Indigenous Narratives

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife
Authors:
Robert Bringhurst
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;

A seminal collection of Haida myths and legends; now in a gorgeous new package.

The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form.

Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurst brings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton's careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe.

Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London.

Bringhurst brings these works to life in the English language and sets them in a context just as rich as the stories themselves one that reaches out to dozens of Native American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions around the world.

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Bella Coola Man
Authors:
Harvey Thommasen
Format: Paperback

When Clayton Mack was a child, his parents wrapped him in wolf skin and dumped him in water four times so he would grow up strong and fierce in the woods like a wolf. True to this Nuxalk tradition, Mack grew up to be a world-famous grizzly bear hunter and guide.
Clayton Mack''s first book of amazing tales about bears and q''umsciwas (white men), "Grizzlies and White Guys," became an instant best seller when it was published in 1993. In "Bella Coola Man," Clayton Mack continues his hair-raising stories about pulling bears out of the bushes by their legs, eating fresh bear meat with Thor Heyerdahl, finding gold nuggets in the bush, murder in the Big Ootsa country and dead men's talking beans, plus Crooked Jaw the Indian agent and where to find good fishing.
Clayton Mack was a walking encyclopedia of tribal lore, and one of the best storytellers ever born. The stories in "Bella Coola Man" are the last he told, and reflect his desire to pass on as much information about Nuxalk life and legends as he could before his death. Hear about the man-eater dance performed at River's Inlet where the dancers ate a dead woman's head, or about the last Indian war on the coast, native remedies like devil's club tea which is "good for anything," Alexander Mackenzie''s travels through Bella Coola country along the Grease Trail, how native hunters killed mountain goats by prying them off cliffs with sticks, and about forgotten villages and places, which come alive again through Clayton Mack''s words.
Clayton Mack had a deep understanding and appreciation of life on British Columbia''s rugged coast. His stories are unique lessons in history, as well as pure entertainment. Here are the stories of the legend himself, Clayton Mack.

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Beneath Raven Moon: Ba'naboy' Laxa Gwa'wina 'Makwala
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Kwakwaka'wakw;

There are as many Creation stories as there are First Nations on Turtle Island. The story of a Great Flood is known to indigenous people in every corner of the world. But what about the Moon? Who made her? What was her intended purpose?

Beneath Raven Moon is an enchanting tale of the creation of Grandmother Moon and of the first time she wove her spell on a young, unsuspecting couple.

The story unfolds in the territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw people – now also known as British Columbia’s Inside Passage – where Raven and Eagle join together in good-natured conspiracy to foster a heart-warming romance.

Follow the magical vision of Métis author David Bouchard and Kwakwaka’wakw artist Andy Everson to learn why Raven found it necessary to bless us with the heavenly sphere that guides we two-leggeds and illuminates our night sky. And enjoy the enchantment of the music and flute of Mary Youngblood as you sit in wonder ... Beneath Raven Moon.  

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$24.95

In Re-Print
Centering Anishinaabeg Studies
Authors:
Jill Doerflier
Format: Paperback
For the Anishinaabeg people, who span a vast geographic region from the Great Lakes to the Plains and beyond, stories are vessels of knowledge. They are bagijiganan, offerings of the possibilities within Anishinaabeg life. Existing along a broad narrative spectrum, from aadizookaanag (traditional or sacred narratives) to dibaajimowinan (histories and news)—as well as everything in between—storytelling is one of the central practices and methods of individual and community existence. Stories create and understand, survive and endure, revitalize and persist. They honor the past, recognize the present, and provide visions of the future. In remembering, (re)making, and (re)writing stories, Anishinaabeg storytellers have forged a well-traveled path of agency, resistance, and resurgence. Respecting this tradition, this groundbreaking anthology features twenty-four contributors who utilize creative and critical approaches to propose that this people’s stories carry dynamic answers to questions posed within Anishinaabeg communities, nations, and the world at large. Examining a range of stories and storytellers across time and space, each contributor explores how narratives form a cultural, political, and historical foundation for Anishinaabeg Studies. Written by Anishinaabeg and non-Anishinaabeg scholars, storytellers, and activists, these essays draw upon the power of cultural expression to illustrate active and ongoing senses of Anishinaabeg life. They are new and dynamic bagijiganan, revealing a viable and sustainable center for Anishinaabeg Studies, what it has been, what it is, what it can be.
$29.95

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Chiwid
Authors:
Sage Birchwater
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Tsilhqot'in;

Chiwid was a Tsilhqot'in woman, said to have shamanistic powers, who spent most of her adult life "living out" in the hills and forests around Williams Lake, BC. Chiwid is the story of this remarkable woman told in the vibrant voices of Chilcotin oldtimers, both native and non-native.

Reviews
"Chiwid was a Chilcotin woman who lived outside, self-sufficiently for most of her life and moving camps with the seasons. Chiwid is a collection of oral histories about the woman, her family and what life was like in the Chilcotin area of British Columbia in the early to mid-1900s." - The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

Additional Information
128 pages | 8.00" x 9.00" 

Authenticity Note: This book's author is not Indigenous; however, the book is listing as containing Authentic Indigenous Text because it contains stories collected by the author from Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It is up to readers to determine if this book will work as an authentic text for their purposes.

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$16.00

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Cloudwalker
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Gitxsan;

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.

Series Information
This book is part of the Northwest Coast Legends series.

Additional Information
40 pages | 12.00" x 8.25"

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$19.95

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Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond
Format: Hardcover

Picture a Crow Indian elder, his wizened eyes catching yours in the ancient flicker of firelight. His mesmerizing stories span the ages, from Custer to World War II to the 21st Century. He is the last traditional chief of his people. He is over 90 years old. Now picture that same man lecturing at colleges nationwide, and addressing the United Nations on the subject of peace.

National Geographic presents the amazing life story of Joseph Medicine Crow, the man who begins life as Winter Man. Trained as a warrior by his grandfather, Yellowtail, he bathes in icy rivers and endures the ceremony of "counting coup"—facing fierce combat with an enemy Sioux boy.

An operation at the local hospital brings the young Crow face-to-face with his worst fears: a Sioux, a ghost, and a white man. He excels at the white man's school and is raised in the Baptist faith. He translates the stories of the elder chiefs, becoming the link to the ancient traditions of the pre-reservation generation. His own dramatic and funny stories span both ages, and the ancient Crow legends are passed on in the storytelling tradition.

Joseph Medicine Crow's doctorate degree was interrupted by the call to arms of World War II. On the battlefields of Germany he earned the ancient status of War Chief by completing the four war deeds required of the Crow warrior.

In 1948 the Crow Tribal Council appointed Joseph Medicine Crow (now called High Bird) their Tribal Historian and Anthropologist.

Counting Coup is a vibrant adventure narrative, bringing Native American history and culture alive for young readers. Joseph Medicine Crow's story illuminates the challenges faced by the Crow people as hurricanes of change raged through America. His epic story and its lessons are an essential legacy for us all.

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.55" x 8.55"

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$21.95

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Earth Elder Stories
Authors:
Alexander Wolfe
Format: Paperback

Alexander Wolfe is a Saulteaux/Ojibwa storyteller and the keeper of his family's oral history. These stories belong to his family and include accounts of how the descendents of Pinayzitt, a Saulteaux leader who lived in the Northwest Territories of Canada and the Great Plains of the United States in the 1800s, lived on the land, survived the smallpox and flu epidemics, signed treaties, and were confined to reservations.

The stories blend history with legend and prophecy, giving both the equal weight they occupy in Native oral tradition. In their retelling, Wolfe carries out his responsibility of passing on his family's stories to the next generation, as well as encouraging Natives to record their histories and non-Natives to understand the significance and lessons of these tales.

Earth Elder Stories has proven an excellent resource for students of Native Studies, history, linguistics, and literature.

$14.95

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From the Tundra to the Trenches
Editors:
Thibault Martin
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

“My name is Weetaltuk; Eddy Weetaltuk. My Eskimo tag name is E9-422.” So begins From the "Tundra to the Trenches." Weetaltuk means “innocent eyes” in Inuktitut, but to the Canadian government, he was known as E9-422: E for Eskimo, 9 for his community, 422 to identify Eddy.

In 1951, Eddy decided to leave James Bay. Because Inuit weren’t allowed to leave the North, he changed his name and used this new identity to enlist in the Canadian Forces: Edward Weetaltuk, E9-422, became Eddy Vital, SC-17515, and headed off to fight in the Korean War. In 1967, after fifteen years in the Canadian Forces, Eddy returned home. He worked with Inuit youth struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, and, in 1974, started writing his life’s story. This compelling memoir traces an Inuk’s experiences of world travel and military service. Looking back on his life, Weetaltuk wanted to show young Inuit that they can do and be what they choose. 

Reviews
“Endlessly interesting; an account of a traditional way of life now lost, a gripping first-hand account of a front-line soldier during the war, and an honest account of a young man’s adventures and misadventures. It is to all our benefit that it has, at last, found its way into print." — Michael Melgaard, The National Post

“Tender, honest, and often raw, Weetaltuk’s storytelling is masterful, engrossing, and deeply human. He has imbued his writing with a philosophical nuance that is characteristically Inuit: very subtle, yet profound." — Siku Allooloo, The Malahat Review

“Recounts the adventures of Inuk veteran Eddy Weetaltuk, from his early life in the North to his escape to the south under an assumed identity, to his enlistment in the Canadian Forces, which took him across the Canadian West, to Japan and Germany, and into battle in Korea. Adopting the name Eddy Vital was necessary in 1951 because the federal government restricted the movement of Inuit people. Through his alias, Weetaltuk was able to see the world; in the army, he experienced equality and respect – all the while never forgetting his true identity as an Inuk. The publication history of From the Tundra to the Trenches is itself a four-decades-long saga of many twists and turns. That it now finds English publication (after first appearing in French and German) owes to the author’s conviction that his life story be read as a work of literature with the makings of a bestseller. Eddy Weetaltuk was right.”— Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail

“For those interested in Inuit culture it offers the rare and valuable perspective of an Inuk looking out from his culture at the world rather than the world looking in. “ — P. T. Sherrill, CHOICE

Series Information
From the Tundra to the Trenches is the fourth book in the First Voices, First Texts series, which publishes lost or underappreciated texts by Indigenous writers. This new English edition of Eddy Weetaltuk’s memoir includes a foreword and appendix by Thibault Martin and an introduction by Isabelle St-Amand.

Additional Information
280 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 25 colour illustrations, 3 b&w photographs, bibliography

 

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$24.95

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Gatherings Journal XV: Youth Water Anthology
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Gatherings XV: Youth - Water Anthology features writing submissions from B.C. based Indigenous Youth on the theme of water. 

This special book marks the return of the Gatherings anthologies that were a mainstay of Theytus Books’ publishing program for a decade.
The Gatherings-Water project reflects the cultural rejuvenation of Indigenous Youth in B.C. It is not only a revival of a respected anthology series, but also a new level of engagement between publishing house and community, between established writers and emerging voices, and finally a testament to the connection of Indigenous Youth with the life-sustaining power of water.

Essays, narratives, fictional pieces and poems are grouped thematically under headings: 

  • Drip, Drip, Drip
  • Splashes
  • Tears
  • Cleansing Rain
  • Rivers Flow
  • Waves
  • Tsunami

The authors are from all over BC from Haida Gwaii to Vancouver Island.

Educator Information
Useful for English Language Arts courses for grades 10-12.

Additional Information
248 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$22.95

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Glimpses of Oneida Life
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Oneida;

Glimpses of Oneida Life is a remarkable compilation of modern stories of community life at the Oneida Nation of the Thames Settlement and the surrounding area. With topics ranging from work experiences and Oneida customs to pranks, humorous encounters, and ghost stories, these fifty-two unscripted narrations and conversations in Oneida represent a rare collection of first-hand Iroquoian reflections on aspects of daily life and culture not found in print elsewhere.

Each text is presented in Oneida with both an interlinear, word-by-word translation and a more colloquial translation in English. The book also contains a grammatical sketch of the Oneida language by Karin Michelson, co-author of the Oneida-English/English-Oneida Dictionary, that describes how words are structured and combined into larger linguistic structures, thus allowing Glimpses to be used as a teaching text as well.

The engrossing tales in Glimpses of Oneida Life will be a valuable resource for linguists and language learners, a useful source for those studying the history and culture of Iroquois people in the twentieth-century, and an entertaining read for anyone interested in everyday First Nations life in southern Ontario.

Additional Information
472 pages | 6.97" x 10.00"

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$49.95

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Half Breed
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Maria Cambpell's biography is a classic, vital account of a young Metis woman's struggle to come to terms with the joys, sorrows, loves and tragedies of her northern Saskatchewan childhood.

Maria was a strong and sensitive child who lived in a community robbed of its pride and dignity by the dominant culture. At 15 she tried in vain to escape by marrying a white man, only to find herself trapped in the slums of Vancouver; addicted to drugs, tempted by suicide, close to death. But the inspiration of her Cree great-grandmother, Cheechum, gives her confidence in herself and in her people, confidence she needs to survive and to thrive.

Half-Breed offers an unparalleled understanding of the Metis people and of the racism and hatred they face. Maria Campbell's story cannot be denied and it cannot be forgotten: it stands as a challenge to all Canadians who believe in human rights and human dignity

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$14.95

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Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;

Indigenous perspectives much older than the nation itself shared through maps, artwork, history and culture.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in partnership with Canada's national Indigenous organizations, has created a groundbreaking four-volume atlas that shares the experiences, perspectives, and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It's an ambitious and unprecedented project inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Exploring themes of language, demographics, economy, environment and culture, with in-depth coverage of treaties and residential schools, these are stories of Canada's Indigenous Peoples, told in detailed maps and rich narratives.

This extraordinary project offers Canada a step on the path toward understanding.

The volumes contain more than 48 pages of reference maps, content from more than 50 Indigenous writers; hundreds of historical and contemporary photographs and a glossary of Indigenous terms, timelines, map of Indigenous languages, and frequently asked questions. All packaged together in a beautifully designed protective slipcase.

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 13+.

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada includes a four volume print atlas, an online atlas, an app, and more!

Additional Information
322 pages | 10.50" x 12.87"

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$83.00

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Legends of Vancouver
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Kanyen'kehà:ka (Mohawk);

Legends of Vancouver was written at the turn of the last century and first published in 1911. The written collection of legends and myths was the result of a meeting, and later the fast friendship, between a Mohawk princess and a West Coast Squamish Chief.

Before her arrival on the West Coast, Pauline Johnson had acquired notoriety as a poet and performer and as an active proponent of Mohawk culture. That she was drawn to local legends was a natural extension of an already prolific career as a writer and stage performer. Retiring from the stage when she reached Vancouver in 1909, it was only right that she continue to share her stories. These were first published separately in a local newspaper and later published in book form. Johnson’s book of native legends quickly became a classic of Vancouver’s literature.

We can still detect to this day the joy of discovery that Johnson imprinted in her writing of the legends. Whether just arrived or long time residents, readers will share with Johnson emotions of discovery when seized, through her writings, by the beauty of the surroundings, just as she was 100 years ago. This book is also a portrait of a very young Vancouver with its much loved Stanley Park, its rough and tumble gold diggers and its millennium old First Nations.

Pauline Johnson’s tomb is set in Stanley Park, near Third Beach. In 1922, almost 13 years after her death, the City of Vancouver paid tribute to this magnificent artist and her legacy by erecting a monument in her honour.

This 100th anniversary edition combines a mix of modern and archival pictures of Vancouver to provide a sense of where these legends took place and how they are incorporated in the modern city.

Educator Information
Recommended for grades 4-12 English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Caution: Use of the terms “Indian” and “Redskins”.

Additional Information
148 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$15.95

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Napi: The Trickster
Authors:
Hugh A. Dempsey
Format: Paperback

An enthralling collection of traditional Blackfoot stories revealing the frailty of mankind and the enduring power of narrative.

Napi, the Old Man of the Blackfoot Nation, appears prominently in mythology, sometimes as a quasi-Creator, sometimes a fool, and sometimes a brutal murderer. Although Napi is given credit for creating many of the objects and creatures on Earth, and indeed the Earth itself, the Blackfoot do not consider him to be god-like. Napi stories tell of this mythical figure creating the world and everything in it, but getting into trouble when he starts tinkering with his own creation. Perhaps for this reason, anthropologists have labelled him a trickster/creator.

For thousands of years, people have gathered around the campfire and listened to stories of how Napi blundered and schemed his way through Blackfoot country. They laugh at how Napi was outwitted by a lame fox, how he tried to fly with the geese only to look down when he was told not to and fell to the earth. He makes a perfect subject for telling, listening, and enjoying—and for teaching.

Hugh Dempsey, venerable historian and strong ally of the Blackfoot Nation, has gathered together a number of Napi stories passed on through oral tradition, many recorded and analysed by outsiders, but used by permission of Blackfoot elders. These stories offer complex insight into an ancient and still-thriving culture through the figure of a flawed yet powerful creature—a mirror of humankind itself.

Reviews
"By gathering together a sizeable collection of stories passed down through oral tradition, Dempsey and Koski offer insight into a venerable and still-thriving culture, as well as a piece of history to be kept and passed on to younger generations for years to come." — Vue Weekly

Additional Information
144 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" 

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$19.95

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