2011 - 2012 Selections

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Askiwina: A Cree World
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In his trademark direct prose style, Cree journalist and filmmaker Doug Cuthand articulates the past, present, and future of Saskatchewan's Aboriginal people. Through his newspaper columns and features, as well as his internationally-known film and video work, Doug Cuthand has become a respected voice in the aboriginal community.

In Askiwina: A Cree World, he offers fresh insights and straight talk over platitudes and dogma, providing readers with a bridge to understanding Aboriginal philosophy, history, culture, and society. He explores the basics of Aboriginal spirituality - the four directions, the trickster Wesakechak, creation stories, coming-of-age rituals, the Sundance, and sacred places on the prairies. He describes Saskatchewan history from an Aboriginal point of view, a perspective from which familiar events like the Battle of Cutknife Hill, the siege of Battleford, and the establishment of Prince Albert look profoundly different.

He delves into the worlds of past leaders and thinkers like Canon Edward Ahenakew, Anahareo, Poundmaker, and Sweetgrass, and cultural and religious traditions like the powwow and the Ghost Dance. He portrays the impact Aboriginal peoples have had on this province - including their critical role in the fur trade, place names of the province, settlement patterns, and even Canadian-American relations - and projects the impact they will have on its future. He also presents a seasoned observer's view of economic and political issues facing Aboriginal peoples in Saskatchewan, including such topics as gaming, self-government, and land claims.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Bear Bones & Feathers
Authors:
Louise Bernice Halfe
Format: Paperback
In this powerful book of poetry, First Nations Cree writer Louise Bernice Halfe sets out to heal the past.

Employing Native spiritualism, black comedy and the memories of her own childhood as healing arts, she finds an irrepressible source of strength and dignity in her people. Bear Bones and Feathers is rooted in Louise Bernice Halfe's own life. She offers moving portraits of her grandmother (a medicine woman whose life straddled old and new worlds), her parents (both trapped in a cycle of jealousy and abuse), and the people whose pain she witnessed on the reserve and at residential school.
$12.95

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Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir
Authors:
Theodore Fontaine
Format: Paperback
Theodore Fontaine lost his family and freedom just after his seventh birthday, when his parents were forced to leave him at an Indian residential school by order of the Roman Catholic Church and the Government of Canada. Twelve years later, he left school frozen at the emotional age of seven. He was confused, angry and conflicted, on a path of self-destruction. At age 29, he emerged from this blackness. By age 32, he had graduated from the Civil Engineering Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and begun a journey of self-exploration and healing.

In this powerful and poignant memoir, Theodore examines the impact of his psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, the loss of his language and culture, and, most important, the loss of his family and community. He goes beyond details of the abuses of Native children to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of First Nations children suffer from this dark chapter in history.

Told as remembrances described with insights that have evolved through his healing, his story resonates with his resolve to help himself and other residential school survivors and to share his enduring belief that one can pick up the shattered pieces and use them for good.
$19.95

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Extraordinary Canadians: Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont:A Penguin Lives Biography
Authors:
Joseph Boyden
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Louis Riel is regarded by some as a hero and visionary, by others as a madman and misguided religious zealot. The Métis leader who fought for the rights of his people against an encroaching tide of white settlers helped establish the province of Manitoba before escaping to the United States. Gabriel Dumont was a successful hunter and Métis chief, a man tested by warfare, a pragmatist who differed from the devout Riel. Giller Prize—winning novelist Joseph Boyden argues that Dumont, part of a delegation that had sought out Riel in exile, may not have foreseen the impact on the Métis cause of bringing Riel home. While making rational demands of Sir John A. Macdonald's government, Riel seemed increasingly overtaken by a messianic mission. His execution in 1885 by the Canadian government still reverberates today. Boyden provides fresh, controversial insight into these two seminal Canadian figures and how they shaped the country.

Authentic Canadian Content
$22.00

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Grey Owl
Authors:
Armand Garnet Ruffo
Format: Paperback
An Englishman with the imagination and the arrogance to pose as a North American Indian, a fur trapper who kept beaver as pets, a drunken brawling bigamist who embraced the wilderness to escape his ghosts, a compelling champion of that wilderness who travelled much of the world speaking to huge audiences about the fate of the natural world - who was the real Archie Belaney, known to many as Grey Owl?

Grey Owl, the Mystery of Archie Belaney is a unique, accessible collection of narrative poetry and journal entries which examines this dynamic, often contradictory, always fascinating man who reconstructed his identity and delivered a message of conservation to the world.
$14.95

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Mi'sel Joe: An Aboriginal Chief's Journey
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Mi’kmaw;
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
$19.95

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Morningstar: A Warrior's Spirit
Authors:
Morningstar Mercredi
Format: Paperback

A powerful and moving story of one woman''s victory over abuse, poverty, and discrimination to recover her life, her self-esteem and the love of her son. Morningstar Mercredi was born and lived in the north - Fort Chipewayan and Fort McMurray in Alberta, Uranium City in Saskatchewan, and a number of small communities. Sexually abused from an early age, by family members and the boyfriends she turned to for consolation, she was promiscuous, alcoholic and a drug user by the time she was thirteen. She married when she was sixteen and had a son two years later. Everything was a struggle. Days and weeks of sobriety were followed by weeks and months of drinking and self-abuse. Then, when her son was four, things began to change. Morningstar found support, from the community, from her son, and from within herself, to be a good mother, find employment, keep relationships and reconnect with her family. Today, she is a strong and creative member of her community, and eager to tell her story of defeat and ultimate triumph. Sadly, the first part of this story is all too common, while the second is all too rare. But Morningstar is a shining example that it can be done. She is honest and self-critical in her descriptions of many attempts and repeated failures. She gives enormous credit to her son, for his constant love, his determination to be honest with her, and his unfailing confidence in her ability to succeed.

$19.95

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Walking with Aalasi: An Introduction to Edible and Medicinal Arctic Plants
Format: Paperback

"How can we know who we are", Aalasi Joamie asks, "if we don't know about where we live?" Having learned from her mother, Aalasi observed and harvested plants as a little girl in Pangnirtung in the 1940s and later as a mother in Niaqunngut (Apex) from the 1960s to today. In this introductory guide to traditional plant use, Aalasi shares her life learning and memories of eighteen plants commonly found around Pangnirtung, Niaqunnguuq, and across Nunavut.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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