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Historical Fiction

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Adam's Tree
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Adam's Tree is a fictional account of life on the Cowesses First Nation in Saskatchewan during the 1940's and 50's. This period in history finds forces like regulatory policy, World War II, systemic racism, and the long reach of the depression defining reserve life and rural relationships. These short stories are told from the perspective of various characters on the reserve: an Indigenous teenage girl named Sophie, men who return to Cowesses after the war, struggling with untreated and unacknowledged PTSD, settlers like the local school teacher and the "Indian agent".

This book contributes to the dialogue on reconciliation, freeing Indigenous voices during a period of time that is rarely written about. It encourages readers to examine the sources and meaning of today's inheritance of complex relations.

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220 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$22.00

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Black Apple (PB)
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A dramatic and lyrical coming-of-age novel about a young Blackfoot girl who grows up in the residential school system on the Canadian prairies.

Torn from her home and delivered to St. Mark’s Residential School for Girls by government decree, young Rose Marie finds herself in an alien universe where nothing of her previous life is tolerated, not even her Blackfoot name. For she has entered into the world of the Sisters of Brotherly Love, an order of nuns dedicated to saving the Indigenous children from damnation. Life under the sharp eye of Mother Grace, the Mother General, becomes an endless series of torments, from daily recitations and obligations to chronic sickness and inedible food. And then there are the beatings. All the feisty Rose Marie wants to do is escape from St. Mark’s. How her imagination soars as she dreams about her lost family on the Reserve, finding in her visions a healing spirit that touches her heart. But all too soon she starts to see other shapes in her dreams as well, shapes that warn her of unspoken dangers and mysteries that threaten to engulf her. And she has seen the rows of plain wooden crosses behind the school, reminding her that many students have never left here alive.

Set during the Second World War and the 1950s, Black Apple is an unforgettable, vividly rendered novel about two very different women whose worlds collide: an irrepressible young Blackfoot girl whose spirit cannot be destroyed, and an aging yet powerful nun who increasingly doubts the value of her life. It captures brilliantly the strange mix of cruelty and compassion in the residential schools, where young children are forbidden to speak their own languages and given Christian names. As Rose Marie matures, she finds increasingly that she knows only the life of the nuns, with its piety, hard work and self-denial. Why is it, then, that she is haunted by secret visions—of past crimes in the school that terrify her, of her dead mother, of the Indigenous life on the plains that has long vanished? Even the kind-hearted Sister Cilla is unable to calm her fears. And then, there is a miracle, or so Mother Grace says. Now Rose is thrust back into the outside world with only her wits to save her.

With a poet’s eye, Joan Crate creates brilliantly the many shadings of this heartbreaking novel, rendering perfectly the inner voices of Rose Marie and Mother Grace, and exploring the larger themes of belief and belonging, of faith and forgiveness.

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$19.99

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Cottagers and Indians
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Cottagers and Indians explores the politics and issues surrounding a real-life event still occurring in the Kawartha Lakes region of Central Ontario. An Indigenous man, Arthur Copper, has taken it upon himself to repopulate the nearby lakes with wild rice, known amongst the Anishnawbe as Manoomin, much to the disapproval of the local non-Indigenous cottagers, Maureen Poole in particular. She feels the plant interferes with boating, fishing, swimming, and is generally an eyesore that brings down the property values of her cottage and those of her neighbours. Drew Hayden Taylor’s thirty-second play is a powerful dramatization of contemporary confrontations taking place between environmentalism and consumerism, Indigenous and non-Indigenous sensibilities.

Reviews
"In Cottagers and Indians, an Anishnawbe man, Arthur Copper, decides to repopulate the lakes of his home Territory with manoomin, or wild rice – much to the disapproval of the local non-Indigenous cottagers, in particular the formidable Maureen Poole. Based on real-life events in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region, Cottagers and Indians infuses contemporary conflicts between Indigenous and non-Indigenous sensibilities with Drew Hayden Taylor’s characteristic warmth and humour." - Talon Books

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128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$16.95

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Going Back Home
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

Written by a Mohawk Institute Residential School survivor, this is a fierce and candid story that reveals the heartbreaking trauma of that tragic time in our history. The author portrays how the ongoing impact of the residential schools confinements has affected Indigenous communities over several generations and has contributed to many social problems that continue to exist today. By exploring that devastating history, the author finds and celebrates the resilient and hopeful spirit that many residential school survivors, like herself, have managed to retain in the face of horror and torment.

Educator Information
This book is part of the Modern Indigenous Voices series.

Additional Information
160 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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I Am a Damn Savage; What Have You Done to My Country?
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

Quebec author An Antane Kapesh's two books, Je suis une maudite sauvagesse (1976) and Qu'as-tu fait de mon pays? (1979), are among the foregrounding works by Indigenous women in Canada. This English translation of these works, presented alongside the revised Innu text, makes them available for the first time to a broader readership.

In I Am a Damn Savage, Antane Kapesh wrote to preserve and share her culture, experience, and knowledge, all of which, she felt, were disappearing at an alarming rate because many Elders – like herself – were aged or dying. She wanted to publicly denounce the conditions in which she and the Innu were made to live, and to address the changes she was witnessing due to land dispossession and loss of hunting territory, police brutality, and the effects of the residential school system. What Have You Done to My Country? is a fictional account by a young boy of the arrival of les Polichinelles and their subsequent assault on the land and on native language and culture.

Through these stories Antane Kapesh asserts that settler society will eventually have to take responsibility and recognize its faults, and accept that the Innu – as well as all the other nations – are not going anywhere, that they are not a problem settlers can make disappear.

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216 pages | 5.25" x 8.00" | Translation and Afterword by Sarah Henzi

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$22.99

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kisiskaciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

This groundbreaking anthology from territory that is now Saskatchewan, kisiskâciwan, includes rich oral narratives from Cree, Saulteaux, Nakoda, Dakota, Dene, and Metis cultures; early writings from Cree missionaries; speeches and letters by Treaty Chiefs; stories from elders; archival discoveries; and contemporary literary works in all genres.

Historically and culturally comprehensive, voices include Big Bear, Thunderchild, Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Edward Ahenakew, Maria Campbell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rita Bouvier, Harold Johnson, Gregory Scofield, Warren Cariou, Louise Halfe, and many more.

Educator Information
The collected works in this anthology would be useful for high school and college/university courses.  All the works in this anthology are connected to Saskatchewan in some way.  Some themes include Residential Schools, family, resilience, the Sixties Scoop, and coming of age.

Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 for these subjects: Drama, English Language Arts, Social Studies.

Caution: Some of the works in this anthology contain mature subject matter, such as discussion of abuse, violence, sexuality, etc. 

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300 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authenticity Note: This work is labelled as containing Authentic Indigenous Text because of the contributions from Indigenous Peoples.

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$39.95

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Little Athapapuskow: A Metis Love Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Little Athapapuskow is collection of poems named after a lake Guy Freedman grew up on near Flin Flon, Manitoba. They represent his efforts to challenge Catholicism and its complicity with the Confederation project, which dismantled the New Nation developing in the Canadian Northwest. The poems are organized into three parts—past, present, and future—and they address the inter-generational impacts of the Church on his family in relation to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This book is his love song to his home and to his country.

Educator Information
Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Contains poems about the history of the Metis people, family, love, celebration of culture, colonialism, religion, violence.

Caution: Some poems contain strong language and mature subject matter, such as discussions of violence, alcoholism, and sexuality.

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86 pages | 7.25" x 5.75 " 

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$20.00

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One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cheyenne;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Based on an actual historical event but told through fictional diaries, this is the story of May Dodd—a remarkable woman who, in 1875, travels through the American West to marry the chief of the Cheyenne Nation.

One Thousand White Women begins with May Dodd’s journey into an unknown world. Having been committed to an insane asylum by her blue-blood family for the crime of loving a man beneath her station, May finds that her only hope for freedom and redemption is to participate in a secret government program whereby women from “civilized” society become the brides of Cheyenne warriors. What follows is a series of breathtaking adventures—May’s brief, passionate romance with the gallant young army captain John Bourke; her marriage to the great chief Little Wolf; and her conflict of being caught between loving two men and living two completely different lives.

Reviews
“Fergus portrays the perceptions and emotions of women…with tremendous insight and sensitivity.”—Booklist

“A superb tale of sorrow, suspense, exultation, and triumph.” —Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump

“Impressive…convincing…affecting.” —Kirkus Reviews

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528 pages | 5.16" x 7.85"

$12.99

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Our Story: Aboriginal Voice on Canada's Past
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

A collection of original stories written by some of the country's most celebrated Aboriginal writers, and inspired by pivotal events in the country's history Asked to explore seminal moments in Canadian history from an Aboriginal perspective, these ten acclaimed authors have travelled through our country's past to discover the moments that shaped our nation and its people. Drawing on their skills as gifted storytellers and the unique perspectives their heritage affords, the contributors to this collection offer wonderfully imaginative accounts of what it's like to participate in history. From a tale of Viking raiders to a story set during the Oka crisis, the authors tackle a wide range of issues and events, taking us into the unknown, while also bringing the familiar into sharper focus. Our Story brings together an impressive array of voices Inuk, Cherokee, Ojibway, Cree, and Salish to name just a few from across the country and across the spectrum of First Nations. These are the novelists, playwrights, journalists, activists, and artists whose work is both Aboriginal and uniquely Canadian. Brought together to explore and articulate their peoples experience of our country's shared history, these authors grace, insight, and humour help all Canadians understand the forces and experiences that have made us who we are.
Maria Campbell, Tantoo Cardinal,Tomson Highway, Drew Hayden Taylor, Basil Johnston Thomas King, Brian Maracle, Lee Maracle, Jovette Marchessault, Rachel Qitsualik

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$21.00

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Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

An uproariously funny and sharply inquisitive new play from one of Canada’s leading Indigenous playwrights, Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion explores the possibility of reconciliation between Peoples and urgently questions past and contemporary forms of Canadian colonialism. Taylor’s twenty-seventh play, Sir John A’s characters include Canada’s infamous first Prime Minister, red-nosed and pompous, full of patriarchal contempt for those “strange and perplexing Indians,” and his contemporary accusers: two Ojibway men and a soul-searching white woman. 

Bobby Rabbit, Sir John A’s irked, Anishinaabe main character, in a fit of anger and revenge, convinces his friend Hugh to accompany him on a “sojourn of justice”: to dig up Sir John A. Macdonald’s bones and hold them for ransom. Decades before, a medicine pouch belonging to Bobby’s grandfather was taken away by the staff of the residential school where he was detained. The precious object was sent to a British Museum exhibition room for conservation – and now Bobby wants it repatriated. Along the way the pair pick up Anya, a young, bright, and opinionated woman fleeing a bad breakup, with conflicting ideas about Sir John A’s place in Canadian history. Not to be left out of the argument, Canada’s first Prime Minister, broadcasting live from nineteenth-century Ottawa, shows up with opinions of his own. 

Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion is a powerful satire, a creative debate about the past violences of colonial racism and the as yet untested potentiality of restoring harmony between Peoples in Canada. A contemporary classic by Taylor!

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$17.95

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Song of Batoche
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Louis Riel arrives at Batoche in 1884 to help the Métis fight for their lands and discovers that the rebellious outsider Josette Lavoie is a granddaughter of the famous chief Big Bear, whom he needs as an ally. But Josette learns of Riel's hidden agenda - to establish a separate state with his new church at its head - and refuses to help him. Only when the great Gabriel Dumont promises her that he will not let Riel fail does she agree to join the cause. In this raw wilderness on the brink of change, the lives of seven unforgettable characters converge, each one with secrets: Louis Riel and his tortured wife Marguerite; a duplicitous Catholic priest; Gabriel Dumont and his dying wife Madeleine; a Hudson's Bay Company spy; and the enigmatic Josette Lavoie. As the Dominion Army marches on Batoche, Josette and Gabriel must manage Riel's escalating religious fanaticism and a growing attraction to each other. Song of Batoche is a timeless story that traces the borderlines of faith and reason, obsession and madness, betrayal and love.

Awards
2015 Governor General's Award for French-to-English Translation winner

Reviews
"This passionate retelling uses women's eyes to reveal the hidden history behind Riel and Gabriel Dumont. Deeply researched, and rooted in the soil of Batoche." - Marina Endicott, author of the Giller-nominated Close to Hugh

"Combining fine research and engaging storytelling, Song of Batoche is a stirring fictionalized account of events in and around the 1885 North-West Resistance. Josette Lavoie is an intriguing and memorable heroine." - Katherena Vermette, author of the The Break and winner of the Governor General's Award

"Caron weaves a tale of love, betrayal and obsession . . . a vivid and fast-paced retelling of this moment in Canadian history." - Toronto Star

"A fascinating and beautifully written account of Louis Riel and the months preceding the Battle of Batoche, as seen through the eyes of the Metis women. This is a perspective we've not seen before, and Caron handles it with compassion and depth." Lauren B. Davis, author of the Giller-nominated Our Daily Bread

Additional Information
372 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$18.95

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The Frog Lake Massacre
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

In the spring of 1884, Jack, an adventurous young man, packs his bags in Victoria, BC, and heads for the prairies, looking for a new life and hoping to get involved in an Indian war. Instead, he lucks into an exciting job in the fur trade and meets and befriends many of the great chiefs of the Cree nation, such as Poundmaker and Big Bear, and ends up between a bullet and a target when the North-West Rebellion erupts. After witnessing the historic Frog Lake Massacre and the murder of his friends, Jack is captured by the Cree warriors and, later, guides the famous Inspector Sam Steele on the hunt for Cree Chief Big Bear.

The Frog Lake Massacre is the first book in a trilogy about a young man who is trying to forge an independent life for himself in the huge and newly established country of Canada. Along the way, he discovers that bravery and loyalty bring their own rewards.

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$18.95

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The Manitoulin Incident: A Play
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: University/College;

The Manitoulin Incident is the first publication of the popular play by renowned Indigenous playwright Alanis King. Set in Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron, the play spans the stormy decades of the mid-19th century where title to the region was hotly debated between French, English and Ojibwe. Tensions grew over these years and finally culminated in what is known as "The Manitoulin Incident", where armed government officials landed ashore to assert claims to the land through summons and expulsions. The resultant conflict and loss of life sent tremors across the country.

Alanis King's extraordinary play sheds light on one of North America's most pivotal convergent points between Native, English and French interests, and provides better understanding of the often-forgotten events that have since shaped North America.

Additional Information
200 pages | 5.00" x 8.00" | Drama/Play

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$21.95

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The Pemmican Eaters
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A picture of the Riel Resistance from one of Canada’s preeminent Métis poets.

With a title derived from John A. Macdonald’s moniker for the Métis, The Pemmican Eaters explores Marilyn Dumont’s sense of history as the dynamic present. Combining free verse and metered poems, her latest collection aims to recreate a palpable sense of the Riel Resistance period and evoke the geographical, linguistic/cultural, and political situation of Batoche during this time through the eyes of those who experienced the battles, as well as through the eyes of Gabriel and Madeleine Dumont and Louis Riel. 

Included in this collection are poems about the bison, seed beadwork, and the Red River Cart, and some poems employ elements of the Michif language, which, along with French and Cree, was spoken by Dumont’s ancestors. In Dumont’s The Pemmican Eaters, a multiplicity of identities is a strengthening rather than a weakening or diluting force in culture.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2016 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry 

Reviews
“A rollicking poem about the fiddle ('the first high call of the fiddle bids us dance/baits with its first pluck and saw of the bow/reels us, feet flick — fins to its lure and line') becomes a statement of cultural pride and defiance — much like The Pemmican Eaters as a whole.” — Toronto Star 

“Dumont’s work is visual and evocative, highlighting recurring symbols and images of a natural world that will be familiar to any dweller of the Prairies . . . The Pemmican Eaters builds off the poet’s earlier work and highlights a writer who has mastered both craft and voice.” — Quill & Quire 

“Dumont honours Métis traditions in music and beadwork in a number of lyrically driven poems. The Pemmican Eaters is a statement of cultural pride and defiance, much like Marilyn herself.” — CBC News Online 

“Marilyn Dumont uses both rhythmic and free verse to provide a brilliant and insightful look at Métis and Cree people.” — Scene Magazine

Educator Information
This book would be useful for grades 9 - 12 in courses such as creative writing, English language arts, and social studies.  Also recommended for students a college/university level.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

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$18.95

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Waterlily
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Dakota;
Grade Levels: University/College;

When Blue Bird and her grandmother leave their family’s camp to gather beans for the long, threatening winter, they inadvertently avoid the horrible fate that befalls the rest of the family. Luckily, the two women are adopted by a nearby Dakota community and are eventually integrated into their kinship circles. Ella Cara Deloria’s tale follows Blue Bird and her daughter, Waterlily, through the intricate kinship practices that created unity among her people.

Waterlily, published after Deloria’s death and generally viewed as the masterpiece of her career, offers a captivating glimpse into the daily life of the nineteenth-century Sioux. This new edition features an introduction by Susan Gardner and an index.

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$23.95

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