aflame, Victoria writer and environmentalist Maleea Acker tells us about this unique and vanishing ecosystem, and the people who have made it their life's work to save the Garry oak and the environment ––– including the human environment ––– it depends on.

    Acker tells us about the Garry oak species and its unique habits and requirements, including its unusual summer dormancy period, when all the surrounding plants are coursing with life. We learn something about the scientists, arborists, and Garry oak–loving volunteers who have dedicated themselves to this tree; and about Theophrastus, Humboldt, and their other forebearers who are still reshaping our notions of nature and humans' place in it.

    And in the course of Acker's story, we see her fall under the spell of the strange beauty woven by these magnificent trees, and the ecosystems they tower over ––– until, in the final act, she decides to turn her own front yard into her own version of a Garry oak meadow, defying City Hall and the neighbours, and bringing to a head in 2011 all the issues raised 150 years ago when Europeans first saw the open meadows of Southern Vancouver Island.

$19.00

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George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within
Format: Hardcover
  • George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within is a stunning retrospective of a career that has spanned nearly four decades. Featuring more than 150 of the Plains Cree artist's mixed-media works, this sumptuous collection showcases the bold swaths of colour and subtle textures of Littlechild's work. Littlechild has never shied away from political or social themes. His paintings blaze with strong emotions ranging from anger to compassion, humour to spiritualism. Fully embracing his Plains Cree heritage, he combines traditional Cree elements like horses and transformative or iconic creatures with his own family and personal symbols in a unique approach. George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within shows the evolution of an artist from his earliest works to the present day, including hints of future directions and themes. An insightful foreword by artist and curator Ryan Rice, a Mohawk from the Kahnawake First Nation in Quebec, and Littlechild's reflections on each piece build a broad understanding of Littlechild's work, his life and his views on the role of art within all cultures.

$59.95

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Hannah and the Salish Sea
Author: Carol Anne Shaw
Format: Paperback
  • In the second volume of the Hannah trilogy, summer has arrived, and fourteen-year-old Hannah Anderson is excited about spending it with Max (who has been giving her stomach butterflies lately). But things are happening in Cowichan Bay that Hannah can't explain. When a mysterious accident leads her to a nest of starving eaglets, she meets Izzy Tate, a young Metis girl staying in the village for the summer. Why is Izzy so angry all the time, and is it just a coincidence that she is the spitting image of Yisella, the Cowichan girl Hannah met the summer she was twelve? Hannah has even more questions. Why is Jack, her raven friend of First Nation legend, bringing her unusual "gifts" in the middle of the night? Is it all connected to a ring of poachers who have apparently moved into the valley? The eaglets are in danger and so are the Roosevelt elk. And what's with the Orca 1, the supposedly abandoned tuna boat anchored out in the bay? After Hannah and Max make a grisly discovery in the woods, they know they must take action. When Izzy agrees to join them on a midnight kayak trip, the three discover the unspeakable poaching secret on the Orca 1, and they are soon in a fight for their lives and the lives of the endangered animals being hunted for their parts.

$11.95

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He Moved A Mountain
Author: Joan Harper
Format: Paperback
  • Dr. Frank Arthur Calder of BC's Nisga'a First Nation was the first aboriginal person to be elected to any Canadian governing body. For twenty-six years he served as an MLA in the legislature of British Columbia. He was the driving force behind Canada's decision to grant recognition of aboriginal land title to First Nations people throughout the country. He accomplished this goal by guiding the controversial request through a series of court cases, finally to the Supreme Court of Canada, achieving success when Parliament, in an all-party resolution, passed a measure recognizing indigenous title. Because of this historic decision, Canada serves as a resource for other aboriginal populations in countries where similar accommodations for aboriginal people have not yet been made. Calder received many honours in his lifetime, including the Order of Canada. The one he most cherished, however, was one rarely bestowed by the Nisga'a Nation: "Chief of Chiefs." While growing up, Frank went to grade 10 in residential school, completed high school and then graduated from the University of BC (in the Anglican Theological College). It took him two years longer than usual to complete university, as he had to return home during the fishing season to earn the money for his tuition.

$21.95

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Healing Histories: Stories from Canada's Indian Hospitals
Format: Paperback
  • Healing Histories is the first detailed collection of Aboriginal perspectives on the history of tuberculosis in Canada’s indigenous communities and on the federal government’s Indian Health Services. Featuring oral accounts from patients, families, and workers who experienced Canada’s Indian Hospital system, it presents a fresh perspective on health care history that includes the diverse voices and insights of the many people affected by tuberculosis and its treatment in the mid-twentieth century. This intercultural history models new methodologies and ethics for researching and writing about indigenous Canada based on indigenous understandings of “story” and its critical role in Aboriginal historicity, while moving beyond routine colonial interpretations of victimization, oppression, and cultural destruction. Written for both academic and popular reading audiences, Healing Histories is essential reading for those interested in Canadian Aboriginal history, history of medicine and nursing, and oral history.

$29.95

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Home Truths: Highlights from BC History
Author: Richard Mackie
Format: Paperback
  • History in BC grows profusely and luxuriantly, but with odd undergrowth," observed historian J.M.S. Careless many years ago. This claim is fully borne out by this impressive anthology of some of the province's most distinguished historians, geographers, and writers gleaned from over forty years of British Columbia's leading scholarly journal, BC Studies.

    This collection includes fascinating articles on the Fraser Canyon by Cole Harris; on Fort Simpson, Metlakatla, and Port Essington by Daniel Clayton; on Victoria's early Chinese community by Patrick Dunae and others; on the eviction of Kitsilano and Squamish people from Vancouver and Stanley Park by Jean Barman; on early home design styles in Vancouver by Deryck Holdsworth; on the failed utopias of Wallachin and Sointula by Nelson Riis and Mikko Saikku; on life in a 1970s logging camp by Peter Harrison; on fly-fishing and dispossession at Penask Lake by Michael Thoms; and on the perennial lonesome prospector by Megan Davies.

    The overarching theme is provided by George Bowering in his classic essay, "Home Away," concerning the search for a home on the West Coast--a new one for settlers and an old one for indigenous peoples.

$26.95

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In the Dog House
Format: Paperback
  • In her first idiom-shattering book of poetry, Wanda John-Kehewin combines Aboriginal oral tradition with dramatic narrative to address the effects of colonization, alcohol addiction, familial abandonment, religious authority, sexual abuse, and the pain of mourning. She admonishes humanity for its lack of conscience in poems that journey from turmoil of the Gaza Strip to rapidly dissolving ice floes.

$16.95

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Kiyam: Poems
Format: Paperback
  • Through poems that move between the two languages, McIlwraith explores the beauty of the intersection between nêhiyawêwin, the PlainsCree language, and English, âkayâsîmowin. Written to honour her father's facility in nêhiyawêwin and her mother's beauty and generosity as an inheritor of Cree, Ojibwe, Scottish, and English, kiyâm articulates a powerful yearning for family,history, peace, and love.

$16.95

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Kou-Skelowh - We Are The People: A Trilogy of Okanagan Legends
Traditional Territory: Okanagan
Format: Paperback
  • How Turtle Set the Animals Free is a surprising tortoise-and-hare legend with far-flung consequences. How Food Was Given describes the care and sacrifice of the four Chiefs of plant and animal life devoted to the new people who will soon come to Earth.

    Barb Marchand's vital, expressive watercolours bring the creatures alive. Her adroit portrayal of self-important Coyote in the telling but hilarious How Names Were Given adds to his personality. The touching humanity of this story is the stuff of great legends.

    And Marchand's illustrations echo the compassionate but musical voice that tells this story.—Elizabeth MacCallum, Children's Book Reviewer, The Globe and Mail

    Awards

    B.C. Millennium Book Awards
    2000 Winner of the B.C. Millennium Book Awards

$18.95

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