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2017 - 2018 Selections

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Passage
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In her second collection of poetry, Passage, Gwen Benaway examines what it means to experience violence and speaks to the burden of survival. Traveling to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, Passage is a poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender. Previously published as a man, Passage is the poet's first collection written as a transwoman. Striking and raw in sparse lines, the collection showcases a vital Two Spirited identity that transects borders of race, gender, and experience. In Passage, the poet seeks to reconcile herself to the land, the history of her ancestors, and her separation from her partner and family by invoking the beauty and power of her ancestral waterways. Building on the legacy of other ground-breaking Indigenous poets like Gregory Scofield and Queer poets like Tim Dlugos, Benaway's work is deeply personal and devastating in sharp, clear lines. Passage is a book burning with a beautiful intensity and reveals Benaway as one of the most powerful emerging poets writing in Indigenous poetics today.

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$16.00

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Price Paid
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Untangles some of the truths and myths about First Nations and addresses misconceptions still widely believed today.
Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival untangles truth from some of the myths about First Nations at the same time that it addresses misconceptions still widely believed today.

The second book by award-winning author Bev Sellars, Price Paid is based on a popular presentation Sellars created for treaty-makers, politicians, policymakers, and educators when she discovered they did not know the historic reasons they were at the table negotiating First Nations rights.

The book begins with glimpses of foods, medicines, and cultural practices North America's indigenous peoples have contributed for worldwide benefit. It documents the dark period of regulation by racist laws during the twentieth century, and then discusses new emergence in the twenty-first century into a re-establishment of Indigenous land and resource rights. The result is a candidly told personal take on the history of a culture's fight for their rights and survival. It is Canadian history told from a First Nations point of view.

Awards and recognition for Bev Sellars's They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
- 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature
- 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Literature (third prize)
- Shortlisted for the 2014 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize (B.C. Book Prizes)
- More than 40 weeks on the B.C. bestsellers list

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Rez Runaway
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Raised on a reserve in northern Ontario, seventeen-year-old Joe Littlechief tries to be like the other guys. But Joe knows he's different -- he's more interested in guys than in any of the girls he knows. One night Joe makes a drunken pass at his best friend Benjy and, by the next morning, everyone on the rez is talking about Joe. His mother, a devout Christian, is horrified, and the kids who are supposed to be his friends make it clear there's no place for him in their circle, or even on the rez. Joe thinks about killing himself, but instead runs away to the city.

Alone and penniless on the streets of Toronto, Joe comes to identify with the Aboriginal idea of having two spirits, or combining both feminine and masculine identities in one person. He also begins to understand more about how his parents have been affected by their own experiences as children in residential schools -- something never discussed on the rez. And he realizes he has to come to terms with his two-spiritedness and find people who accept him for who he is.

This is a novel that reflects the complex realities faced by young LGBTQ and aboriginal youth today.

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Take Us To Your Chief
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: University/College;

A forgotten Haudenosaunee social song beams into the cosmos like a homing beacon for interstellar visitors. A computer learns to feel sadness and grief from the history of atrocities committed against First Nations. A young Native man discovers the secret to time travel in ancient petroglyphs. Drawing inspiration from science fiction legends like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, Drew Hayden Taylor frames classic science-fiction tropes in an Aboriginal perspective.

The nine stories in this collection span all traditional topics of science fiction--from peaceful aliens to hostile invaders; from space travel to time travel; from government conspiracies to connections across generations. Yet Taylor's First Nations perspective draws fresh parallels, likening the cultural implications of alien contact to those of the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, or highlighting the impossibility of remaining a "good Native" in such an unnatural situation as a space mission.

Infused with Native stories and variously mysterious, magical and humorous, Take Us to Your Chief is the perfect mesh of nostalgically 1950s-esque science fiction with modern First Nations discourse.

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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The Comic Book War
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

Can three comic-book superheroes, and a rock that falls from the sky, really protect Robert Tourond's brothers as they fight the enemy in Europe during World War II?

It's 1943 and World War II is raging. 13-year-old Robert Tourond is safe at home in Calgary, but his three brothers are all overseas, fighting the Nazis. A dreamer, Robert closely follows the exploits of his three favourite comic book heroes - Captain Ice, Sedna of the Sea and the Maple Leaf Kid - who also battle the bad guys in the weekly comics he spends his allowance on. Robert decides that the superheroes will protect his brothers and bring them home, so when he recovers a meteorite that he saw fall in Nose Hill Park near his home, in the very same week that a meteorite features in the story lines of all three of his heroes, he has no doubt that a magical link exists between them.

Robert has a nemesis of his own on the streets of Calgary – a girl they call "Crazy Charlie", though not to her face. Charlie and Robert's paths seem entwined as well – Charlie wins the prize money that Robert badly needs to keep the comics coming. When Robert gets a job delivering telegrams, Charlie's doing it too, cutting into his profits.

First they discover exactly what news those telegrams they're fighting to deliver has for the recipients. Then Charlie has to deliver one to Robert's house.

Can Robert and his heroes really protect all three brothers and bring them home? What will happen if reality comes crashing into his world, like a meteorite falling from space? Who will help then?

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$13.50

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The Debwe Series: A Blanket of Butterflies
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

A Blanket of Butterflies explores the journey of Shinobu, a mysterious stranger who visits Fort Smith, NWT, to retrieve his family’s samurai suit of armor and sword from the museum. When he discovers that his grandfather’s sword has been lost in a poker game to the man they call “Benny
the Bank,” he sets out to retrieve it, with the help of a young boy, Sonny, and his grandmother. Together, they face Benny and his men, Torchy, Sfen and the giant they call Flinch. This graphic novel, beautifully illustrated by Scott B. Henderson, explores the grace of family and the power of
the Great Mystery.

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$18.95

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The Debwe Series: Three Feathers
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12;

Three young men—Flinch, Bryce, and Rupert—have vandalized their community and are sent by its Elders to live nine months on the land as part of the circle sentencing process. There, the young men learn to take responsibility for their actions and acquire the humility required to return home. But, when they do return, will they be forgiven for what they’ve done?

Three Feathers explores the power and grace of restorative justice in one Northern community and the cultural legacy that can empower future generations.

Three Feathers is the third title in The Debwe Series. Created in the spirit of the Anishinaabe concept debwe (to speak the truth), The Debwe Series is a collection of exceptional Aboriginal writings from across Canada.

Reviews
"Three Feathers is a graphic novel illustrated by stark, black and white images. Many of the frames have no captioning, inviting the reader to intuit the narrative. K. Mateus, the illustrator, makes imaginative use of Aboriginal symbols and motifs in this 48 page book; when Gabe is attacked, demonic figures shadow the background, and when Bryce rails at the members of the community sentencing circle, the image of an angry wildcat snarls behind him." - CM Magazine

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples Resource for units on Childhood and Place-Conscious Learning.

Additional Information
48 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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The Lesser Blessed
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene; Tlicho (Dogrib);
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

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 Métis 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
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$19.95

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The Outside Circle: A Graphic Novel
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.

Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Aboriginal men.

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 16 and up. 

Curriculum Connections: Graphic Art, Indigenous Studies, Social Studies.

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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The Reason You Walk
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who'd raised him. The Reason You Walk spans the year 2012, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his own childhood in Winnipeg and on a reserve in Northern Ontario, he learns more about his father's traumatic childhood at residential school. An intriguing doubleness marks The Reason You Walk, a reference to an Anishinaabe ceremonial song. Born to an Anishinaabe father and a non-native mother, he has a foot in both cultures. He is a Sundancer, an academic, a former rapper, a hereditary chief, and an urban activist. His father, Tobasonakwut, was both a beloved traditional chief and a respected elected leader who engaged directly with Ottawa. Internally divided, his father embraced both traditional native religion and Catholicism, the religion that was inculcated into him at the residential school where he was physically and sexually abused. In a grand gesture of reconciliation, Kinew's father invited the Roman Catholic bishop of Winnipeg to a Sundance ceremony in which he adopted him as his brother. Kinew writes affectingly of his own struggles in his twenties to find the right path, eventually giving up a self-destructive lifestyle to passionately pursue music and martial arts. From his unique vantage point, he offers an inside view of what it means to be an educated aboriginal living in a country that is just beginning to wake up to its aboriginal history and living presence.
Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples.

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$22.00

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The Stone Collection
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: University/College;

In these 14 unique stories, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm takes on complex and dangerous emotions, exploring the gamut of modern Anishinaabe experience. Through unforgettable characters, these stories—about love and lust, suicide and survival, illness and wholeness—illuminate the strange workings of the human heart.

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Format: Paperback

Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only-not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family-from substance abuse to suicide attempts-and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. 'Number One' comes at a time of recognition-by governments and society at large-that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Third Place Winner

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit Place-Conscious Learning - Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.67" x 8.20"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Indigenous American;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

The majority of Natives in North America live "off the rez." How do they stay rooted to their culture? How do they connect with their community?

Urban Tribes offers unique insight into this growing and often misperceived group. This anthology profiles young urban Natives and how they connect with Native culture and values in their contemporary lives.

Their stories are as diverse as they are. From a young Dene woman pursuing an MBA at Stanford University to a Pima photographer in Phoenix to a Mohawk actress in New York City, these urban Natives share their unique insight to bridge the divide between their past and their future, their cultural home, and their adopted cities.

Unflinchingly honest and deeply moving, the contributors explore a wide range of topics: from the trials and tribulations of dating in the city to the alienating experience of leaving a remote reserve to attend high school in the city, from the mainstream success of the Electric Pow Wow music genre to the humiliation of racist school mascots.

Each of the personal perspectives helps to illuminate larger political issues. An innovative and highly visual design offers a dynamic reading experience.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 11 - 18.

Recommended Authentic First Peoples resource.

Recommended English First Peoples resource.

Additional Information
136 pages | 6.75" x 9.50" | colour illustrations and photographs, foreward, introduction, bibliography

Authentic Indigenous Text
$14.95

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Walking Two Worlds
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11;

This work of historical fiction is based on the true, inspiring story of the early education of Seneca leader Ely Parker. Hasanoanda was his Indian name, but in mission school he became “Ely.”

Despite the racism and deceit he faced, he never gave up his mission to receive an education that would enable him to aid the Seneca people in their quest to keep their land. As a young person, he learned how to live in the world of the white man, but never forgot his Seneca roots.

Also included is an afterword that highlights the careers and achievements of Ely Parker’s adult life.

Authentic Indigenous Text
$11.95

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Will I See?
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

May, a young teenage girl, traverses the city streets, finding keepsakes in different places along her journey. When May and her kookum make these keepsakes into a necklace, it opens a world of danger and fantasy. While May fights against a terrible reality, she learns that there is strength in the spirit of those that have passed. But will that strength be able to save her? A story of tragedy and beauty, Will I See illuminates the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

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$18.95

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