Dene

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Chilcotin Chronicles
Authors:
Sage Birchwater
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Dakelh; Nuxalk; Tsilhqot'in;
A compilation of stories that meld both culture and bloodlines, Chilcotin Chronicles by Sage Birchwater is set in the wild and untamed country of central British Columbia’s Chilcotin Plateau. West of the Fraser River, this high country is contained by an arc of impenetrable mountain ranges that separates it from the Pacific Coast. The first inhabitants of this region were fiercely independent, molded by the land itself. Those who came later were drawn to this landscape with its mysterious aura of freedom, where time stood still and where a person could find solace in the wilderness and never be found.

Birchwater reaches back to first European contact in British Columbia when the indigenous population spoke forty of Canada’s fifty-four languages and seventy of Canada’s one hundred dialects. The land known today as the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast was already an entity when Alexander Mackenzie arrived in 1793. Bonds of friendship, mutual support and family ties had long been established between the Dakelh, Tsilhqot’in and Nuxalk, giving cohesiveness to the region. Chilcotin Chronicles is about the men and women caught in the interface of cultures and the changing landscape. Indigenous inhabitants and white newcomers brought together by the fur brigades, then later by the gold rush, forged a path together, uncharted and unpredictable. Birchwater discovers that their stories, seemingly disconnected, are intrinsically linked together to create a human ecosystem with very deep roots. The lives of these early inhabitants give substance to the landscape. They give meaning to the people who live there today.
Authentic Canadian Content
$26.95

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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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.00

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From Lishamie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;

With astonishing detail, Albert Canadien fondly recounts his boyhood years in Lishamie, a traditional Dene camp north of the Mackenzie River, and reflects on the devastating and long-lasting impact residential schooling had on him, his family and his people. Separated at a young age from his parents and forced to attend a strict Catholic boarding school, the author, and many like him, was robbed of his language, community and traditional way of living. From Lishamie is a candid memoir of loss and of the journey back.

Reviews
"From Lishamie focuses on the loss of language, culture, exposure to the land, and brings a stark contrast of life pre- and post-residential schools. This rich and lasting book portrays the fullness of life on the land, the seasons, travelling with the food sources, and community." - Joyce Atcheson

Additional Information
284 pages | 5.50" x 8.49"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.95

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People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich'in Elders / Googwandak Nakhwach'anjoo Van Tat Gwich'in
Format: Paperback
Many people have a mental picture of the Canadian north that juxtaposes beauty with harshness. For the Van Tat Gwich'in, the northern Yukon is home, with a living history passed on from elders to youth. This book consists of oral accounts that the Elders have been recording for 50 years, representing more than 150 years of their history, all meticulously translated from Gwich'in. Yet this is more than a gathering of history; collaborator Shirleen Smith provides context for the stories, whether they are focused on an individual or international politics. Anthropologists, folklorists, ethnohistorians, political scientists, economists, members of First Nations, and readers interested in Canada's northernmost regions will find much to fascinate them.
$34.95

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Potlatch at Gitsegukla: William Beynon's 1945 Field Notebooks
Authors:
Marjorie M Halpin
Format: Paperback

William Beynon was born in 1888 in Victoria to a Welsh father and a Tsimshian mother. He was an accomplished ethnographer and had a long career documenting the traditions of the Tsimshian, Nisga'a, and Gitksan. In 1945 he attended and actively participated in five days of potlatches and totem pole raisings at Gitksan village of Gitsegukla. There he compiled four notebooks containing detailed and often verbatim information about the events he witnessed. For over 50 years these notebooks have seen limited circulation among specialists, who have long recognized them as the most perceptive and complete account of potlatching ever recorded. In Potlatch at Gitsegukla the almost 200 pages of the notebooks are published for the first time. Sketches and a selection of photographs taken by Beynon are also included (augmented by photographs taken by Wilson Duff in 1952). In addition to meticulously transcribing and annotating the text of the notebooks, Margaret Anderson and Marjorie Halpin provide a comprehensive introduction that puts Beynon's account into a Gitskan cultural perspective, as well as extensive appendices listing names, places, and Gitskan terms in the notebooks. There is also an excellent timeline of key events in Gitskan history by James McDonald and Jennifer Joseph. William Beynon's notebooks are among the most significant written records of Northwest coast potlatching and are an unsurpassed resource documenting these activities among the Gitskan. This rare, first-hand, ethnographic account of a potlatch reveals the wonderful complexities of the events that took place in Gitsegukla in 1945.

$39.95

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Stoney Creek Woman
Authors:
Bridget Moran
Format: Paperback

The captivating story of Mary John (who passed away in 2004), a pioneering Carrier Native whose life on the Stoney Creek reserve in central BC is a capsule history of First Nations life from a unique woman's perspective.

A mother of twelve, Mary endured much tragedy and heartbreak the pangs of racism, poverty, and the deaths of six children but lived her life with extraordinary grace and courage. Years after her death, she continues to be a positive role model for Aboriginals across Canada. In 1997 she received the Order of Canada. This edition of Stoney Creek Woman, one of Arsenal's all-time bestsellers, includes a new preface by author Bridget Moran, and new photographs.

Shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Now in its 14th printing.

$19.95

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The Lesser Blessed
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: T???ch? (Dogrib);

A powerful coming-of-age story -- edgy, stark, and at times, darkly funny that centers around Larry, a Native teenager trying to cope with a painful past and find his place in a confusing and stressful modern world.

Larry is a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. His tongue, his hallucinations and his fantasies are hotter than the centre of the sun. At sixteen, he loves Iron Maiden, the North and Juliet Hope, the high school tramp.

In this powerful and very funny first novel, Richard Van Camp gives us one of the most original teenage characters in Canadian fiction. Skinny as spaghetti, nervy and self-deprecating, Larry is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His past holds many terrors: an abusive father, blackouts from sniffing gasoline, an accident that killed several of his cousins, and he's now being hunted and haunted by a pack of blue monkeys. But through his new friendship with Johnny, a Metis who just moved to town, he's now ready to face his memories and his future.

The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening depiction of what it is to be a young Dogrib man in the age of AIDS, disillusionment with Catholicism and a growing world consciousness.

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit What Creates Family?

Note: This novel contains mature content, such as depictions of violence and incidents of drug and alcohol use).

Additional Information
128 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Trail of the Spirit: The Mysteries of Medicine Power Revealed
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;

In this new collection of stories, Dene Elder George Blondin defines medicine power, a gift from the Creator for the Dene way of life. Although medicine power has existed since before time began, here Blondin focuses on the past two hundred years, to show how it has shaped the Dene culture.

Blondin explains the differences between the medicine power that some are lucky enough to be born with, and the medicine power that some receive after birth or are taught by other medicine power people. This collection of stories and examples of Dene individuals who lived throughout history shows that there is a danger of losing the longstanding tradition of medicine power. Although this power can be used for both creation and destruction, it must be preserved as a vital element of the Dene way of life.

In The Mysteries of Medicine Power Revealed, Blondin is our storyteller—bringing medicine power to life with true stories from Dene history. Blondin explains medicine power clearly, and brings a better understanding of this extraordinary phenomenon into the world.

Suggested Grades: 9-12
ABPBC

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Tse-loh-ne (The People at the End of the Rocks): Journey Down the Davie Trail
Authors:
Keith Billington
Format: Paperback

The Tse-loh-ne from the Sekani First Nation were known as "The People at the End of the Rocks." This small band of people lived and thrived in one of BC's most challenging and remote areas, 1600 kilometres north of Prince George in the Rocky Mountain Trench. They were isolated and nomadic, and survived by following the seasons, walking hundreds of kilometres each year, hunting and harvesting food as they travelled.

In 1988, Keith Billington, a former outpost nurse in the Northwest Territories, worked as the band manager for the isolated Sekani Indian Band at Fort Ware. In addition to his role as an administrator, he performed dental work, sutured victims of violence, delivered babies that wouldn't wait and prepared deceased persons for burial. Several years into his new job, Billington was invited on a traditional Sekani trek. The travellers would follow the Aatse Davie Trail using pack dogs, traversing 460 kilometres in some of BC's roughest terrain. Like the Tse-loh-ne before them, they carried little food, relying instead on what they could hunt or gather.

Throughout the twenty-five days it took the party to hike from Lower Post to Fort Ware, Keith and his companions suffered cold, starvation and injury. They faced grizzly bears, swollen rivers and the incessant rain so typical of northern BC. Their adventures offer a poignant glimpse into the hardships and rigours of the Sekani people, who have one foot in their past and the other in their future--a people who reluctantly try to adapt to today's values knowing that change is inevitable.

Authentic Canadian Content
$22.95

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