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A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

“It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer… The officials have arrived and the children must go.”

So began the school experience of many Indigenous children in Canada for more than a hundred years, and so begins the history of residential schools prepared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

Between 2008 and 2015, the TRC provided opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to share their experiences of residential schools and released several reports based on 7,000 Survivor statements and 5 million documents from government, churches, and schools, as well as a solid grounding in secondary sources.

A Knock on the Door, published in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), gathers material from the TRC reports to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools and inform the journey to reconciliation that Canadians are now embarked upon. An afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the NCTR, home to the archive of recordings and documents collected by the TRC.

Survivor and former National Chief of the Assembly First Nations, Phil Fontaine, provides a Foreword, and an Afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, home to the archive of recordings, and documents collected by the TRC.

As Aimée Craft writes in the Afterword, knowing the historical backdrop of residential schooling and its legacy is essential to the work of reconciliation. In the past, agents of the Canadian state knocked on the doors of Indigenous families to take the children to school. Now, the Survivors have shared their truths and knocked back. It is time for Canadians to open the door to mutual understanding, respect, and reconciliation.

Reviews
“The attempt to transform us failed. The true legacy of the survivors, then, will be the transformation of Canada.” – Phil Fontaine, from the Foreword

A Knock on the Door is a book that I hope every Canadian will read, and read deeply. The transformation of this country begins with acknowledging what happened after that knock on the door. Acknowledging, understanding the implications, and then resolving to do something for positive change. It’s right that the TRC Calls to Action are included, for we are all called to action.” – Shelagh Rogers, O.C., TRC Honorary Witness

"Seven volumes from a nationwide inquiry into the legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools have been condensed into a compelling book that is both accessible and well-documented. The central conclusion—that the schools were part of a deliberate cultural genocide policy aimed at the continent’s first peoples, spearheaded by the Canadian government with the support of mainline churches —is clearly supported by historical references, gut-wrenching personal stories, and a thorough analysis of a system that forcibly removed indigenous children from their families.” – Publishers Weekly 

Educator Information
This book is recommended for grade 11 and 12 students for courses in social studies and social justice (also useful for college/university students in courses of a similar nature).  This book is also a useful teacher resource.

Caution: physical and sexual abuse is discussed in this book.

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Edited and Abridged | 296 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 11 b&w photographs | maps | bibliography

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A Tahltan Cookbook Vol. 2: More Than 88 Ways to Prepare Salmon
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Tahltan (Nahanni);
Reading Level: n/a

People of the Tahltan First Nations of northern BC have had generations of practice in preparing salmon. Tahltans have lived along the Stikine River, a salmon-bearing river, forever. A Tahltan Cookbook Vol. 2: More Than 88 Ways to Prepare Salmon and other favourite recipes includes authentic, traditional salmon dishes as well as modern, adapted ones. We invite you to share in our celebration of salmon.

This book is more than just a cookbook. Included in this book are profiles of contributors, stories, and photos.

Educator Information
B.C. Science Supplementary Resource Gr.4- Life Science 

This volume contains over 88 salmon recipes while sharing Indigenous culture in relation to the history of salmon and its importance to First Nations people.

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112 pages | 6.00" x 8.75"

See also Talhltan Cookbooks Volume 1 and 3.

 

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A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Oji-Cree;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

A compelling, harrowing, but ultimately uplifting story of resilience and self-discovery.

A Two-Spirit Journey is Ma-Nee Chacaby’s extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism.

As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and in her teen years became alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counsellor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in Thunder Bay.

Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humour, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people.

Reviews
“From groundbreaking and controversial AIDS awareness programs in the 1990s to the work she continues to do today, both with her own family and her extended reserve family, her life and this memoir ultimately serve as handbook of hope.”— Lara Rae, Winnipeg Free Press

"A Two-Spirit Journey is a raw and emotional story that doesn’t just show readers the author’s scars. Chacaby bares all in an honest telling of her life that includes flaws, like her struggles with substance abuse and a sometimes rocky path to sobriety. Despite the turmoil, the autobiography does have its uplifting moments and characters. Heartwarming stories of childhood friendships, and most importantly a powerful relationship between the author and her grandmother, weave feelings of optimism and hope into a life that is oftentimes surrounded by darkness.”— Scott Paradis, tbnewswatch.com

“An extraordinary account of an extraordinary life and very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Biography, LGBT, and Native American Studies collections.”— Midwest Book Review

“Activist, survivor, mother, counsellor, Ma-Nee Chacaby recounts her sometimes harrowing life with a calm and steady voice, infused with resilience and compassion. Effectively designed and edited to appeal to both the general public and those engaged in Indigenous studies, A Two-Spirit Journey presents an important story, powerfully told.”— Nik Burton, Rick Walker, and Carolyn Wood, Judges, 2017 Manitoba Book Awards

“The story that Chacaby and Plummer recount is truly an extraordinary one, but it is also one that will resonate with many people whose stories have not been often told. The perspective of a lesbian Ojibwa-Cree elder is invaluable for LGBT Native youth and will be an enriching experience for many others, particularly those who have experienced abuse, disability, poverty, or the effects of colonization.”— Kai Pyle, Studies in American Indian Literatures

Educator Information
This book would be useful for courses in women's studies, social studies, and gender studies.  Recommended for students in grade 12 or at a college/university level.

Caution: discussion of physical and sexual abuse.

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256 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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Athlii Gwaii: Upholding Haida Law on Lyell Island
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: University/College;

“This is Haida land, you all know that, and we’re here to uphold the decision of the Haida Nation. This is Haida land and there will be no further logging in this area.” - Kilsli Kaji Sting, Miles Richardson Jr., on the line at Athlii Gwaii, 1985

In 1985, the Haida Nation refused to accept the relentless industrial logging practices that were ravaging Gwaii Haanas, the southern part of the Haida Gwaii archipelago. Designating the area a Haida Heritage Site, they drew a line that stands to this day. Guided by Haida law and trusting in their culture, the Nation upheld their responsibility to Haida Gwaii with unwavering clarity. Canada and the province of British Columbia pushed back and seventy-two people were arrested, including many Elders. But the Haida held firm in their stand, and with the support of friends from around the world, logging was stopped. Negotiations between the Haida Nation and Canada ensued, resulting in the ground-breaking Gwaii Haanas Agreement in which both Nations agree to disagree on Title to the region, and instead focus on its protection for the benefit of all future generations.
Filled with rich political and personal stories from upwards of 40 authors, along with intimate images from this critical moment in history, Athlii Gwaii pays homage to Haida Gwaii and its people, upholds Indigenous Rights and Title, bears witness to how non-violence works and reminds us of ... the possible.

About the Authors
Contributors include Miles Richardson Jr.; Guujaaw; Diane Brown; Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson; David Suzuki and many more.

Additional Information
184 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | Edited by Jisgang Nika Collison.

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Bathtubs but No Water
Authors:
Gerry Steele
Format: Paperback

In 1967, the Mushuau Innu — the Aboriginal people of Labrador — were resettled on Davis Inlet by the Canadian government. Originally a land-based people, this move to the coast created cultural, economic and spiritual upheaval, and Davis Inlet became synonymous with shocking substance abuse and suicide rates. In Bathtubs but No Water, Gerry Steele offers the reader a participant observer’s perspective on Davis Inlet. An employee of the federal government working with the Mushuau Innu since 1993, Steele explores their oral history of the resettlement process, substance abuse and deaths, and argues that these problems are a direct result of the government’s lack of respect for Aboriginal peoples. In 1992, the Innu tried to regain responsibility for their future, focusing on the traditions and strengths of their own community, but government bureaucracy would not support this partnership. Steele urges the government to engage in respectful partnerships with Aboriginal communities in order to achieve positive change.

$14.95

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Being Ts'elxwéyeqw: First Peoples' Voices and History from the Chilliwack-Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Editors:
David M. Schaepe
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

“Our stories identify for us the land which surrounds us and tie us to our ancestors. We find ourselves inextricably linked to the past, to the land, to the river, to each other, to the future.” —Shirley Hardman, contributor

This impressive volume tells of the First Peoples of the area through vivid narratives from the past and present.

The traditional territory of the Ts’elxwéyeqw First Peoples covers over 95,000 hectares of land in Southwestern BC. It extends throughout the central Fraser Valley, encompassing the entire Chilliwack River Valley (including Chilliwack Lake, Chilliwack River, Cultus Lake and areas, and parts of the Chilliwack municipal areas). In addition to being an area of natural beauty and abundant resources, it also has a rich cultural history. The Chilliwack region gets its name from the Ts’elxwéyeqw tribe, and this volume delves into what this name means—and also what it means to be Ts’elxwéyeqw. Being Ts’elxwéyeqw portrays the people, artifacts and landscapes that are central to the Ts’elxwéyeqw people, and represents a rich oral record of an aboriginal heritage that has been kept alive—even through adversity—for thousands of years.

Lavishly illustrated with over seven hundred historic and current photos and maps, this book amalgamates a variety of voices and personal histories from elders, while providing background into eighty-five place names within the region. The book’s unique composition—with an emphasis on visual storytelling—showcases a culture with a deep connection to the surrounding land and the watershed.

Educator Information
Recommended for Grades 5-12 for the following subject areas: Geography, Social Studies, Science.  Also a useful Teacher Resource.

Note: Educators should pre-read sections of this book that they are considering using from this reference book, as reading levels vary greatly.

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304 pages | 11.00" x 14.00"

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Blackfoot Craftworker's Book
Format: Paperback

This collection of photos of traditional accessories, clothing, cradleboards, utensils, and more is a look at Blackfoot material culture at its finest. History of the styles, descriptions of techniques and materials, and information about daily and ritual use of many of the items are included.

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Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography
Authors:
Andrea Warner
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

A powerful, intimate look at the life and music of a beloved folk icon and activist.

Folk hero. Songwriter icon. Living legend. Buffy Sainte-Marie is all of these things and more. In this, Sainte-Marie’s first and only authorized biography, music critic Andrea Warner draws from more than sixty hours of exclusive interviews to offer a powerful, intimate look at the life of the beloved artist and everything that she has accomplished in her seventy-seven years (and counting).

Since her groundbreaking debut, 1964’s It’s My Way!, the Cree singer-songwriter has been a trailblazer and a tireless advocate for Indigenous rights and freedoms, an innovative artist, and a disruptor of the status quo. Establishing herself among the ranks of folk greats such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, she has released more than twenty albums, survived being blacklisted by two U.S. presidents, and received countless accolades, including the only Academy Award ever to be won by a First Nations artist. But this biography does more than celebrate Sainte-Marie’s unparalleled talent as a songwriter and entertainer; packed with insight and knowledge, it offers an unflinchingly honest, heartbreakingly real portrait of the woman herself, including the challenges she experienced on the periphery of showbiz, her healing from the trauma of childhood and intimate partner violence, her commitment to activism, and her leadership in the protest movement.

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304 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | photographic colour insert

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Chilcotin Chronicles
Authors:
Sage Birchwater
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

A compilation of stories that meld both culture and bloodlines, Chilcotin Chronicles by Sage Birchwater is set in the wild and untamed country of central British Columbia’s Chilcotin Plateau. West of the Fraser River, this high country is contained by an arc of impenetrable mountain ranges that separates it from the Pacific Coast. The first inhabitants of this region were fiercely independent, molded by the land itself. Those who came later were drawn to this landscape with its mysterious aura of freedom, where time stood still and where a person could find solace in the wilderness and never be found.

Birchwater reaches back to first European contact in British Columbia when the indigenous population spoke forty of Canada’s fifty-four languages and seventy of Canada’s one hundred dialects. The land known today as the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast was already an entity when Alexander Mackenzie arrived in 1793. Bonds of friendship, mutual support and family ties had long been established between the Dakelh, Tsilhqot’in and Nuxalk, giving cohesiveness to the region. Chilcotin Chronicles is about the men and women caught in the interface of cultures and the changing landscape. Indigenous inhabitants and white newcomers brought together by the fur brigades, then later by the gold rush, forged a path together, uncharted and unpredictable. Birchwater discovers that their stories, seemingly disconnected, are intrinsically linked together to create a human ecosystem with very deep roots. The lives of these early inhabitants give substance to the landscape. They give meaning to the people who live there today.

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Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Denied her Indigenous status, Lynn Gehl has been fighting her entire life to reclaim mino-pimadiziwin--the good life. Exploring Anishinaabeg philosophy and Anishinaabeg conceptions of truth, Gehl shows how she came to locate her spirit and decolonize her identity, thereby becoming, in her words, "fully human." Gehl also provides a harsh critique of Canada and takes on important anti-colonial battles, including sex discrimination in the Indian Act and the destruction of sacred places.

Reviews
Gehl is at the cutting edge with her concepts and ideas... She is on a journey and documents it well. — Lorelei Anne Lambert, author of Research for Indigenous Survival

Clear, insightful, and desperately needed... — Lorraine F. Mayer, author of Cries from a Métis Heart

The discussion of the heart and mind knowledge, as well as the discussion on the Anishinaabeg Clan System of Governance, [are] major contributions to the research. — Marlyn Bennett, co-editor of Pushing the Margins

"Throughout Claiming Anishinaabe, the conversation remains rooted in the destructive effects of oppressive power on the human spirit, and an insistence that both knowledge and spirituality are key in reclaiming one’s sense of self." — Quill & Quire

Educator Information
This book would be useful for the following subject areas or courses: Indigenous Studies, Canadian History (Post-Confederation), Social Science, Autobiography/Biography Studies, Spirituality, and Law.

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Includes line drawings

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Copying People
Authors:
Daniel Francis
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

Before the west was widely settled, photographs provided the first glimpse white society had of the aboriginal people who occupied the hinterlands of the continent. Copying People - a phrase borrowed from the Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands that means "camera" - is a collection of historical photographs chosen from the vast number of images in museums and archives across North America. Taken by professional photographers, surveyors, anthropologists, civil servants, and tourists, these fascinating images show how early non-Native photographers "pictured" First Nations people and influenced the outside world's perceptions of them.



Many of these photographs attempt to document the "traditional" Indian, with their subjects dressed up in wigs, costumes, and other props provided by the photographer. In an effort to record for posterity what they viewed as a doomed race, the photographers helped construct the "idea" of the Indian in the collective mind of white society. Other photographers used images of Native people for commercial purposes, or pictured their subjects in suits and dresses, hoping to appeal to an audience eager for evidence that Natives were becoming "civilized."



Depicting Native societies under a great deal of stress at a time of tremendous change in their way of life and their environment, the photographs also reveal societies struggling to preserve their cultures and successfully adapting to new economic opportunities. And despite what we might think of their motives, many photographers produced images of remarkable power and enduring beauty.



Covering all of British Columbia, the book represents the work of every important photographer dealing with aboriginal people in the province before World war II. With 140 archival images, Copying People offers a privileged glimpse of British Columbia's original inhabitants.

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Costumes of the Plains Indians
Authors:
Clarke Wissler
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Drawing from the numerous samples found in the American Museum of Natural History, anthropologist Clark David Wissler examines styles of shirts and dresses worn by Blackfoot and other Native peoples of the plains.

Full-color images capture the many details of weaving and decoration on the costumes pictured. Historical reference material provides information about the making, use, and symbolism of these garments.

$23.95

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Damming the Peace: The Hidden Costs of the Site C Dam
Editors:
Wendy Holm
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Since the 1970s, the Site C Dam in northeastern British Columbia's Peace River Valley has been touted by B.C. Hydro and successive governments as necessary to meet the province's increasing energy needs. With its enormous $10 billion price tag, the dam would be the largest public works project in BC history. It would be the third dam on the Peace River, and destroy traditional unceded territory belonging to Treaty 8 First Nations.

Following the last provincial election, the newly appointed NDP government called for a review of the project, but work on the dam continues. This comes after protests by aboriginal groups and landowners, several lawsuits against the government, and federal government intervention to let the dam go ahead. More recently, there has been a call from a United Nations panel to review how the dam will affect Indigenous land.

This book presents the independent voices of citizen experts describing every important impact of the dam, including:

  • Sustainable energy expert Guy Dauncey on future energy demand, and whether there is likely to be a need for the dam's electricity
  • An interview with aboriginal activist Helen Knott on the dam's assault on traditional lands and culture, in particular Indigenous women
  • Agrologist Wendy Holm on the farm land impact — prime horticulture land important to food security and nutrition
  • Family physician Warren Bell on the effect that loss of traditional way of life and connection to the land has had on the health of aboriginal people
  • Wildlife biologist Brian Churchill with forty years' experience of studying its land and wildlife
  • Former environmental minister Joan Sawicki on government cover-ups and smoking guns
  • Energy industry watchdog Andrew Nikiforuk on the links between dams, fracking and earthquakes
  • Award-winning broadcaster Rafe Mair on how party politics corrupts political leadership, and the role of activism and civil disobedience in shaping government decision-making
  • David Schindler, one of the world's foremost water ecologists, explains the role dams like Site C will play in Canada's climate change strategy
  • Joyce Nelson connects the dots between the Site C dam and continental water sharing plans

Reviews
"Wendy Holm brings another perspective to the case against Site C, that of the production of crops." — Nelson Star, January 2018

"A massive, $10 billion hydroelectric dam project on British Columbia’s Peace River could threaten the First Nations peoples who live nearby. This volume dives deep into the potential impacts and decades of governmental cover-ups related to this long-planned project."— John R. Platt, The Revelator, April 2018

"This book provides an organized and rigorous “how to” guide on the intellectual and fact-based opposition to Site C, and in doing this becomes a great model for a book on any long-term protest. Its ambition is to inform on the subject from every possible angle, keeping the Peace River, the region and its people in mind, rather than the expediency of the business and government angle, which is usually given at least equal weight by the mainstream media." — Cathryn Atkinson, Rabble, June 2018

"There is an "elephant in the room" — not the huge white elephant that you see at No-Site C rallies. This elephant is dark and invisible. The government does not talk about it ... No. This elephant is rather more sinister. Wendy Holm confronts it and exposes it. It's about exporting water."— John Gellard, The Ormsby Review, August 2018

"Damming the Peace is an accessible, thoughtful and informative collection of essays that reveal the grave environmental, human and economic costs if the Site C dam is built."— Tim Pelzer, People's Voice, October 2018

Educator Information
Includes Indigenous content/perspectives and an Interview with Indigenous activist Helen Knott.

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272 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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Daniel Paul: Mi'kmaw Elder
Authors:
Jon Tattrie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Born in a log cabin during a raging blizzard on Indian Brook Reserve in 1938, Mi'kmaw elder Daniel N. Paul rose to the top of a Canadian society that denied his people's civilization. When he was named to the Order of Canada, his citation called him a "powerful and passionate advocate for social justice and the eradication of racial discrimination." His Order of Nova Scotia honour said he "gives a voice to his people by revealing a past that the standard histories have chosen to ignore."

But long before the acclaim, there was the Indian Agent denying food to his begging mother. There was the education system that taught him his people were savages. There was the Department of Indian Affairs that frustrated his work to bring justice to his people.

His landmark book We Were Not the Savages exposed the brutalities of the collision between European and Native American civilizations from a Mi'kmaq perspective. The book sold tens of thousands of copies around the world and inspired others to learn history from an indigenous point of view.

He shone a light on Halifax founder Edward Cornwallis through newspaper columns and public debates over two decades, calling on Nova Scotia to stop honouring the man whose scalping proclamations were an act of genocide against the Mi'kmaq.

Now, for the first time, here is the full story of his personal journey of transformation, a story that will inspire Canadians to recognize and respect their First Nations as equal and enlightened civilizations.

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Doug Knockwood, Mi'kmaw Elder: Stories, Memories, Reflections
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Freeman Douglas Knockwood is a highly respected Elder in Mi’kmaw Territory and one of Canada’s premier addictions recovery counsellors. The story of his life is one of unimaginable colonial trauma, recovery and hope.

At age 6, Knockwood was placed in the Shubenacadie Residential School, where he remained for a year and a half. Like hundreds of other Mi’kmaw and Maliseet children, he suffered horrible abuse. By the time he reached his twenties, he was an alcoholic. He contracted tuberculosis in the 1940s, had one lung and several ribs removed.

Having hit rock bottom, Knockwood, gained sobriety in his thirties through Alcoholics Anonymous. He went on to become a much sought after drug and alcohol rehabilitation counsellor in Canada. Many of Doug’s initiatives have been implemented across Canada and used by thousands of people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Looking back now, says Doug, “I realize I wasn’t only helping them. They were helping me to gather strength in my presentations, in feeding them the knowledge I received, the same as it was fed to me. That helped me to gain confidence in myself; doing all these things that I didn’t know I could yet do”.

This book is an in-depth look at Doug Knockwood’s life that also casts a wide and critical glance at the forces that worked to undermine his existence and the indomitable spirit of a man who recovered from, yet still struggles to overcome, those forces.

Educator Information
The 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Social Justice, Social Studies.

Additional Information
128 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | Written by Doug Knockwood and Friends

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