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Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools 8 - 12 2013-2014

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Nobody Cries at Bingo
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

In Nobody Cries At Bingo, the narrator, Dawn, invites the reader to witness first hand Dumont family life on the Okanese First Nation. Beyond the sterotypes and clichés of Rez dogs, drinking, and bingos, the story of a girl who loved to read begins to unfold. It is her hopes, dreams, and indomitable humour that lay bear the beauty and love within her family. It is her unerring eye that reveals the great bond of family expressed in the actions and affections of her sisters, aunties, uncles, brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, and ultimately her ancestors.

It’s all here — life on the Rez in rich technicolour — as Dawn emerges from home life, through school life, and into the promise of a great future. Nobody Cries At Bingo embraces cultural differences and does it with the great traditional medicine of laughter.

Educator Information
Young adult fiction.

Recommended English First Peoples resource for grades 11-12 in the unit What Creates Family.

Additional Information
136 pages | 5.48" x 8.48"

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$15.95

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Raven Brings the Light
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

In a time when darkness covered the land, a boy named Weget is born who is destined to bring the light. With the gift of a raven's skin that allows him to fly as well as transform, Weget turns into a bird and journeys from Haida Gwaii into the sky. There he finds the Chief of the Heavens who keeps the light in a box. By transforming himself into a pine needle, clever Weget tricks the Chief and escapes with the daylight back down to Earth.

Vividly portrayed through the art of Roy Henry Vickers, Weget's story has been passed down for generations. The tale has been traced back at least 3,000 years by archeologists who have found images of Weget's journey in petroglyphs on the Nass and Skeena rivers. This version of the story originates from one told to the author by Chester Bolton, Chief of the Ravens, from the village of Kitkatla around 1975.

Reviews
"One of the great problems we face today is our sense of isolation and separateness from the rest of the world. Roy Henry Vickers' art constantly reminds us of the interconnectedness of everything in the world. With this magnificent book, he shows us our interdependence physically and spiritually. It is a message we have to hear." — David Suzuki, environmental activist, broadcaster, author

Additional Information
40 pages | 12.00" x 8.25"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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Sagkeeng Legends (Sagkeeng Aadizookaanag): Stories By John C. Courchene
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Sagkeeng;

John C. Courchene was born in Sagkeeng First Nation in 1914, where he attended the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School. Courchene’s time in the residential school was short; his brothers, "Joejay" and Louis, took John out of school so he could help them cut wood in the bush. While this helped John make a lifetime commitment to hard work, it also resulted in John being “illiterate” in the European sense of the word. In the ways of the forest and his native language, Anishanabemowin, however, John was far from illiterate. Sagkeeng Legends is a testament to John’s cultural literacy and a monument in the face of eroding Indigenous language and culture caused by centuries of colonization.

Originally recorded by John’s wife, Josephine Courchene, in the early 1980s and reprinted here in both English and Anishanabemowin by Craig Fontaine, the stories in Sagkeeng Legends represent two pebbles where a mountain of knowledge once stood. Nonetheless, this book is an important act of preserving and reintroducing Indigenous language and culture to a new generation.

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$14.95

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Settlement, Subsistence, and Change Among the Labrador Inuit
Format: Paperback

Framed by the historic 2005 signing of the Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement and the creation of Nunatsiavut, the first Inuit self-government, Settlement, Subsistence, and Change Among the Labrador Inuit is a history of land and resource use by the Labrador Inuit. It examines in detail the way of life and cultural survival of this unique indigenous population, including household structure, the social economy and organization of wild food production, forced relocations and land claims, subsistence and settlement patterns, and contemporary issues around climate change, urban planning, and self-government. Comprised of twelve essays, this volume represents the first significant publication on the Labrador Inuit in more than thirty years.

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$27.95

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Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature
Authors:
Keavy Martin
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

In an age where southern power-holders look north and see only vacant polar landscapes, isolated communities, and exploitable resources, it is important to point out that the Inuit homeland is, in fact, united by extensive philosophical, political, and literary traditions. Stories in a New Skin is a seminal text that confirms the “national” scope of Inuit literature and introduces a model for Inuit literary criticism. Author Keavy Martin analyzes writing and storytelling from a range of genres and historical periods – the classic stories and songs of the oral tradition, life writing, oral histories, and contemporary fiction, poetry, and film – and discusses the ways in which these texts constitute a national literary tradition. She highlights characteristics of Inuit intellectual discourse, demonstrates potential approaches to the material, and introduces ways of drawing methodologies from the texts themselves.

Reviews
"Martin has listened carefully to indigenous authors and critics who have for decades argued that their literature should be analyzed on its own terms, according to tribal and community perspectives and in keeping with indigenous knowledges. While Martin is not Inuit, she has gone to great lengths to visit the Far North, learn Inuktitut, and live for periods of time among the people. This lived experience, combined with her excellent literary theoretical and analytical skills, has produced this gorgeous book. In it Martin brings new perspectives to published and oral texts. As she argues, the most appropriate and sophisticated approach to Inuit stories is to recognize how both tradition and adaptation have shaped them."— Jury's Comments, 2012 Gabrielle Roy Prize 

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$27.95

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Strong Hearts, Native Lands
Authors:
Anna J. Willow
Format: Paperback

In December 2002 members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation blocked a logging road to impede the movement of timber industry trucks and equipment within their traditional territory. The Grassy Narrows blockade went on to become the longest-standing protest of its type in Canadian history. The story of the blockade is a story of convergences. It takes place where cultural, political, and environmental dimensions of Indigenous activism intersect; where history combines with current challenges and future aspirations to inspire direct action. In Strong Hearts, Native Lands, Anna J. Willow demonstrates that Indigenous people decisions to take environmentally protective action cannot be understood apart from political or cultural concerns. By recounting how and why one Anishinaabe community was able to take a stand against the industrial logging that threatens their land-based subsistence and way of life, Willow offers a more complex and more constructive understanding of human-environment relationships. Grassy Narrows activists have long been part of a network of supporters that extends across North America and beyond. This book shows how the blockade realized those connections, making this community? efforts a model and inspiration for other Indigenous groups, environmentalists, and social justice advocates.

$27.95

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Sturgeon Reach: Shifting Currents At The Heart of the Fraser
Authors:
Terry Glavin
Ben Parfitt
Format: Paperback

Sturgeon Reach is the name some have given to a stretch of the Fraser River between Hope and Pitt Meadows, where its flow slows, and it deposits the gravel it's been carrying from the province's interior. Its story is one of rocks and stones, from its geological origins, from the mythic beginnings of human settlement, and from the arrival of Simon Fraser through to the onslaught of dykes and roads and bridges and foundations that today threaten the river's essential nature.

Sturgeon Reach hosts an incredible array of life, from giant black cottonwoods to a creature that dates from the age of dinosaurs –– the remarkable white sturgeon. This stretch of river is the spawning ground for major salmon runs. And for millennia, it has also been the home of the Sto:lo Indians.

How can we now live well along a river that has a ceaseless desire to overflow its banks and set its own course? How can we allow the life that the river's character fosters to persist in the face of overwhelming development? In the 20th book in the Transmontanus series, Terry Glavin and Ben Parfitt explore Sturgeon Reach — its geography, its history, its critical role in the coastal ecosystem, and the compelling story it tells about competing human needs.

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$19.95

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Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

BASED ON A TRUE STORY!

A school assignment to interview a residential school survivor leads Daniel to Betsy, his friend's grandmother, who tells him her story. Abandoned as a young child, Betsy was soon adopted into a loving family. A few short years later, at the age of 8, everything changed. Betsy was taken away to a residential school. There she was forced to endure abuse and indignity, but Betsy recalled the words her father spoke to her at Sugar Falls — words that gave her the resilience, strength, and determination to survive.

Sugar Falls is based on the true story of Betty Ross, Elder from Cross Lake First Nation. We wish to achnowledge, with the utmost gratitude, Betty's generosity in sharing her story.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Sugar Falls goes to support the bursary program for The Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation.

Reviews
"With the 7 Generations series, David Robertson and Scott Henderson burst onto the Canadian graphic novel scene with beautiful storytelling, scenes of brutal honesty, and messages of truth. With Sugar Falls they do it again, narrating a graceful and unforgettable story of resilience and power." - Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba

"…does an excellent job of handing difficult material. It’s important for youth to understand the struggles that Aboriginal people have faced in order to survive and to read survival stories. This is based on a true story and the main character, Betsy, is definitely a role model. I would include this book in my classroom at the secondary level. Whether or not you choose to include this material depends on your own ability to navigate the policies in your district regarding difficult material in the classroom and your own comfort level…" - Starleigh Grass, Educator, South Interior, BC

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 9-12.

Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples Resource for various units.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education has approved this resource for English Language Arts.

Additional Information
40 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.00

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The Arctic Journals of John Rae
Authors:
John Rae
Ken McGoogan
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Scottish doctor and explorer John Rae is a controversial figure in the history of the Arctic. He began his career with the Hudson's Bay Company as a surgeon in Moose Factory, Ontario, where he learned to survey, live off the land, and travel great distances on snowshoes. These skills served him well when, in 1846, he was charged with completing the geography of the northern shore of North America and set out on his first expedition. Some years later, while exploring the Boothia Peninsula in 1854, Rae obtained information about the rather shocking fate of the Franklin expedition, which had been missing since 1845. Upon his return to England, however, Rae was discredited by Charles Dickens and shunned by the British establishment, never receiving proper recognition for his roles in finding the Northwest Passage and discovering the fate of Franklin and his crew.The Arctic Journals of John Rae is the definitive collection of John Rae's writings, from his only published work, Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 and 1847, to obscure notes and journals and reports of his controversial findings in 1854. An accomplished explorer who had great respect for the customs and skills of the peoples native to the Arctic, John Rae is a fascinating figure and an important part of the history of the North.

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$19.95

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The Beothuk Expedition
Authors:
Derek Yetman
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Beothuk;

Based on Cartwright’s ill-fated expedition in search of the Beothuk.

Jonah Squibb and his Royal Navy companions are tasked with making the first peaceful contact with the Beothuk in more than a century and a half. Conspiring against them are the unforgiving wilderness, unscrupulous merchants and politicians, and the Beothuk’s mistrust of the party’s motives.

Greed and compassion collide in this robust and spirited novel that recreates the epic 1768 Cartwright mission to right the wrongs of a bloody past. The novel breathes new life to events that sealed the fate of the Beothuk and etched the very soul of Newfoundland.

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$19.95

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The Debwe Series: The Gift is in the Making: Anishinaabeg Stories
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

The Gift Is in the Making retells previously published Anishinaabeg stories, bringing to life Anishinaabeg values and teachings to a new generation. Readers are immersed in a world where all genders are respected, the tiniest being has influence in the world, and unconditional love binds families and communities to each other and to their homeland. Sprinkled with gentle humour and the Anishinaabe language, this collection of stories speaks to children and adults alike, and reminds us of the timelessness of stories that touch the heart.

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$22.00

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Format: Paperback

Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only-not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family-from substance abuse to suicide attempts-and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. 'Number One' comes at a time of recognition-by governments and society at large-that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Third Place Winner

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit Place-Conscious Learning - Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.67" x 8.20"

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$19.95

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Tse-loh-ne (The People at the End of the Rocks): Journey Down the Davie Trail
Authors:
Keith Billington
Format: Paperback

The Tse-loh-ne from the Sekani First Nation were known as "The People at the End of the Rocks." This small band of people lived and thrived in one of BC's most challenging and remote areas, 1600 kilometres north of Prince George in the Rocky Mountain Trench. They were isolated and nomadic, and survived by following the seasons, walking hundreds of kilometres each year, hunting and harvesting food as they travelled.

In 1988, Keith Billington, a former outpost nurse in the Northwest Territories, worked as the band manager for the isolated Sekani Indian Band at Fort Ware. In addition to his role as an administrator, he performed dental work, sutured victims of violence, delivered babies that wouldn't wait and prepared deceased persons for burial. Several years into his new job, Billington was invited on a traditional Sekani trek. The travellers would follow the Aatse Davie Trail using pack dogs, traversing 460 kilometres in some of BC's roughest terrain. Like the Tse-loh-ne before them, they carried little food, relying instead on what they could hunt or gather.

Throughout the twenty-five days it took the party to hike from Lower Post to Fort Ware, Keith and his companions suffered cold, starvation and injury. They faced grizzly bears, swollen rivers and the incessant rain so typical of northern BC. Their adventures offer a poignant glimpse into the hardships and rigours of the Sekani people, who have one foot in their past and the other in their future--a people who reluctantly try to adapt to today's values knowing that change is inevitable.

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$22.95

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Voices of the Elders: Huu-ay-aht Histories and Legends
Authors:
Kathryn Bridge
Kevin Neary
Format: Paperback

There is a special place on the southeastern shores of Barkley Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is a magnificent landscape of rocky cliffs fronting onto the wild Pacific Ocean, sheltered beaches, lakes, mountains and forests. Since the beginning of time, it has been the ancestral home of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation.Drawing directly from oral history passed down by generations of Huu-ay-aht chiefs and elders, Kathryn Bridge and Kevin Neary tell the compelling stories of the Huu-ay-aht people from their perspective. This is a fascinating glimpse into the complex and rich history of a West Coast First Nation, from creation tales and accounts of their traditional ways to the recent Maa'nulth treaty.

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$9.95

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Women of Brave Mettle: More Stories from the Cariboo Chilcotin
Authors:
Diana French
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

In this much-anticipated second volume in the Extraordinary Women Anthology series, Diana French follows up on Gumption and Grit with more stories of the women who have contributed, or who are still contributing, to the vibrant mosaic that is the Cariboo Chilcotin. The area has more than its share of remarkable women, from educators to rodeo stars, doctors to playwrights, administrators to environmentalists, artists to politicians.

In earlier days, nurse Jane Lehman, the daughter of pioneers, traveled long, lonely miles by horseback in the West Chilcotin to reach her patients. Jessie Pigeon was Canada's first female Government Agent, and Gwen Ringwood was already an internationally known playwright when she came to Williams Lake with her doctor husband.

Later-day heroines include June Striegler, whose teaching career has spanned over seventy years and Joan Gentles, an outstanding courtworker, educator, and rodeo competitor. Former mayor Ethel Winger likes to relax by prospecting for gold, and Lynette Cobb serves the community from her wheelchair. Helen Haig-Brown is an award-winning filmmaker, Xeni Gwet'in Chief Marilyn Baptiste stands tall to protect her people and land from the latest gold rush. Pharmacists Adaline and Cathie Hamm are among the mother/daughter combos serving the community.

Diverse as they may be, the women of the Cariboo Chilcotinshare their ability to meet all challenges head-on and do what needs to be done with love, strength and humour.

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$26.95

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