BC Core Competencies

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The core competencies along with literacy and numeracy foundations and essential content and concepts are at the centre of the redesign of curriculum and assessment. Core competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to develop in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning. Through provincial consultation, three core competencies were identified.

In response to the BC Core Competencies we have matched some of our best titles to each competency. Please feel free to download a pdf copy for a list of all titles or peruse the selections in the categorized list here on our site.

Click here to download a pdf of: Connecting Core Competencies to Aboriginal Titles - updated

If you would like to add to our list please send us an e-mail with your selections.


Mouse Celebrates the Winter Solstice - ON SALE
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Kwakwaka'wakw;

It is winter. The land lies still, quiet and stark beneath a blanket of snow. The tiny footprints of a mouse can be seen in the light of the moon.

"Wrapped in the quiet, and there in the bleak, there stood a wise mouse, preparing to speak."

The words that mouse chose were from many years past. She spoke them into the cold night air. So begins the enchanting story of a very special Winter Solstice celebration.

Kwakwaka’wakw author Terri Mack and Tsimshian artist Bill Helin have collaborated to bring us this story of strength, friendship and celebration. The lyrical text and engaging illustrations will appeal to readers of all ages.

Author's note:
Gila'kasla!
I spent a year writing and rewriting this poem to be sure to convey the message clearly to my audience. It was important to me that the poem reflect the importance of us all joining together to find the sacredness in celebration, the joy of belonging within a greater community and the voice of determination inside of each of us. Inspired by Indigenous Peoples rising, healing and joining together I hope that this poem inspires our youth to be strong and determined in all their future goals.
~Terri Mack

Additional Information
24 pages | 9" x 12" | ISBN: 9781771740555

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$7.48

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A Coyote Columbus Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Native American;

A trickster named Coyote rules her world, until a funny-looking stranger named Columbus changes her plans. Unimpressed by the wealth of moose, turtles, and beavers in Coyote' s land, he' d rather figure out how to hunt human beings to sell back in Spain. Thomas King uses a bag of literary tricks to shatter the stereotypes surrounding Columbus' s voyages. In doing so, he invites children to laugh with him at the crazy antics of Coyote, who unwittingly allows Columbus to engineer the downfall of his human friends. William Kent Monkman's vibrant illustrations perfectly complement this amusing story with a message.

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$9.95

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A Native American Thought of It
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Inventiveness and ingenuity from North America's First Nations.

Everyone knows that moccasins, canoes and toboggans were invented by the Aboriginal people of North America, but did you know that they also developed their own sign language, as well as syringe needles and a secret ingredient in soda pop?

Depending on where they lived, Aboriginal communities relied on their ingenuity to harness the resources available to them. Some groups, such as the Iroquois, were particularly skilled at growing and harvesting food. From them, we get corn and wild rice, as well as maple syrup.

Other groups, including the Sioux and Comanche of the plains, were exceptional hunters. Camouflage, fish hooks and decoys were all developed to make the task of catching animals easier. And even games-lacrosse, hockey and volleyball -- have Native American roots.

Other clever inventions and innovations include:

* Diapers
* Asphalt
* Megaphones
* Hair conditioner
* Surgical knives
* Sunscreen.

With descriptive photos and information-packed text, this book explores eight different categories in which the creativity of First Nations peoples from across the continent led to remarkable inventions and innovations, many of which are still in use today.

Series Information
This book is a part of the We Thought of It series, a series which takes readers on a fascinating journey across the world's second largest continent to discover how aspects of its culture have spread around the globe.

Additional Information
48 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

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A River Lost
Authors:
Lynn Bragg
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Sinixt;

A River Lost is the familiar story of an ancient culture infringed upon and altered forever by modern technology. It is the story of how the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam led to the destruction of a way of life for members of the Arrow Lakes Tribe. Sinee mat and her great-grandmother Toopa tell the engaging story of life on the Columbia River, before and after the dam.

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32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

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$12.95

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A River Ran Wild
Authors:
Lynne Cherry
Format: Paperback

A River Ran Wild is the True Story of the History, the Polluting and the Clean-up of the Nashua River.

From the author of the beloved classic The Great Kapok Tree, A River Ran Wild tells a story of restoration and renewal. Learn how the modern-day descendants of the Nashua Indians and European settlers were able to combat pollution and restore the beauty of the Nashua River in Massachusetts.

$10.99

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Arctic Stories
Artists:
Vladyana Krykorka
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

Acclaimed Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak weaves a tapestry of tales about ten-year-old Agatha and her accidental heroism in the high Arctic of 1958. The first of Agatha''s stories is based on one of Kusugak''s real life experiences, when an eerie, black airship flew over Chesterfield Inlet in 1958. A sleepy Agatha "saves" the community from the monstrous flying object.

In the second story, Agatha notices the playful antics of the winter ravens and takes an interest in the many migrating birds. As the seasons change, she begins to favor more beautiful and peaceful birds of spring, until the ravens return.

The third of Agatha''s stories takes place in the fall when Agatha is sent to school in Chesterfield Inlet, an English-speaking community south of her home. During an afternoon of skating, Agatha rescues a show-off priest, who has inadvertently demonstrated the danger of thin ice.

The three Agatha stories resonate with the nostalgia and affection of Kusugak''s childhood memories.

Reviews
"This collection of three tales, set in Repulse Bay, features an endearing 10-year-old heroine, named Agatha, through whose eyes the reader experiences life in the high Arctic.... The author weaves a tapestry of simply told stories, each of which, by skilful use of detail, manages to bring to life the experience of growing up in a small Inuit community.... Vladyana Krykorka's paintings give the reader a beautifully detailed rendition of the Arctic landscape in every season. Her depictions of Kusugak's human and animal characters are wonderfully satisfying, full of life and humour.... [They] complement the text brilliantly.... The beauty of Kusugak's work lies in his ability to evoke for his southern readers a vivid picture of a way of life that is fast disappearing. Arctic Tales will be a welcome addition to the resources that teachers and librarians look for as they plan their units on the Arctic and the Inuit. The book's Grade-three reading level should guarantee its popularity among young students doing projects on Inuit life. Recommended."— Valerie Nielsen, Canadian Materials, October 1999

 
"Vivid and engaging... This collection of stories captures a feeling for a transitional time in the Inuit culture and history and resonates with the storyteller's art" — Canadian Teacher, June 2013
 
Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 5-9.
 
This illustrated children's story is a grades 10/11 English First Peoples Resource for the unit First Steps - Exploring Residential Schools and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.
 
Additional Information
40 pages | 8.25" x 10.50"

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$7.95

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Encounter
Authors:
Jane Yolen
Artists:
David Shannon
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Caribbean; Taíno;

When Christopher Columbus landed on the island of San Salvador in 1492, what he discovered were the Taino Indians. Told from a young Taino boys point of view, this is a story of how the boy tried to warn his people against welcoming the strangers, who seemed more interested in golden ornaments than friendship. Years later the boy, now an old man, looks back at the destruction of his people and their culture by the colonizers.

Educator Information
Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Grade Level: 1 – 4

Notes on the historical basis for the text are appended.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 11.00"

$11.50

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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"

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$10.95

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From the Mountains to the Sea: We Live Here
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Kwakwaka'wakw;

Each book in the series, From the Mountains to the Sea, supports the new BC Aboriginal Learning Standards in both Science and Social Studies.

From the Mountains to the Sea: We Live Here is a Kindergarten resource which covers all of your Aboriginal Learning Standards in both science and social studies within the new BC curriculum.

Click link to download a five week Kindergarten planning guide:Kindergarten FREE Download for We Live Here

Back of book introduction:
This book is about a river. Can you find a river on the front cover of this book? What do you know about rivers?

Most rivers start high up in the mountains. As the water comes down the hill, it makes little pathways in the rocks and gravel. As the pathways get bigger, they join to make streams. Sometimes the streams join together to make a river. Where a river leaves the mountains the ground flattens out, and the river slows down. The river ends when it flows into the sea.

The area in and around a river is a good place for plants, animals and people to live because we can all find food and water there. The salmon is an important food for many of us.

Some of the plants and animals that you will find in this book are:
Cedar trees live and grow all the way along a river, from the mountains to the sea.

Salmon spend their adult lives out in the open sea. When it is time to lay their eggs, they swim back to their home streams. Their home streams are sometimes very close to the mountains.

Bears walk long distances to find their food. They live from the mountains to the sea. In the fall they go to the rivers to fish for salmon.

Eagles fly over large areas looking for food. They live from the mountains to the sea. In the fall, they go to the rivers to feast on salmon.

Orcas live in the open sea. They swim long distances to hunt for food.
Some orcas eat salmon.

This book is also part of a bundled package that includes:
A Talking Feather
A boxed rubber stamp collection
Bulletin board trimmers
Click here to view the bundle: From the Mountains to the Sea: We Live Here Bundle

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$29.95

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From the Mountains to the Sea: We Share the Seasons
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Kwakwaka'wakw;

Each book in the series, From the Mountains to the Sea, supports the new BC Aboriginal Learning Standards in both Science and Social Studies.

Click link to download a five week Grade 1 planning guide: Grade 1 FREE Download for We Share the Seasons

Back of book introduction:

From the Mountains to the Sea: We Share the Seasons is a Grade 1 resource which covers all of your Aboriginal Learning Standards in both science and social studies within the new BC curriculum.

This book is about the changing seasons in and along a riverbank, from the mountains to the sea. You will see many plants and animals that live along a riverbank. They grow and change just as we do.

A season is one of the four parts of the year: winter, spring, summer and fall. We all share and experience the changing of the seasons. Some changes we all make are small. Other changes are big. We all grow and change. What do you know about the seasons?

Winter, up in the mountains can be cold. The days are short. Many animals sleep in their dens underneath the snow. Other animals are active all winter. Some birds and animals travel away to warmer places. Most plants rest during the winter too.

Spring, along the banks of a mountain stream, is a time when the weather feels warmer. The days are longer. Sleeping animals wake up and come out of their dens. They are hungry and start looking for food. Birds and animals that went away for the winter come back. Plants start to grow again.

Summer, along the banks of a river can sometimes be hot. The days are long. The young animals and birds are growing. They are learning how to find food and stay safe from danger. Plants are growing and spreading out their leaves and branches. Wild berries start to ripen and provide food for many of us.

Fall, around a river estuary can be cool and windy. The days are shorter. Animals and birds start getting ready for the long winter ahead. Some fatten themselves up so that they can sleep through the winter. Others gather with their families to begin their long journey to warmer places. The salmon return from the sea and swim up their home streams to lay their eggs in the gravel. Trees, shrubs, and bushes begin to turn colour and then drop their leaves. Plants start to move into a time of rest.
Which of the four seasons is your favourite? Why do you like it the best?


This book is also part of a bundled package that includes:
A set of moon posters
A set of sort and categorize cards
Bulletin board trimmers
Click here to view the bundle: From the Mountains to the Sea: We Share the Seasons Bundle

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Hide and Sneak
Artists:
Vladyana Krykorka
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

On the great tundra plains of Nunavut, there is a creature that just loves to play hide and seek. The only problem with this creature is, if it helps you hide, no one will ever find you again. Well, Allashua loves to play hide and seek…

Allashua ignores the inuksugaq as she plays hide-and-seek. Soon she encounters an Ijiraq--a tiny half-bird, half-human creature who loves to play. Allashua remembers her mother telling her that if an Ijiraaq hides you, no one will ever find you again. Eventually, Ijiraq disappears and Allashua gets lost on the tundra. With no idea of which way to go, she heads toward a small block dot on a far-off hill. When Allashua realizes the dot is the inuksugaq and that it can guide her safely home, she understands the riddle of its existence.

Inuit author Michael Kusugak (A Promise is a Promise, Baseball Bats for Christmas) again demonstrates that he is a masterful writer. A mythological figure and traditional Inuit practices, set the backdrop for this dramatic story. 

Reviews
"Hide and Sneak is an excellent book, and a good introduction for young children to the Canadian Arctic and to the Inuit. A one-page story at the beginning of the book introduces the readers to the Ijiraq, and explains the purpose of the inuksugaq - information the reader should know but would slow the story. Kusugak's descriptions of the landscape and the wildlife are vivid and beautifully woven into the text. The story is suspenseful without being threatening; the language is simple, easy to read, and smooth." - CM Magazine

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00"

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$7.95

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Hideaway Cove (Hardcover)
Authors:
Brenda Boreham
Artists:
Laura Timmermans
Format: Hardcover
Join us on a mid August day, on the wild and rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest Coast. From the orca whale to the tiniest barnacle, enjoy a colourful glimpse into the lives of the many creatures that live in, and around, Hideaway Cove.

Brenda Boreham and Laura Timmermans share with us, through words and illustrations, the many interconnections within a healthy marine eco-system.
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$21.95

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Hideaway Cove (Paperback)
Authors:
Brenda Boreham
Artists:
Laura Timmermans
Format: Paperback
Join us on a mid August day, on the wild and rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest Coast. From the orca whale to the tiniest barnacle, enjoy a colourful glimpse into the lives of the many creatures that live in, and around, Hideaway Cove.

Brenda Boreham and Laura Timmermans share with us, through words and illustrations, the many interconnections within a healthy marine eco-system.
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$12.95

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I Am Not a Number
Artists:
Gillian Newland
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;

When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.

Reviews
"Residential and boarding school stories are hard to read, but they're vitally important... books like I Am Not a Number should be taught in schools in Canada, and the U.S., too."— Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature

"It’s important to teach children about true Canadian history, but it’s not easy to talk about it in a way that children will understand. I Am Not a Number is perfect to get the conversation about residential schools started with your children. It opens the door for them to ask questions about the subject and the story is relatable in a way they can follow."— Residential School Magazine

"[A] powerful teaching tool that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to. It is written in simple language and told in a way that will stimulate conversations about residential schools and the traumatic effects they have had on generations of First Nation families and communities. ... beautifully illustrated by Gillian Newland. She captures the somber mood of the school, the anguish of the children, the severity of the nuns and the desperation of the family. Students can easily empathize with Irene and her brothers as well as their parents as they try to imagine how they would feel or act in a similar situation." — Alberta Native News, December 2016

"Endless cross-curricular connections can be made using this story. But the most powerful aspect of this book is that it will open a dialogue, one that Justice Murray Sinclair spoke of as head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a dialogue that needs to take place for reconciliation to happen." — ETFO Voice

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 7-11
Guided Reading: V

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

 

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I Help/Niwechihaw
Artists:
Caitlin Dale Nicholson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

Written and illustrated by members of the Tahltan and Cree nations, this sweet, simple story looks at a very special relationship. A young boy goes for a walk with his kohkom, or grandmother, listening, picking, praying, eating . . . just as she does. In doing so, he begins to learn the rich cultural traditions and values of his Cree heritage.

Caitlin Dale Nicholson’s acrylic-on-canvas illustrations portray the close relationship between the boy and his grandmother and the natural beauty of the bush. Her text has been translated into Cree by Leona Morin-Neilson, who was also the inspiration for the story.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 4-7

Delivered in a dual-language format of Cree (y-dialect) and English. 

Recommended for Grades K-1 for the following subject areas: English Language Arts, Indigenous Language Studies, Social Studies.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.50" x 12.25"

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$12.95

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