Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools K-7 2014-2015

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Canoe Crossings: Understanding the Craft that Helped Shape British Columbia
Format: Paperback
  • Often called one of the Seven Wonders of Canada, the canoe has played a particularly important role in British Columbia. This seemingly simple watercraft allowed coastal First Nations to hunt on the open ocean and early explorers to travel the province’s many waterways. Always at the crossroads of canoe culture, BC today is home to innovative artists and designers who have rediscovered ancient canoe-building techniques, as well as community leaders who see the canoe’s potential to bring people together in exciting, inspiring ways.

    The story of Canoe Crossings begins some fifteen thousand years ago, when, as compelling new evidence suggests, the first humans to reach the Americas did so by canoe down the West Coast. It continues through the centuries, chronicling the evolution of the canoe and its impact on the various people who used it to explore, hunt, trade, fight, race, create, and even heal. The book contains dozens of stories of colourful, passionate people who have contributed to the province’s canoe culture, including a teenager who lived ninety feet up in a tree house while designing and building the world’s longest kayak; a group of high school students who practised on a tiny lake and went on to win several World Dragon Boat Championships; and at-risk Aboriginal youth who reconnected with their traditional culture through annual “big canoe” trips.

    Canoe Crossings will appeal to anyone who has ever sought adventure, found solace, or seen beauty in a canoe or wondered about the origins of its design and use in British Columbia and beyond.

$19.95

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Cloudwalker
Traditional Territory: Haida, Heiltsuk, Ts'msyen
Format: Hardcover
  • Cloudwalker, describing the creation of the rivers, is the second in a series of Northwest Coast legends by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd. Their previous collaboration, Raven Brings the Light (2013), is a national bestseller.

    On British Columbia's northwest coast lies the Sacred Headwaters--the source of three of British Columbia's largest salmon-bearing rivers. These rivers are the source of life for all creatures in the area. But what gave life to the rivers themselves?

    Astace, a young Gitxsan hunter, is intent on catching a group of swans with his bare hands. He is carried away by the birds' powerful wings and dropped in the clouds. With only a cedar box of water Astace wanders the clouds, growing weaker, stumbling and spilling the contents. When he finally returns to earth he discovers lakes, creeks, and rivers where there were none before. The Gitxsan rejoice at having him home, and name the new river they live alongside Ksien--"juice from the clouds."

    Roy Henry Vickers' vibrant artwork, including 18 new prints, accompany this new retelling of an ancient story--readers of all ages will be captivated.

$19.95

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Discovering Numbers
Author: Neepin Auger
Format: Board Book
  • Neepin Auger's books for children contain original, brightly coloured images and early education level concepts familiar to everyone. Playful and bold, this dynamic series will educate and entertain preschoolers, parents, and teachers alike.

    In addition to the English words presented, the French and Cree equivalents are also given, making these some of the most dynamic and useful board books on the market, perfectly suitable for the classroom, library, and nursery.

    Neepin Auger is a Cree artist, educator, and mother. Originally from the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta, she has been painting for over ten years, having studied art under her father, Dale Auger, a renowned First Nations artist and author of the award-winning children's book Mwâkwa Talks to the Loon: A Cree Story for Children.

$8.00

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Discovering Words
Author: Neepin Auger
Format: Board Book
  • Neepin Auger's books for children contain original, brightly coloured images and early education level concepts familiar to everyone. Playful and bold, this dynamic series will educate and entertain preschoolers, parents, and teachers alike.

    In addition to the English words presented, the French and Cree equivalents are also given, making these some of the most dynamic and useful board books on the market, perfectly suitable for the classroom, library, and nursery.

    Neepin Auger is a Cree artist, educator, and mother. Originally from the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta, she has been painting for over ten years, having studied art under her father, Dale Auger, a renowned First Nations artist and author of the award-winning children's book Mwâkwa Talks to the Loon: A Cree Story for Children.

$12.00

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Glooscap, the Beavers and the Sugarloaf Mountain
Author: Allison Mitcham
Format: Paperback
  • After creating the Mi’kmaqs, the great Glooscap was certain that he had established harmony on earth. But a problem remained: the beavers had built a huge dam across the Restigouche River, preventing the salmon from swimming upriver as far as the camp of the Mi’kmaqs who had come to fish there. Young Mi’kmaq men were convinced they could remedy the situation. However, completely failing to put things right, they asked the loon to call Glooscap to help them. Will the beavers once more outmaneuver Master Glooscap?

$8.95

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He Who Flies by Night: The Story of Grey Owl
Author: Lori Punshon
Format: Paperback
  • He Who Flies By Night: The Story of Grey Owl tells the true story of how Englishman Archie Belaney fulfilled his childhood fantasy of living in Canada's North with the First Nations people. He transformed himself into Wa-Sha-Quon-Asin or 'Grey Owl,' living with the animals of the forest and coming to love and respect the beauty and balance of nature. Children will love reading of how he lives with his two beaver friends, Jelly Roll and Rawhide, and how part of their beaver lodge was built right up through the floor of his cabin at Ajawaan Lake, Saskatchewan! Grey Owl became a well-respected conservationist, saving his beloved beavers from extinction.

    Grey Owl's vision and quest for conservation is shared throughout this book. The story itself is written in an engaging and colourful manner and beautiful paintings by First Nations artist, Mike Keepness, illustrate Grey Owl's remarkable adventures in northern Saskatchewan and take the reader from dawn to dusk and through the seasons. Children will be intrigued to discover a grey owl in every picture and the paintings themselves, in addition to their clarity of depiction, convey the humour and poignancy of Grey Owl's chosen life in the wild.

    Most children are unaware of Grey Owl and the lasting legacy of conservation he inspired. It is our hope that He Who Flies By Night: The Story of Grey Owl will continue to share Grey Owl's wonderful, timeless message of respect for nature and wildlife. Grey Owl, a master storyteller himself, often spoke with children about the importance of our place in the environment, saying, Remember, you belong to Nature, not it to you.

$12.95

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How the Petitcodiac River Became Muddy
Format: Paperback
  • How the Petitcodiac River Became Muddy is a trilingual picture book that retells a Mi'kmaq legend. The French title is Comment la riviÞre Petitcodiac devint boueuse. The Mi'kmaq title is Ta'n Tel-kisi-siskuapua'qsepp Petikotiak Sipu. Allison Mitcham tells the English version. Serena Sock provides the Mi'kmaq translation, and Marguerite Maillet provides the French translation. The dynamic art illustrations are created by Raymond Martin. This simple story details the Mi'kmaq explanation for an eclipse, why the lobster turns red when it is put in boiling water, and how the Petitcodiac River became muddy long ago. This legend draws on the original version by Michael Francis (1923-1995) of Elsipogtog, New Brunswick. Glooscap figures prominently in this remarkable story that is recommended for language programs.

$9.95

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Manny's Memories
Format: Paperback
  • Manny's Memories, by Author Ken Caron with his daughter Angela Caron, introduces us to the Métis community of Round Prairie, Saskatchewan through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the 1940s. Manny shares his boyhood memories of the once vibrant community not too far from Saskatoon's city limits. Though rural life at the time called for hard work, self-sufficiency, and generosity, there was always time to have fun and to enjoy being a young Métis boy. Artist Donna Lee Dumont's visual expression of Manny's Memories helps us see the world as Ken, called "Manny" in his youth, remembers it. Norman Fleury's accompanying Michif translation and narration returns to the language which Manny often hears as a boy. Manny's Memories leaves us with a rare and satisfying glimpse of life not so long ago.

$15.00

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Modern Native Feasts
Format: Paperback
  • Contemporary, imaginative interpretations of First Nations cuisine, including lighter, healthier, and more nutritious versions of traditional recipes.

    Native American cuisine comes of age in this elegant, contemporary collection that reinterprets and updates traditional Native recipes with modern, healthy twists. Andrew George Jr. was head chef for Aboriginal foods at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver; his imaginative menus reflect the diverse new culinary landscape while being mindful of an ages-old reverence for the land and sea, reflecting the growing interest in a cuisine that is rapidly moving into the mainstream to become the "next big thing" among food trends. Andrew also works actively at making Native foods healthier and more nutritious; his recipes are lighter, less caloric, and include Asian touches, such as bison ribs with Thai spices, and a sushi roll with various cooked fish wrapped in nori. Other dishes include venison barley soup, wild berry crumble, sea asparagus salad, and buffalo tourtiere.

    Full of healthy, delicious, and thoroughly North American fare, Modern Native Feasts is the first Aboriginal foods cookbook to go beyond the traditional and take a step into the twenty-first century.

$21.95

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Not My Girl
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
  • Nothing will stop a strong-minded young Inuit girl from learning how to read.

    Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. She must travel to the outsiders' school to learn, ignoring her father's warning of what will happen there.

    The nuns at the school take her Inuit name and call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do chores. She has only one thing left -- a book about a girl named Alice, who falls down a rabbit hole.

    Margaret's tenacious character draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But she is more determined than ever to read.

    By the end, Margaret knows that, like Alice, she has traveled to a faraway land and stood against a tyrant, proving herself to be brave and clever.

    Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by stunning illustrations, When I Was Eight makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to young children. Now they, too, can meet this remarkable girl who reminds us what power we hold when we can read.

$9.95

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Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow
Author: William Dumas
Format: Hardcover
  • Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow is about a week in the life of Pīsim, a young Cree woman living in the late 1600s. The 1993 archaeological excavation of the remains of a woman and her belongings from Nagami Bay at South Indian Lake, Manitoba, was the inspiration for the story. In the story, Pīsim begins to both recognize her purpose for being and develop her gifts for fulfilling her purpose. This beautifully illustrated book includes drawings of artifacts, definitions and descriptions, historical facts and information, Cree songs and words, maps, recipes, and much more.

$29.00

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Powwow Counting in Cree
Author: Penny M. Thomas
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Hardcover
  • A unique book for young children that teaches counting from one to ten in the Cree language. Both words and pictures reflect the rich culture and tradition of the Cree people.

$16.95

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Red Wolf
Author: Jennifer Dance
Traditional Territory: Anishinaabeg
Format: Paperback
  • Life is changing for Canada's Anishnaabek Nation and for the wolf packs that share their territory.

    In the late 1800s, both Native people and wolves are being forced from the land. Starving and lonely, an orphaned timber wolf is befriended by a boy named Red Wolf. But under the Indian Act, Red Wolf is forced to attend a residential school far from the life he knows, and the wolf is alone once more. Courage, love and fate reunite the pair, and they embark on a perilous journey home. But with winter closing in, will Red Wolf and Crooked Ear survive? And if they do, what will they find?

$12.99

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Roundtrip: The Inuit Crew of the Jean Revillon
Traditional Territory: Inuit
Format: Paperback
  • Stuck in the ice-pack during the winter of 1924-25, the Jean Revillon needed repair and a crew to make it back to its hauling location at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. And so, in 1925, Lionel Angotegoar, Athanasie Angutitaq, Louis Tapatai, and Savikataaq from the central Canadian Arctic manned the ship from Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), in contemporary Nunavut, to southern Canada. Having brought the ship to safe harbour, they spent the winter in the South and returned home the next spring. In relating their experience on their return they provided first-hand accounts of life in the South. Various points-of-view contribute to the broadest possible understanding of the journey, since the Inuit sailors, the Revillon family and the people associated with the shipbuilding industry or the fur trade were involved in the trip per se to various degrees.

$60.00

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit
Format: Paperback
  • When a mishap delays Jessie at the end of a school day, she takes a shortcut home. But the shortcut turns into an adventure, as Jessie is transported through time and space, to early 19th-century Newfoundland. There she meets Shawnadithit who, as the last surviving member of the Beothuk, has witnessed the end of a once-great people.

    Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills.

    Grades 4-6

    Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
    Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

    The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.

$16.95

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