Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools K-7 2017-2018

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Algonquin Sunset: An Algonquin Quest Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Algonquin;

Anokì and his sister Pangì Mahingan have grown up, and now face a decision that will change their lives forever.

Twelve years after Mahingan was wounded battling for his life against the Haudenosaunee warrior known as Ö:nenhste Erhar (Corn Dog), we rejoin his family and learn what fate held for him.

Now, his children, Anokì and Pangì Mahingan, along with their twin cousins Makwa and Wàbek, are grown and have adult responsibilities. Still living with their Algonquin family, they have become a formidable fighting unit with the addition of three Mi´kmaq warriors, E´s, Jilte´g, and the fierce Elue´wiet Ga´qaquj.

However, there is danger in the land of the setting sun, and nothing is more dangerous than what the family is going to encounter from the fierce enemy of their new Anishinaabe allies: the Lakȟóta.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Series Information
This novel is part of the Algonquin Quest Series, a series of young adult novels from Algonquin author Rick Revelle.

Additional Information
304 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

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$12.99

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An Inuksuk Means Welcome
Authors:
Mary Wallace
Artists:
Mary Wallace
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

An inuksuk is a stone landmark that different peoples of the Arctic region build to leave a symbolic message. Inuksuit (the plural of inuksuk) can point the way, express joy, or simply say: welcome. A central image in Inuit culture, the inuksuk frames this picture book as an acrostic: readers will learn seven words from the Inuktitut language whose first letters together spell INUKSUK. Each word is presented in English and in Inuktitut characters, with phonetic pronunciation guides provided.

The words and their definitions give a sense of the traditions and customs of Inuit life in the Arctic: nanuq is the powerful polar bear of the north; kamik is a warm seal- and caribou-skin boot; and siku is sea ice. Stunning paintings with deep color and rich texture evoke a powerful sense of place and show great respect for the Arctic's indigenous people.

Extra informational text features include an introductory note about the significance of inuksuit in Inuit culture and a nonfiction page that profiles seven different types of inuksuit. 

Reviews
"The presence of a close-knit Inuit family...brings a loving warmth to the Arctic landscape Wallace so affectionately portrays."— Publisher's Weekly

"An Inuksuk Means Welcome" is a multi-sensory tour through life in the Arctic for thousands of years, beautifully presented for children of all ages."— The Midwest Book Review's Children's Bookwatch

"A solid complement to social studies lessons about traditional Inuit customs and the languages of Canada."— National Reading Campaign

"This book is a fun and aesthetically striking way to teach children about a new language and culture, and could be a useful tool for early primary school social studies classes."— Green Teacher

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 3-8, this resource is useful for the following subjects: Art, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.

The seven words from the Inuktitut language that readers will learn are presented in English and in Inuktitut characters, with phonetic pronunciation guides provided.  The explanations of words are provided in English.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 12.00"

 

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$18.95

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Comment le Puma a fini par etre appele le Chat Fantome / Ta'n Petalu Telui'tut Skite'kmujew Mia'jw
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Mi’kmaw;

Pris entre deux mondes, le puma a du mal à trouver un lieu où il est à sa place. En tant que chat fantôme, le puma vit comme il le devrait : dans la forêt, mais sans ses amis. 

Misinsit miawe'k tapu'kl wskitqamu'kl, Ajik alme'si wejitoq ta'n tett tleyawit. Skite'kmujewey Mia'wj mimajit ta'n tel nenk 'kisoqe'k pasik mu eymu'kk witapk. 

Educator Information
This book is the French and Mi’kmaw version of Michael James Isaac’s How The Ghost Came to be Called the Ghost Cat / Ta'n Petalu Telui'tut Skite'kmujew Mia'jw.

Additional Information
42 pages | 14.00" x 11.00"
 

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$14.95

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Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

"Life sometimes is hard. There are challenges. There are difficulties. There is pain. As a younger man I sought to avoid them and only ever caused myself more of the same. These days I choose to face life head on--and I have become a comet. I arc across the sky of my life and the harder times are the friction that lets the worn and tired bits drop away. It's a good way to travel; eventually, I will wear away all resistance until all there is left of me is light. I can live towards that end." - Richard Wagamese, Embers

In this carefully curated selection of everyday reflections, Richard Wagamese finds lessons in both the mundane and sublime as he muses on the universe, drawing inspiration from working in the bush--sawing and cutting and stacking wood for winter as well as the smudge ceremony to bring him closer to the Creator. Embers is perhaps Richard Wagamese's most personal volume to date. Honest, evocative and articulate, he explores the various manifestations of grief, joy, recovery, beauty, gratitude, physicality and spirituality--concepts many find hard to express. But for Wagamese, spirituality is multifaceted. Within these pages, readers will find hard-won and concrete wisdom on how to feel the joy in the everyday things. Wagamese does not seek to be a teacher or guru, but these observations made along his own journey to become, as he says, "a spiritual bad-ass," make inspiring reading.

Additional Information
140 pages | 6.00" x 8.00"

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$18.95

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Hawk
Authors:
Jennifer Dance
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

When a First Nations teen rescues a fish-hawk from a tailings pond in Alberta‘s oil sands, he has no idea that soon they will both be fighting for their lives.

As a cross-country runner, Adam aims to win gold in the upcoming provincial championship. But when he is diagnosed with leukemia, he finds himself in a different race, one that he can’t afford to lose. He reclaims the name Hawk, given to him by his grandfather, and begins to fight, for his life and for the land of his ancestors and the creatures that inhabit it. With a little help from his grandfather and his friends, he might just succeed.

Reviews
"The tapestry Jennifer has woven is a brilliant representation of the ongoing tragedy in Northern Alberta today. It’s a story that young people need to hear, and it gives me hope!" — Dr. John O'Connor

"With its soaring writing and readable plot, Jennifer Dance’s Hawk breathes new life into an important subject for middle grade readers. Hawk simultaneously dazzles and educates. Topical and hard to put down, this is a great choice for young Canadian readers." — Melissa Bell, Librarian, Richmond Hill Public Library

"Because Hawk takes place in the here-and-now, in a Canadian setting that has been in the news, it will have a strong impact and possibly stir readers to some type of action. Jennifer Dance is to be congratulated on this courageous, radical novel." — Canadian Materials Magazine

Additional Information
264 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

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$12.99

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Hello Humpback
Authors:
Robert (Lucky) Budd
Format: Board Book

With bright and bold illustrations of the wild and magical West Coast by celebrated artist Roy Henry Vickers, this sturdy board book will delight babies and toddlers as they begin to experience and recognize the sights and sounds of the natural world. Hello Humpback!, a "first words" book, introduces iconic West Coast animals, from hungry sea otters to hopping orcas, and is sure to become an instant classic.

Series Information
This book is a part of the First West Coast Books series.

Additional Information
20 pages | 6.00" x 6.00" | Board Book

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$9.95

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I Am Not a Number
Artists:
Gillian Newland
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;

When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.

Reviews
"Residential and boarding school stories are hard to read, but they're vitally important... books like I Am Not a Number should be taught in schools in Canada, and the U.S., too."— Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature

"It’s important to teach children about true Canadian history, but it’s not easy to talk about it in a way that children will understand. I Am Not a Number is perfect to get the conversation about residential schools started with your children. It opens the door for them to ask questions about the subject and the story is relatable in a way they can follow."— Residential School Magazine

"[A] powerful teaching tool that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to. It is written in simple language and told in a way that will stimulate conversations about residential schools and the traumatic effects they have had on generations of First Nation families and communities. ... beautifully illustrated by Gillian Newland. She captures the somber mood of the school, the anguish of the children, the severity of the nuns and the desperation of the family. Students can easily empathize with Irene and her brothers as well as their parents as they try to imagine how they would feel or act in a similar situation." — Alberta Native News, December 2016

"Endless cross-curricular connections can be made using this story. But the most powerful aspect of this book is that it will open a dialogue, one that Justice Murray Sinclair spoke of as head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a dialogue that needs to take place for reconciliation to happen." — ETFO Voice

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 7-11
Guided Reading: V

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

 

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$18.95

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Les Savoirs Perdus / Panuijkatasikl Kina'masuti'l
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Aigle répartit sept savoirs fondamentaux parmi les animaux de la forêt, mais il oublie de mentionner une importante mise en garde; et ainsi, les animaux s’empêtrent dans la jalousie, la convoitise et l’égoïsme. Aigle se doit sauver les animaux et c’est ainsi qu’il est amené à découvrir le sens du savoir le plus important: la vérité.

Educator Information
This book is also available in English as The Lost Teachings/ Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l.

Additional Information
48 pages | 14.00" x 10.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$17.00

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Métis Christmas Mittens
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Métis;

The holiday season has always been a very special time for Métis families. A family-oriented people, the Métis often didn’t have money to buy expensive presents, but instead made practical items with much love. In this spirit, award-winning author and illustrator, Leah Marie Dorion takes readers back to the Métis tradition of making mittens for loved ones. Métis Christmas Mittens is a touching ode to Métis family life is accompanied by Leah’s distinctive and evocative art.

Educator Information
Michif Translation by Norman Fleury 
Grade Level: Primary
Format: English/Michif

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$15.00

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River of Salmon Peoples
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
The River of the Salmon People captures what the
Fraser River, and its most valuable resource, the
salmon, means to First Nations communities along
its basin. The result of nine community engagements,
extensive research over two years, and illuminating
photographs and artwork, this book captures the oral
narratives of each community along the river.
The book, while capturing timeless Indigenous stories
and legends about the salmon and the river, is also an
exploration of the future of the salmon and of the waters
of the Fraser River. It will have high appeal to readers
interested in First Nations issues, the sustainability of
the salmon, and the environmental challenges facing
the world today.
The River of the Salmon People is an expression of the
people, culture, ceremony and songs along the Fraser
of will be of deep interest to both the general reader
and students of the environment and Indigenous rights.
$32.95

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Road Allowance Kitten
Artists:
Christina Johns
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

They say, “Home is where the heart is.” For Rosie and Madeline, home also included their pet kitten. Imagine being told you have to leave your home … without your pet. Based on a true story, Road Allowance Kitten gives readers a glimpse into the history of the Road Allowance Métis and their forced removal from their humble, but beloved, homes on the road allowance. Award-winning children’s author Wilfred Burton skillfully shares this story through the eyes of the children involved. The vibrant illustrations by Christina Johns are the perfect accompaniment to this authentic vignette of a little-known part of Prairie history.

Comes with a CD featuring the English and Michif narrations of the book.

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$15.00

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Sacred Feminine: An Indigenous Art Colouring Book
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Colouring book for adults and children.

Sacred Feminine is a colouring book by Anishinaabe artist Jackie Traverse.

The beautiful and intricate works of art within depict images of strength, resilience, and empowerment. With each image, the artist explains the symbolism and meaning represented. The first of its kind, Sacred Feminine is intended to heal and educate readers and colourers of all ages.

Additional Information
64 pages | 10.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
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Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$20.00

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Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Canada's relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.

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$29.95

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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

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$17.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Chief: Mistahimaskwa
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
On her way to school one day, Sarah is relieved to find the book she’d dropped the day before – shortly after an encounter with a bear. But when she opens it, the story within, about the Cree chief Mistahimaskwa, comes alive. It takes Sarah back to the Saskatchewan Plains of 1832, where the young boy who would become the great chief first learns the ways of his people, to the final days of his life.

The Chief is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique seven-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of seven great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills. The series also includes:

The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit, the last remaining member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland.

The Land of Os: John Ramsay, a Saulteaux man from the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, who, though dispossessed from his land, helped the Icelandic settlers who arrived in 1875 withstand the smallpox epidemic of the following year.

The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur, a young Dene woman enslaved by the Cree, who becomes a guide for the Hudson Bay Company. In 1715 she negotiated a peace between longstanding enemies, the Cree and Dene.

The Poet: Pauline Johnson, born on the Six Nations Reserve, who wrote and performed her work throughout North America, and was a pioneer of Canadian literature.

The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont, his role in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, and the Metis of Batoche.

The Scout: Tommy Prince, a decorated Aboriginal war hero, and his exploits on the European battlefields of the Second World War.

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.
$16.95

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