Mi'kmaq

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Clay Pots and Bones
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;

The poetry of Clay Pots and Bones is Lindsay Marshall’s way of telling stories, of speaking with others about what things that matter to him. His heritage. His people. His life as a Mi’kmaw. For the reader, Clay Pots and Bones is a colourful journey from early days, when the People of the Dawn understood, interacted with and roamed the land freely, to the turbulent present and the uncertain future where Marshall envisions a rebirth of the Mi’kmaq. The poetry challenges and enlightens. It will, most certainly, entertain.

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Daniel Paul: Mi'kmaw Elder
Authors:
Jon Tattrie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Born in a log cabin during a raging blizzard on Indian Brook Reserve in 1938, Mi'kmaw elder Daniel N. Paul rose to the top of a Canadian society that denied his people's civilization. When he was named to the Order of Canada, his citation called him a "powerful and passionate advocate for social justice and the eradication of racial discrimination." His Order of Nova Scotia honour said he "gives a voice to his people by revealing a past that the standard histories have chosen to ignore."

But long before the acclaim, there was the Indian Agent denying food to his begging mother. There was the education system that taught him his people were savages. There was the Department of Indian Affairs that frustrated his work to bring justice to his people.

His landmark book We Were Not the Savages exposed the brutalities of the collision between European and Native American civilizations from a Mi'kmaq perspective. The book sold tens of thousands of copies around the world and inspired others to learn history from an indigenous point of view.

He shone a light on Halifax founder Edward Cornwallis through newspaper columns and public debates over two decades, calling on Nova Scotia to stop honouring the man whose scalping proclamations were an act of genocide against the Mi'kmaq.

Now, for the first time, here is the full story of his personal journey of transformation, a story that will inspire Canadians to recognize and respect their First Nations as equal and enlightened civilizations.

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Doug Knockwood, Mi'kmaw Elder: Stories, Memories, Reflections
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Freeman Douglas Knockwood is a highly respected Elder in Mi’kmaw Territory and one of Canada’s premier addictions recovery counsellors. The story of his life is one of unimaginable colonial trauma, recovery and hope.

At age 6, Knockwood was placed in the Shubenacadie Residential School, where he remained for a year and a half. Like hundreds of other Mi’kmaw and Maliseet children, he suffered horrible abuse. By the time he reached his twenties, he was an alcoholic. He contracted tuberculosis in the 1940s, had one lung and several ribs removed.

Having hit rock bottom, Knockwood, gained sobriety in his thirties through Alcoholics Anonymous. He went on to become a much sought after drug and alcohol rehabilitation counsellor in Canada. Many of Doug’s initiatives have been implemented across Canada and used by thousands of people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Looking back now, says Doug, “I realize I wasn’t only helping them. They were helping me to gather strength in my presentations, in feeding them the knowledge I received, the same as it was fed to me. That helped me to gain confidence in myself; doing all these things that I didn’t know I could yet do”.

This book is an in-depth look at Doug Knockwood’s life that also casts a wide and critical glance at the forces that worked to undermine his existence and the indomitable spirit of a man who recovered from, yet still struggles to overcome, those forces.

Educator Information
The 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Social Justice, Social Studies.

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128 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | Written by Doug Knockwood and Friends

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First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life: The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia
Authors:
Simone Poliandri
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;

Issues of identity figure prominently in Native North American communities, mediating their histories, traditions, culture, and status. This is certainly true of the Mi’kmaw people of Nova Scotia, whose lives on reserves create highly complex economic, social, political, and spiritual realities. This ethnography investigates identity construction and negotiations among the Mi’kmaq, as well as the role of identity dynamics in Mi’kmaw social relationships on and off the reserve. Featuring direct testimonies from over sixty individuals, this work offers a vivid firsthand perspective on contemporary Mi’kmaw reserve life.

Simone Poliandri begins First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life with a search for the criteria used by the Mi’kmaq to construct their identities, which are traced within the context of their different perceptions of community, tradition, spirituality, relationship with the Catholic Church, and the recent reevaluation of the iconic figure of late activist Annie Mae Aquash. Building on the notions of self-identification and ascribed identity as the primary components of identity, Poliandri argues that placing others at specific locations within the social landscape of their communities allows the Mi’kmaq to define and reinforce their own spaces by way of association, contrast, or both. This identification of others highlights Mi’kmaw people’s agency in shaping and monitoring the representations of their identities. With its theoretical insights, this richly textured ethnography will enhance understanding of identity dynamics among Indigenous communities even as it illuminates the unique nature of the Mi’kmaw people.

$135.00

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Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School
Authors:
Chris Benjamin
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;

In Indian School Road, journalist Chris Benjamin tackles the controversial and tragic history of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, its predecessors, and its lasting effects, giving voice to multiple perspectives for the first time. Benjamin integrates research, interviews, and testimonies to guide readers through the varied experiences of students, principals, and teachers over the school’s nearly forty years of operation (1930–1967) and beyond. Exposing the raw wounds of Truth and Reconciliation as well as the struggle for an inclusive Mi’kmaw education system, Indian School Road is a comprehensive and compassionate narrative history of the school that uneducated hundreds of Aboriginal children.

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Living Treaties: Narrating Mi'kmaw Treaty Relations
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Regardless of Canada's governmental attitude of entitlement, First Nations, Métis and Inuit lands and resources are still tied to treaties and other documents. Their relevance seems forever in dispute, so it is important to know about them, to read them, to hear them and to comprehend their constitutional significance in contemporary life.

This book aims to reveal another side of the treaties and their histories, focusing on stories from contemporary perspectives, both Mi'kmaw and their non-Mi'kmaw allies, who have worked with, experienced and indeed lived with the treaties at various times over the last fifty years. These authors have had experiences contesting the Crown's version of the treaty story, or have been rebuilding the Mi'kmaq and their nation with the strength of their work from their understandings of Mi'kmaw history. They share how they came to know about treaties, about the key family members and events that shaped their thinking and their activism and life's work.

In Living Treaties, the authors offer the stories of those who have lived under the colonial regime of a not-so-ancient time. Herein are passionate activists and allies who uncover the treaties, and their contemporary meanings, to both Mi'kmaq and settler societies and who speak to their future with them. Here also are the voices of a new generation of indigenous lawyers and academics who have made their life choices with credentials solidly in hand in order to pursue social and cognitive justice for their families and their people. Their mission: to enliven the treaties out of the caverns of the public archives, to bring them back to life and to justice as part of the supreme law of Canada; and to use them to mobilize the Mi'kmaw restoration and renaissance that seeks to reaffirm, restore and rebuild Mi'kmaw identity, consciousness, knowledges and heritages, as well as our connections and rightful resources to our land and ecologies.

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324 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Mi'sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief's Journey
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;

Mi'sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief's Journey chronicles both the life of an individual and that of his people. Mi'sel Joe is the traditional and administrative chief of Newfoundland's Conne River Mi'kmaq Reserve. Through a series of taped interviews with Raoul Andersen and John Crellin, Mi'sel Joe tells his life story, including his unorthodox education through the many migratory jobs that took him as far west as Alberta.

Mi'sel Joe also speaks of a community fighting for the right to determine its own future. He tells of the struggle to revitalize traditional values in the face of racial prejudice. He reveals the steps being taken by aboriginal leaders, both in this province and elsewhere, to help their people gain respect in a white man's world without losing their own identity. Mi'sel Joe's story is his own, but it is also a window into Mi'kmaq history, culture, and traditions.

Suggested Grades: 8-12
ABPBC

Authenticity Note: Because of Mi'sel Joe's contributions to this work, it has been labelled as containing Authentic Indigenous Text.

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Ni'n na L'nu The Mi'kmaq of Prince Edward Island
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;

This lavishly-illustrated book tells a story through words and images that has never before been told, not in any single book. The focus is entirely on the Mi'kmaq of the Island, an island which for thousands of years has been known to the Mi'kmaq and their ancestors as Epekwitk. That name means "cradle on the sea" and no more poetic description of PEI has ever been penned. The story of the PEI Mi'kmaq is one of adaptation and perseverance across countless generations in the face of pervasive change. Today's environment is far from what it was millennia ago. So too, the economy, society, lifestyle, language and religion of the people has witnessed some dramatic shifts. Nonetheless, despite all the changes, today's Mi'kmaq feel deeply connected to the Island in its entirety and to their ancestors and the values they still share. This book tells those many stories, and communicates much more. While the book is a stand-alone publication, it is also a companion to a travelling exhibition of the same name.

- Winner of APMA Best Atlantic-Published Book Award
- Winner of PEI Book Award for Non-fiction

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Nkij’inen Teluet / Our Grandmothers’ Words: Traditional Stories For Nurturing
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;

Traditional child raising practices recognize that you begin to raise a child from the moment you know you are pregnant, this book shares the Grandmother’s understandings for pregnancy and birth as well as some traditional stories that are used to help guide and nurture parents and children as they grow together.

This book is created by Prune Harris from the words and wisdom of four Grandmothers from the Mi’kmaw Nation of Eskasoni. They are Diana Denny, Murdena Marshall, Susie Marshall and Veronica (Flo) Young.

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Nta'tugwaqanminen: Our Story: Evolution of the Gespege'wa'gi Mi'gmaq
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Nta’tugwaqanminen provides evidence that the Mi’gmaq of the Gespe’gewa’gi (Northern New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula) have occupied their territory since time immemorial. They were the sole occupants of it prior to European settlement and occupied it on a continuous basis. This book was written through an alliance between the Mi’gmaq of Northern Gespe’gewa’gi (Gaspé Peninsula), their Elders and a group of eminent researchers in the field with the aim of reclaiming their history, both oral and written, in the context of what is known as knowledge re-appropriation. It also provides non-Aboriginal peoples with a view of how Mi’gmaq history looks when it is written from an Indigenous perspective. 

There are two voices in the book — that of the Mi’gmaq of the Gespe’gewa’gi, including the Elders, as they act as narrators of the collective history, and that of the researchers, who studied all possible aspects of this history, including advanced investigation on place names as indicators of migration patterns. 

Nta’tugwaqanminen speaks of the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq vision, history, relation to the land, past and present occupation of the territory and their place names and what they reveal in terms of ancient territorial occupation. It speaks of the treaties they agreed to with the British Crown, the respect of these treaties on the part of the Mi’gmaq people and the disrespect of them from the various levels of governments. This book speaks about the dispossession the Mi’gmaq of Gespe’gewa’gi had to endure while the European settlers illegally occupied and developed the Gaspé Peninsula to their own advantage and the rights and titles the Mi’gmaq people still have on their lands.

Author Note: The Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmawei Mawiomi is the organization that represents the three communities of the northern part of Gespe’gewa’gi. Research associates Richard Jeannotte and Donald Jeannotte, both Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaqs, and Danielle E. Cyr, senior scholar at York University, wrote the seven first chapters. Troy Jerome, current Mi’gmawei Mawiomi Secretariat Executive Director / Nutewistoq wrote Chapter 8.

 
Educator Information 
This book would be useful for courses in social studies, history, and English language arts.  Recommended for grades 8-12, as well as college/university courses.
 
Table of Contents
Foreword by Satsun (Herb George)
Introduction: How We Came to Write Nta’tugwaqanminen
Our Territory in Prehistoric Times
Our Place Names
Our Creation Story and Fundamental Myths
Our Historical Presence in Gespe’gewa’gi
The Treaty Relationship Between Mi’gmaq of Gespe’gewa’gi and the British Crown
Good Faith and Dispossession
Our Constitutional Rights as Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq
The Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq in Contemporary Times
Conclusion: Our Story Continues
Notes
Bibliography
Index
 
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320 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
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There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities
Authors:
Ingrid R G Waldron
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

In There’s Something In The Water, Ingrid R. G. Waldron examines the legacy of environmental racism and its health impacts in Indigenous and Black communities in Canada, using Nova Scotia as a case study, and the grassroots resistance activities by Indigenous and Black communities against the pollution and poisoning of their communities.

Using settler colonialism as the overarching theory, Waldron unpacks how environmental racism operates as a mechanism of erasure enabled by the intersecting dynamics of white supremacy, power, state-sanctioned racial violence, neoliberalism and racial capitalism in white settler societies. By and large, the environmental justice narrative in Nova Scotia fails to make race explicit, obscuring it within discussions on class, and this type of strategic inadvertence mutes the specificity of Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian experiences with racism and environmental hazards in Nova Scotia. By redefining the parameters of critique around the environmental justice narrative and movement in Nova Scotia and Canada, Waldron opens a space for a more critical dialogue on how environmental racism manifests itself within this intersectional context.

Waldron also illustrates the ways in which the effects of environmental racism are compounded by other forms of oppression to further dehumanize and harm communities already dealing with pre-existing vulnerabilities, such as long-standing social and economic inequality. Finally, Waldron documents the long history of struggle, resistance, and mobilizing in Indigenous and Black communities to address environmental racism.

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184 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$25.00

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Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi'kmaw Quest for Justice
Authors:
L. Jane McMillan
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: University/College;

The name “Donald Marshall Jr.” is synonymous with “wrongful conviction” and the fight for Indigenous rights in Canada. In Truth and Conviction, Jane McMillan – Marshall’s former partner, an acclaimed anthropologist, and an original defendant in the Supreme Court’s Marshall decision on Indigenous fishing rights – tells the story of how Marshall’s fight against injustice permeated Canadian legal consciousness and revitalized Indigenous law.

Marshall was destined to assume the role of hereditary chief of Mi’kmaq nation when, in 1971, at the age of seventeen, he was wrongly convicted of murder. He spent more than eleven years in jail before a royal commission exonerated him and exposed the entrenched racism underlying the terrible miscarriage of justice. Four years later, in 1993, he was charged with fishing eels without a licence. With the backing of Mi’kmaq chiefs and the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, he took the case all the way to the Supreme Court to vindicate Indigenous treaty rights in the landmark Marshall decision.

Marshall was only fifty-five when he died in 2009. His legacy lives on as Mi’kmaq continue to assert their rights and build justice programs grounded in customary laws and practices, key steps in the path to self-determination and reconciliation.

This book will appeal to anyone interested in the Donald Marshall story, Indigenous peoples encounters with the law, and social justice issues.

Reviews
"Jane McMillian has written an admirable, engaging, and formidable book about an Indigenous man’s quest for justice against the systemic injustices of Canada." - Sákéj Henderson, research fellow, Native Law Centre of Canada, University of Saskatchewan

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288 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 10 black and white photographs

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$34.95

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