Creative Thinking

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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"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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Secret of the Dance
Authors:
Alfred Scow
Andrea Spalding
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Kwakwaka'wakw;
"Many years ago, when the world and I were younger, my family defied the government."
A boy will never forget witnessing a forbidden Potlatch.
In 1935, a nine-year-old boy's family held a forbidden Potlatch in faraway Kingcome Inlet. Watl'kina slipped from his bed to bear witness. In the Big House masked figures danced by firelight to the beat of the drum. And there, he saw a figure he knew. Aboriginal elder Alfred Scow and award-winning author Andrea Spalding collaborate to tell the story, to tell the secret of the dance.
$10.95

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Shi-shi-etko
Artists:
Kim LaFave
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school.

She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world -- the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping.

Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss -- a loss that native people have endured for generations because of the residential schools system.

This gentle story of a child on the verge of great loss was selected as the Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year.

Awards

  • Winner of the Anskohk Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award. 

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 2-10.

Recommended Authentic First Peoples resource K-9.

This illustrated children's story is recommended for English First Peoples Grades 10 for units pertaining to childhood through Indigenous writers' eyes and the exploration of residential schools and reconciliation through children's literature.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 8.13" 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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The Giving Tree: A Retelling of a Traditional Metis Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Métis;
This charming story, richly steeped in Metis culture, focuses on the boyhood reminisces of Moushoom as her describes finding the "great giving tree" with his mother and father. The story emphasizes the Metis core values and beliefs including strength, kindness, courage, tolerance, honesty, respect, love, sharing, caring, balance, patience, and most of all, the important connection with the creator and Mother Earth.
$15.00

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The Inuit Thought Of It
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

Dazzling inventions from the far north. 

Today's Arctic communities have all the comforts of modern living. Yet the Inuit survived in this harsh landscape for hundreds of years with nothing but the land and their own ingenuity. Join authors Alootook Ipellie and David MacDonald as they explore the amazing innovations of traditional Inuit and how their ideas continue to echo around the world. 

Some inventions are still familiar to us: the one-person watercraft known as a kayak retains its Inuit name. Other innovations have been replaced by modern technology: slitted snow goggles protected Inuit eyes long before sunglasses arrived on the scene. And other ideas were surprisingly inspired: using human-shaped stone stacks (lnunnguat) to trick and trap caribou. 

Many more Inuit innovations are explored here, including:

  • Dog sleds
  • Kids' stuff
  • Shelter
  • Food preservation
  • Clothing
  • Medicine.

In all, more than 40 Inuit items and ideas are showcased through dramatic photos and captivating language. From how these objects were made, to their impact on contemporary culture, The Inuit Thought of It is a remarkable catalog of Inuit invention.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 10-12.

B.C. Science Supplementary Resource: Gr.3- Physical Science 

B.C. Science Supplementary Resource Gr.4- Life Science

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
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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When We Were Alone
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Cree;

When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength.

Reviews
"When We Were Alone is rare. It is exquisite and stunning, for the power conveyed by the words Robertson wrote, and for the illustrations that Flett created. I highly recommend it." — Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature.

"…Robertson handles a delicate task here admirably well: explaining residential schools, that shameful legacy, and making them understandable to small children. It’s a dark history, and the author doesn’t disguise that, but he wisely focuses the grandmother’s tale on how, season by season, the students use creativity, imagination, and patience to retain their sense of identity. A beautifully quiet, bold strength arises from the continued refrain “When we were alone” and in how the children insisted on being themselves. Flett’s gorgeous, skillful illustrations have a flattened, faux naïve feel to them, like construction paper collage, a style that works perfectly with the story. She nicely contrasts the school’s dull browns and grays with the riotous colors surrounding Nókom and gets much expression from her simple silhouettes. Spare, poetic, and moving, this Cree heritage story makes a powerful impression." — Kirkus Reviews

"When We Were Alone addresses the topic of residential schools and, just as importantly, aspects of Cree culture and language. There is such gentleness about When We Were Alone that makes it an appropriate book for the even youngest of readers. Simply put, this is a much-needed book. Highly Recommended." — Dr. Kristen Ferguson, CM Magazine

"Robertson's text moves between the present and the past, the girl's questions and Nókom's memories, which deepen and intensify the quiet, powerful way she lives out her own culture, day by day, in the present. A beautifully rendered story of resisitance and love, this is made all the more luminous by Flett's art - not just by flashes of fuschsia or scarlet among ochre grasses, but by her precisely observed images of the compact bodies of the uniformed children, bowed beneath the weight of the scissors, or lovingly tending each other's hair. Highly recommended." — Deirdre Baker, Toronto Star

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 3 and under.

Grades 10-11 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit First Steps - Exploring Residential School and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.50" x 7.50" | colour illustrations 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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