Fiction

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As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.

The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school. She doesn't speak English but is punished for speaking her native language; most terrifying and bewildering, she is also "fed" to the school's attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.

Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue. The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children's Aid to Toronto. In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award - Third Place Winner
Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Celia's Song
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka);

Mink is a witness, a shape shifter, compelled to follow the story that has ensnared Celia and her village, on the West coast of Vancouver Island in Nu:Chahlnuth territory. Celia is a seer who - despite being convinced she's a little "off" - must heal her village with the assistance of her sister, her mother and father, and her nephews. While mink is visiting, a double-headed sea serpent falls off the house front during a fierce storm. The old snake, ostracized from the village decades earlier, has left his terrible influence on Amos, a residential school survivor. The occurrence signals the unfolding of an ordeal that pulls Celia out of her reveries and into the tragedy of her cousin's granddaughter. Each one of Celia's family becomes involved in creating a greater solution than merely attending to her cousin's granddaughter. Celia's Song relates one Nu:Chahlnuth family's harrowing experiences over several generations, after the brutality, interference, and neglect resulting from contact with Europeans.

Educator Information
Grade 11/12 English First Peoples resource for the unit Further Steps toward Reconciliation.

Additional Information
280 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$20.00

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Good For Nothing
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Métis;

The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his Metis reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he's a good-for-nothing who, like all Indians, can look forward to a life of drunkenness, prison and despair. 

The reserve, however, offers nothing to Nipishish. He feels even more isolated here. He remembers little of his late mother and father. In fact, he seems to know less about himself than the people at the band office. He must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father's death.

Adolescents will find inspiration in his courage to reclaim his identity and claim his rightful place on the reserve. The book also provides great insight into the roots of many ongoing Indigenous issues.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Additional Information
256 pages | 4.25" x 7.00" | Written by Michel Noel. Translated by Shelley Tanaka.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$14.95

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Indian Horse (Special Edition)
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. His last binge almost killed him, and now he’s a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, surrounded by people he’s sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly comes to see that he’ll find it only through telling his story. With him, readers embark on a journey back through the life he’s led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows. 

With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he’s sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement. Indian Horse unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Literature
  • 2013 First Nation Communities Read Award

Reviews
"Richard Wagamese is a master storyteller, who blends the throb of life with spiritual links to the land, hard work, and culture to find success, his words take you into the soul of Indian Horse, to experience his pain, his growing resentments, his depression, and his fear which has to be faced if he is to regain the joy of life. This book is meant for youth, adults, and elders, to be shared, to be lived, and to be treasured for the clear message of hope and the need to go the distance." — Wawatay News

“…The hockey chapters are compelling; they evoke Sherman Alexie’s fiction that examines contemporary life on American Indian reservations through the lens of basketball. But it is as a story of reconciliation that this novel reveals Wagamese’s masterful subtly…In a single image, Wagamese complicates in blinding ways the entire narrative; in a single page, Indian Horse deepens from an enjoyable read to a gripping critique of Canada.” — Kyle Carsten Wyatt, The Walrus, 2012

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples resource for units on Lost People, Reconciliation, and Place-Conscious Learning.

Additional Information
232 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

This special edition of Richard Wagamese’s novel Indian Horse has been released to coincide with the release of the film Indian Horse in the spring of 2018.

Authentic Canadian Content
$21.95

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Kiss of the Fur Queen
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

Born into a magical Cree world in snowy northern Manitoba, Champion and Ooneemeetoo Okimasis are all too soon torn from their family and thrust into the hostile world of a Catholic residential school. Their language is forbidden, their names are changed to Jeremiah and Gabriel, and both boys are abused by priests.

As young men, estranged from their own people and alienated from the culture imposed upon them, the Okimasis brothers fight to survive. Wherever they go, the Fur Queen--a wily, shape-shifting trickster--watches over them with a protective eye. For Jeremiah and Gabriel are destined to be artists. Through music and dance they soar.

Educator Information
Grade 11/12 English First Peoples resource for the unit Further Steps toward Reconciliation - Understanding Residential Schools through Text.

Note: This novel contains mature and challenging material (profanity, coarse language, depictions of sex, sexual abuse, violence, etc.). 

Additional Information
320 pages | 5.20" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.00

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Reckoning
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Reckoning is a triptych of three short plays: Witness is a dance-movement piece featuring a Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner who unravels as he confronts the brutal testimony of residential school survivors; in Daughter, the daughter of a teacher who was accused of rape seduces her father's accuser; and Survivor is a solo piece about a man preparing to commit suicide as a protest against the insufficiencies of the reconciliation process.

Agonizing, poignant, theatrical, hilarious, and true, Reckoning illuminates the difficulties of trying to come to terms with our country's painful past.

Educator Information
Recommended for grade 11 and 12 students for courses in performance arts, language arts, and English.  Also useful for college and university courses in these areas.

Caution: explicit language and discussion of sexual and physical abuse.

Additional Information
66 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$15.95

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Secret Path
Authors:
Jeff Lemire
Gord Downie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Secret Path is a ten song album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire that tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.

Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to return home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, like so many kids—more than anyone will be able to imagine—he tried.

Chanie’s story is Canada’s story. We are not the country we thought we were. History will be re-written. We are all accountable. Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history—the long-suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system—with the hope of starting our country on a road to reconciliation. Every year as we remember Chanie Wenjack, the hope for Secret Path is that it educates all Canadians young and old on this omitted part of our history, urging our entire nation to play an active role in the preservation of Indigenous lives and culture in Canada.

The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him—as we find out about ourselves, about all of us—but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, “Canada.”

Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation via The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at The University of Manitoba.

Educator Information
Recommended resource for English First Peoples grades 10-11 for units on Childhood through the Eyes of Indigenous Writers and First Steps - Exploring Residential School and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.

Note: This resource is not considered an authentic First Peoples resource.

Additional Information
96 pages | 12.00" x 12.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
$26.99

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Stolen Words
Artists:
Gabrielle Grimard
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Cree;

A little girl helps her grandfather regain the language taken from him as a child.

The story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language – Cree – he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

24 Pages
8.5 x 8.5
Picture Book
Ages 6-9 / Grades 1-3

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$17.95

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Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

BASED ON A TRUE STORY!

A school assignment to interview a residential school survivor leads Daniel to Betsy, his friend's grandmother, who tells him her story. Abandoned as a young child, Betsy was soon adopted into a loving family. A few short years later, at the age of 8, everything changed. Betsy was taken away to a residential school. There she was forced to endure abuse and indignity, but Betsy recalled the words her father spoke to her at Sugar Falls — words that gave her the resilience, strength, and determination to survive.

Sugar Falls is based on the true story of Betty Ross, Elder from Cross Lake First Nation. We wish to achnowledge, with the utmost gratitude, Betty's generosity in sharing her story.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Sugar Falls goes to support the bursary program for The Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation.

Reviews
"With the 7 Generations series, David Robertson and Scott Henderson burst onto the Canadian graphic novel scene with beautiful storytelling, scenes of brutal honesty, and messages of truth. With Sugar Falls they do it again, narrating a graceful and unforgettable story of resilience and power." - Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba

"…does an excellent job of handing difficult material. It’s important for youth to understand the struggles that Aboriginal people have faced in order to survive and to read survival stories. This is based on a true story and the main character, Betsy, is definitely a role model. I would include this book in my classroom at the secondary level. Whether or not you choose to include this material depends on your own ability to navigate the policies in your district regarding difficult material in the classroom and your own comfort level…" - Starleigh Grass, Educator, South Interior, BC

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 9-12.

Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples Resource for various units.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Education has approved this resource for English Language Arts.

Additional Information
40 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.00

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Two Roads
Format: Hardcover

A boy discovers his Native American heritage in this Depression-era tale of identity and friendship by the author of Code Talker.

It's 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. Cal likes being a "knight of the road" with Pop, even if they're broke. But then Pop has to go to Washington, DC--some of his fellow veterans are marching for their government checks, and Pop wants to make sure he gets his due--and Cal can't go with him. So Pop tells Cal something he never knew before: Pop is actually a Creek Indian, which means Cal is too. And Pop has decided to send Cal to a government boarding school for Native Americans in Oklahoma called the Challagi School.

At school, the other Creek boys quickly take Cal under their wings. Even in the harsh, miserable conditions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, he begins to learn about his people's history and heritage. He learns their language and customs. And most of all, he learns how to find strength in a group of friends who have nothing beyond each other.

Reviews
"Cal's cleareyed first-person narration drives the novel. Meticulously honest, generous, autonomous and true, he sees things for what they are rather than what he'd like them to be. The result is one of Bruchac's best books." —New York Times Book Review

"A tautly paced and compelling story of self-discovery, family, belonging, and friendship." —Horn Book, starred review

"Multiple compelling Depression-era histories converge in Bruchac's latest . . . The students' utter subversion of Challagi's mission to sever their ties with Indian culture soon becomes apparent, as does Cal's powerful, growing understanding of his identity." —Booklist

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 10+

Additional Information
320 pages | 5.81" x 8.56"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.99

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Wenjack
Authors:
Joseph Boyden
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

The acclaimed author of The Orenda gives us a powerful and poignant look into the last moments of Charlie Wenjack, a residential school runaway trying to find his way home.

An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian School. Too late, he realizes just how far away home is. Along the way he's followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight, cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from.

Educator Information
Recommended English First Peoples Resource for Grades 10-11.

Joseph Boyden's works are not necessarily considered authentic First Peoples resources.  Review the English First Peoples Grades 10-12 FNESC publication for more information and resources, or search online for information on this author.

Additional Information
112 pages | 4.50" x 6.30"

Authentic Canadian Content
$12.00

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Where Mary Went
Authors:
Lynne Sherry McLean
Format: Paperback
Mary Fisher has not had an easy life. Forced into a residential institute after the death of her mother, she and her siblings suffer appalling abuse and neglect. While many around her languish, Mary grows stronger. A precocious child, Mary matures into a resilient woman with a kind heart and quick smile that endears her to everyone she meets and two men in particular: Gmiwan, a sensitive artist whom she will one day marry, and Tom Dunsby, the mayor of Jackson, whose love can never be acknowledged. When Gmiwan goes off to war, Mary struggles to raise her young son alone during the Depression.

Spanning three decades, Where Mary Went is part one of an epic two-volume series.
$22.95

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