2011 - 2012 Selections

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7 Generations Book 1: Stone
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
Stone introduces Edwin, a young man who must discover his family's past if he is to have any future. Edwin learns of his ancestor Stone, a young Plains Cree man, who came of age in the early 19th century. Following a vision quest, Stone aspires to be like his older brother, Bear, a member of the Warrior Society. But when Bear is tragically killed during a Blackfoot raid, Stone, the best shot and rider in his encampment, must overcome his grief and avenge his brother's death. Only then can he begin a new life with his bride, Nahoway. It is Stone's story that drives Edwin to embark on his own quest.

Stone is the first book in the graphic novel series, 7 Generations. Forthcoming books in this series are:
Book 2: Scars, the story of the orphan White Cloud, set against the smallpox epidemic of 1870-1871.
Book 3: Ends/Begins, the story of Edwin's father, and the residential school saga.
Book 4: The Pact, a story of redemption, as father and his son reconcile their past and begin a new journey.
$13.95

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7 Generations Book 2: Scars
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
The year is 1870, and the last great smallpox epidemic is sweeping the prairies. After witnessing the death of his entire family, White Cloud, a young Plains Cree boy, summons the strength to deliver himself from the terrible disease and journey to a new home. Readers also reconnect with Edwin, a lost young man on his own quest who must summon his own courage and travel to confront the main source of his own despair. Scars is Book 2 in the graphic-novel series 7 Generations, which follows the story of one Aboriginal family from the early 19th century to the present day.
$13.95

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7 Generations Book 3: Ends/Begins
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
In 1964, two brothers are taken from the warm and loving care of their grandparents, and spirited away to a residential school, miles from home. James, assigned to manual work on the grounds, sees less and less of his younger brother, Thomas. James soon discovers the anguish that Thomas is living under, which leads to unspeakable tragedy. The pain and guilt that dogs James continues to affect his troubled son, Edwin (introduced in book 1). But a new understanding is dawning between them... Ends/Begins is book 3 in the graphic novel series 7 Generations. Other books in this series: Book 1: Stone tells the story of a young Plains Cree man in the early 19th century, who fulfills his destiny as a warrior as he avenges his brother's death.

Book 2: Scars, the story of the orphan White Cloud, set against the smallpox epidemic of 1870-1871.
Book 4: The Pact (forthcoming), a story of redemption, as James and his son, Edwin, reconcile their past and begin a new journey.
$13.95

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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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Fatty Legs: A True Story
Artists:
Liz Amini-Holmes
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit; Inuvialuit;

The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact. 

Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. 

At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls -- all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school. 

In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity. 

Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's collection and striking artwork from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.

Awards

  • First Nation Communities Read recipient, 2011-2012

Reviews
"I highly recommend this book for the discussion it would stir with students...Makes the harrowing residential school stories accessible to youth." — Resource Links, December 2010

"Presents a unique and enlightening glimpse into the residential school experience and, most importantly, one little girl's triumph over her oppressors." — Quill & Quire, November 2010

Educator Information
Fountas and Pinnell T

Themes: biography; Inuit; Indigenous peoples; Indigenous; arctic; school; self-esteem; abuse; community; prejudice; Canadian content; courage/bravery; right vs. wrong; role reversal; secrets; society; history; bullying; memoir; character education.

Additional Information
112 pages | 6.25" x 9.00" | full-color illustrations, archival photographs, map

Authenticity Note
This illustrator of this book is not Indigenous; therefore, her artwork is not considered to be Authentic Indigenous Artwork according to Strong Nations Authenticity Guidelines. The archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's personal collection, however, are considered to be authentic, which is why the book is labelled as containing Authentic Indigenous Artwork. It is up to readers to determine whether or not the images in this work are authentic for their purposes.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

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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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Unipkaaqtuat Arvianit: Traditional Inuit Stories from Arviat (Volume 2)
Authors:
Mark Kalluak
Artists:
Mark Kalluak
Format: Paperback
Mark Kalluak has meticulously documented the stories that have been passed down for generations in the North. In this volume learn about the origin of the sun and the moon, the ogress that stole children, all sorts of animal fables and many more.

A refreshing change from academic examinations, this collection is lovingly gathered by an Inuit elder who grew up listening to these tales and is personally invested in preserving these treasures for generations to come.
$29.95

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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.

$24.95

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