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Customs and Traditions

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Aboriginal Oral Traditions
Editors:
Renee Hulan
Renate Eigenbrod
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;

Oral traditions are a distinct way of knowing and the means by which knowledge is reproduced, preserved and transferred from generation to generation. The conference from which these essays were selected created an opportunity for people to come together and exchange information and experiences over three days. The scholarship may be grouped into three broad areas: oral traditions and knowledge of the environment, economy, education and/or health of communities; oral traditions and continuance of language and culture; and the effects of intellectual property rights, electronic media and public discourse on oral traditions.

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Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music
Authors:
Lynn Whidden
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music, a study of subarctic Cree hunting songs, is the first detailed ethnomusicology of the northern Cree of Quebec and Manitoba. The result of more than two decades spent in the North learning from the Cree, Lynn Whidden’s account discusses the tradition of the hunting songs, their meanings and origins, and their importance to the hunt. She also examines women’s songs, and traces the impact of social change—including the introduction of hymns, Gospel tunes, and country music—on the song traditions of these communities.

The book also explores the introduction of powwow song into the subarctic and the Crees struggle to maintain their Aboriginal heritage—to find a kind of song that, like the hunting songs, can serve as a spiritual guide and force.

Including profiles of the hunters and their songs and accompanied (online) by original audio tracks of more than fifty Cree hunting songs, Essential Song makes an important contribution to ethnomusicology, social history, and Aboriginal studies.

Awards

  • ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award, Bronze Pize, Music Category

Educator Information
Audio files available on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-276681310/sets/essential-song-three-decades

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192 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$39.99

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Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
Format: Paperback

For many American Indians, food is more than sustenance--it is also of vital cultural significance. Salmon, buffalo, berries, acorns, quinoa, wild rice, tomatoes, chocolate, and especially corn--where these indigenous staples flourish, they have become a central part of Native American ceremonies and creation stories.

This illuminating book, produced in association with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, celebrates the amazing diversity of the original foods of North, Central, and South America. Winner of a 2005 James Beard Award, Foods of the Americas highlights indigenous ingredients, traditional recipes, and contemporary recipes with ancient roots. Written by chef Fernando Divina and his wife, Marlene Divina (who is of Chippewa, Cree, and Assiniboine heritage), Foods of the Americas includes 140 modern recipes representing tribes and communities from all regions of the Americas.

Some of the specialties are:
Fry Bread
Turkey with Oaxacan Black Mole
Wild Rice and Corn Fritters
Venison with Juniper and Wild Huckleberry Sauce
Chilean-Style Avocado and Shrimp Salad

To complement the recipes, Foods of the Americas also features nine illustrated short essays by American Indian writers who offer personal insights into a variety of indigenous food traditions. With enticing food photography and images from the museum’s collection, Foods of the Americas is not only an innovative tribute to the foods of the Western Hemisphere but also a gorgeous testament to the Native contribution to American cuisine.

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Hide, Wood, and Willow: Cradles of the Great Plains Indians
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

For centuries indigenous communities of North America have used carriers to keep their babies safe. Among the Indians of the Great Plains, rigid cradles are both practical and symbolic, and many of these cradleboards—combining basketry and beadwork—represent some of the finest examples of North American Indian craftsmanship and decorative art. This lavishly illustrated volume is the first full-length reference book to describe baby carriers of the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and many other Great Plains cultures.

Author Deanna Tidwell Broughton, a member of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation and a sculptor of miniature cradles, draws from a wealth of primary sources—including oral histories and interviews with Native artists—to explore the forms, functions, and symbolism of Great Plains cradleboards. As Broughton explains, the cradle was vital to a Native infant’s first months of life, providing warmth, security, and portability, as well as a platform for viewing and interacting with the outside world for the first time. Cradles and cradleboards were not only practical but also symbolic of infancy, and each tribe incorporated special colors, materials, and ornaments into their designs to imbue their baby carriers with sacred meaning.

Hide, Wood, and Willow reveals the wide variety of cradles used by thirty-two Plains tribes, including communities often ignored or overlooked, such as the Wichita, Lipan Apache, Tonkawa, and Plains Métis. Each chapter offers information about the tribe’s background, preferred types of cradles, birth customs, and methods for distinguishing the sex of the baby through cradle ornamentation.

Despite decades of political and social upheaval among Plains tribes, the significance of the cradle endures. Today, a baby can still be found wrapped up and wide-eyed, supported by a baby board. With its blend of stunning full-color images and detailed information, this book is a fitting tribute to an important and ongoing tradition among indigenous cultures.

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280 pages | 7.00" x 10.00" 

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$44.95

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Ilagiinniq: Interviews on Inuit Family Values
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

Through interviews with elders from three regions of Nunavut, Ilagiinniq: Interviews on Inuit Family Values provides a wealth of information on traditional family values. Covering relationships between siblings, elders and grandchildren, uncles and aunts, husbands and wives, and in-laws, this book is an indispensable resource of information on how Inuit families traditionally lived, and how traditional ways can be implemented in the modern world.

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Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; Inuit; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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!

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322 pages | 10.50" x 12.87"

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Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

Traditionally, Inuit do not call each other by their given names. Instead, they refer to each other using a system of kinship and family terms, known as tuqurausiit (turk-thlo-raw-seet). Calling each other by kinship terms is a way to show respect and foster closeness within families. Children were named after their elders and ancestors, ensuring a long and healthy life.

As more and more Inuit refer to each other by their English first names, rather than their traditional kinship terms, the tradition of tuqurausiit is slowly disappearing. This book presents interviews with four Inuit elders from Baffin Region, Nunavut, about how names were chosen, the importance of using kinship terms, and how the practice of tuqurausiit has changed over the years. Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs helps to preserve the knowledge of this tradition for younger generations, both Inuit and non-Inuit.

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Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth: Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: University/College;

The small island of Igloolik lies between the Melville Peninsula and Baffin Island at the northern end of Hudson Bay north of the Arctic Circle. It has fascinated many in the Western world since 1824, when a London publisher printed the narratives by William Parry and his second-in-command, George Lyon, about their two years spent looking for the mythical Northwest Passage.

Nearly a hundred and fifty years later, Bernard Saladin d’Anglure arrived in Igloolik, hoping to complete the study he had been conducting for nearly six months in Arctic Quebec (present-day Nunavik). He was supposed to spend a month on Igloolik, but on his first morning there, Saladin d’Anglure met the elders Ujarak and Iqallijuq. He learned that they had been informants for Knud Rasmussen in 1922. Moreover, they had spent most of their lives in the camps and fully remembered the pre-Christian period.

Ujarak and Iqallijuq soon became Saladin d’Anglure’s friends and initiated him into the symbolism, myths, beliefs, and ancestral rules of the local Inuit. With them and their families, Saladin d’Anglure would work for thirty years, gathering the oral traditions of their people.

First published in French in 2006, Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth contains an in-depth, paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of stories on womb memories, birth, namesaking, and reincarnation. This new English edition introduces this material to a broader audience and contains a new afterword by Saladin d’Anglure.

Contents

Ch. 1—Savviurtalik is Reincarnated
Ch. 2—Inuit Genesis and the Desire for Children
Ch. 3—‘Big Belly’
Ch. 4—Incestuous Moon Brother chases Sun Sister
Ch. 5—A Headstrong Daughter
Ch. 6—A Cheated Husband
Ch. 7—Girls Should not Play at Marriage
Ch. 8—A Battered Wife
Ch. 9—Walrus Skin, a Mistreated Orphan, Rescued by the Moon Man
Ch. 10—The Danger of Being Impregnated by a Spirit
Ch. 11—The First Woman Healer
Ch. 12—The Strange Man and His Whale
Ch. 13—Atanaarjuat, The Fast Runner, a Mythical Hero
Ch. 14—Aaguttaaluk, the Cannibal Forebear
Ch. 15—Qisaruatsiaq, Back to Her Mother’s Womb

 
Reviews
“The real strength of the book are the dialogues between d’Anglure, Iqallijuq, and Ujarak that provide insights into many of the stories provided by Kupaaq … providing one of the first Inuit commentaries on their own texts.” – Chris Trott, Etudes/Inuit/Studies
 
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400 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
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Life Stages and Native Women
Format: Paperback

A rare and inspiring guide to the health and well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities.

The process of "digging up medicines" - of rediscovering the stories of the past - serves as a powerful healing force in the decolonization and recovery of Aboriginal communities. In Life Stages and Native Women, Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Metis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders relate stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women's roles in managing death. Through these teachings, we learn how evolving responsibilities from infancy to adulthood shaped women's identities and place within Indigenous society, and were integral to the health and well-being of their communities. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Anderson explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.

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Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

Traditionally and through custom, nêhiyaw (Cree) laws are shared and passed down through the generations in the oral tradition, utilizing stories, songs, ceremonies, lands, waters, animals, land markings and other sacred rites. The loss of the languages, customs, and traditions of Indigenous peoples as a direct result of colonization has necessitated this departure from the oral tradition to record the physical laws of the nêhiyaw, for the spiritual laws can never be written down. As a result, this book is the first of its kind.

McAdam, a co-founder of the international movement Idle No More, shares nêhiyaw laws so that future generations, both nêhiyaw and non-Indigenous people, may understand and live by them to revitalize Indigenous nationhood. Nationhood is about land, language, and culture. Understanding and gaining an awareness of Indigenous laws will provide insight into the thoughts and worldview of Indigenous people before and during the numbered Treaty making process, and help create a harmonious society for all. Hopefully, then, the pain of the poverty, incarceration, suicide, death after death, without hope for the future, of nêhiyaw will become a distant memory.

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Reawakening Our Ancestors' Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: University/College;

For thousands of years, Inuit practiced the traditional art of tattooing. Created the ancient way, with bone needles and caribou sinew soaked in seal oil, sod, or soot, these tattoos were an important tradition for many Inuit women, symbols etched on their skin that connected them to their families and communities. But with the rise of missionaries and residential schools in the North, the tradition of tattooing was almost lost. In 2005, when Angela Hovak Johnston heard that the last Inuk woman tattooed in the old way had died, she set out to tattoo herself in tribute to this ancient custom and learn how to tattoo others. What was at first a personal quest became a project to bring the art of traditional tattooing back to Inuit women across Nunavut, starting with Johnston’s home community of Kugluktuk. Collected in this beautiful book are moving photos and stories from more than two dozen women who participated in Johnston’s project. Together, these women have united to bring to life an ancient tradition, reawakening their ancestors’ lines and sharing this knowledge with future generations.

Awards

  • 2018 NorthWords Book Prize Winner 
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Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature
Authors:
Keavy Martin
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

In an age where southern power-holders look north and see only vacant polar landscapes, isolated communities, and exploitable resources, it is important to point out that the Inuit homeland is, in fact, united by extensive philosophical, political, and literary traditions. Stories in a New Skin is a seminal text that confirms the “national” scope of Inuit literature and introduces a model for Inuit literary criticism. Author Keavy Martin analyzes writing and storytelling from a range of genres and historical periods – the classic stories and songs of the oral tradition, life writing, oral histories, and contemporary fiction, poetry, and film – and discusses the ways in which these texts constitute a national literary tradition. She highlights characteristics of Inuit intellectual discourse, demonstrates potential approaches to the material, and introduces ways of drawing methodologies from the texts themselves.

Reviews
"Martin has listened carefully to indigenous authors and critics who have for decades argued that their literature should be analyzed on its own terms, according to tribal and community perspectives and in keeping with indigenous knowledges. While Martin is not Inuit, she has gone to great lengths to visit the Far North, learn Inuktitut, and live for periods of time among the people. This lived experience, combined with her excellent literary theoretical and analytical skills, has produced this gorgeous book. In it Martin brings new perspectives to published and oral texts. As she argues, the most appropriate and sophisticated approach to Inuit stories is to recognize how both tradition and adaptation have shaped them."— Jury's Comments, 2012 Gabrielle Roy Prize 

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Talking Tools: Faces of Aboriginal Oral Tradition in Contemporary Society
Authors:
Patrick Scott
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;

Talking Tools: Faces of Aboriginal Oral Tradition in Contemporary Society explores the power of oral tradition in Aboriginal society as a foundational cultural and linguistic tool. Four distinct elements are examined: the story-keepers; the importance of practice; the emergence of new stories; and the challenges of sustainability. Finally, the emergence of new technologies and their relevance to the sustainability of the tradition and art of storytelling are discussed.

$60.00

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The Man Who Lived with a Giant: Stories from Johnny Neyelle, Dene Elder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Our parents always taught us well. They told us to look on the good side of life and to accept what has to happen. 

The Man Who Lived with a Giant presents traditional and personal stories told by Johnny Neyelle, a respected Dene storyteller and Elder from Déline, Northwest Territories. Johnny Neyelle used storytelling to teach Dene youth and others to understand and celebrate Dene traditions and identities. Johnny’s entertaining voice makes his stories accessible to readers young and old, and his wisdom reinforces the right way to live: in harmony with people and places. Storytelling forms the core of Dene knowledge-keeping. A volume dedicated to making Dene culture strong, The Man Who Lived with a Giant is a vital book for Dene readers, researchers working with Indigenous cultures and oral histories, and scholars preserving Elders’ stories. Even more, it is a book for the Dene people of today and tomorrow.

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152 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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The Science of the Sacred: Bridging Global Indigenous Medicine Systems and Modern Scientific Principles
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Indigenous;

Indigenous naturopathic doctor Nicole Redvers pairs evidence-based research with traditional healing modalities, addressing modern health problems and medical processes

Modern medical science has finally caught up to what traditional healing systems have known for centuries. Many traditional healing techniques and medicines are often assumed to be archaic, outdated, or unscientific compared to modern Western medicine. Nicole Redvers, a naturopathic physician and member of the Deninu K'ue First Nation, analyzes modern Western medical practices using evidence-informed Indigenous healing practices and traditions from around the world--from sweat lodges and fermented foods to Ayurvedic doshas and meditation. Organized around various sciences, such as physics, genetics, and microbiology, the book explains the connection between traditional medicine and current research around epigenetics and quantum physics, for example, and includes over 600 citations. Redvers, who has traveled and worked with Indigenous groups around the world, shares the knowledge and teachings of health and wellness that have been passed down through the generations, tying this knowledge with current scientific advances. Knowing that the science backs up the traditional practice allows us to have earlier and more specific interventions that integrate age-old techniques with the advances in modern medicine and technology.

Reviews
"Redvers illuminates the common ground that underlies both traditional and conventional healing practices. Each chapter identifies and analyzes the different cultural assumptions that can keep healing practices separate from one another, while the depth of the author’s knowledge allows us to see the ways in which these different practices can be rooted in the wisdom of the body. A call for the holistic healing that integrates multiple traditions for healing of mind, body, emotion, and spirit.”—Robin Wall Kimmerer, PhD, author of Braiding Sweetgrass

“Drawing on her own unique upbringing and total lived experience—melding wisdom received from her Dene elders of Northern Canada and lessons learned from witnessing illness, poverty, despair, and environmental degradation in various parts of the world—Redvers provides unique insight that only a First Nations person and practicing integrative medicine doctor can bring. The Science of the Sacred is a compass pointing toward a much-needed rebellion in healing. The revolution of the self begins!”—Alan C. Logan, co-author of Your Brain on Nature

“Nicole Redvers neatly ties together her cultural Dene roots and stories from other Indigenous cultures in an evidence-informed manner to look at medicine, the health of our planet, and the health of humans as individuals and societies. She poses questions and solutions that deserve exploration and will keep you thinking long after finishing this, her first work.”—Paul Saunders, PhD, ND

“This is a powerful and courageous book of personal and planetary healing. It points directly to the core of all of our problems, where also lie the path to our solutions. Drawing on modern science and the ancient wisdom of the First Nations Elders it makes a resounding call for change, carefully balancing the well-reasoned practicalities with the inspiration and passion needed to achieve these. In a cataclysmic era for human and planetary health a seismic shift is needed—that we may rediscover our purpose, our roots and our sense of self, from which all else flows. Dr. Redvers takes us boldly to that frontier, and shows us where we might cross the threshold to a new era of health.” —Susan Prescott, MD, PhD, president of inVIVO Planetary Health, paediatrician and immunologist, University of Western Australia

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296 pages | 6.04" x 8.98"

 

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