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Métis

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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.

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

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$17.95

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A Rush to Judgment: The Unfair Trial of Louis Riel
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Did Louis Riel have a fair trial?

The trial and conviction of Louis Riel for treason in the summer of 1885 and his execution on November 16, 1885, have been the subject of historical comment and criticism for over one hundred years. A Rush to Judgment challenges the view held by some historians that Riel received a fair trial.

Roger E. Salhany argues that the judge allowed the prosecutors to control the proceedings, was biased in his charge to the jury, and failed to properly explain to the jury how they were to consider the evidence of legal insanity. He also argues that the government was anxious to ensure the execution of Riel, notwithstanding the recommendation of the jury for clemency, because of concerns that if Riel was sent to a mental hospital or prison, he would eventually be released and cause further trouble.

Additional Information
352 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 13 b&w illustrations, index, bibliography, notes.

Authentic Canadian Content
$24.99

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Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun: Portraits of Everyday Life in Eight Indigenous Communities
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;

A revelatory portrait of eight Indigenous communities from across North America, shown through never-before-published archival photographs--a gorgeous extension of Paul Seesequasis's popular social media project.

In 2015, writer and journalist Paul Seesequasis found himself grappling with the devastating findings of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on the residential school system. He sought understanding and inspiration in the stories of his mother, herself a residential school survivor. Gradually, Paul realized that another, mostly untold history existed alongside the official one: that of how Indigenous peoples and communities had held together during even the most difficult times. He embarked on a social media project to collect archival photos capturing everyday life in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities from the 1920s through the 1970s. As he scoured archives and libraries, Paul uncovered a trove of candid images and began to post these on social media, where they sparked an extraordinary reaction. Friends and relatives of the individuals in the photographs commented online, and through this dialogue, rich histories came to light for the first time.

Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun collects some of the most arresting images and stories from Paul's project. While many of the photographs live in public archives, most have never been shown to the people in the communities they represent. As such, Blanket Toss is not only an invaluable historical record, it is a meaningful act of reclamation, showing the ongoing resilience of Indigenous communities, past, present--and future.
 
Reviews
“A revelatory work of astonishing grace, Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun encapsulates an invisible generation brought to glorious life. So many times, the subject could have been my auntie, cousin or grandmother. When people ask why I live on the rez, I’ll point them to this book, this stunning reclamation of narrative, which so movingly shows the love of place, community and self.” —Eden Robinson

“Paul Seesequasis's Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun is a wonderful collection of found photographs and recovered histories that link us to a past as old as the land and as precious as breath.” —Thomas King, author of The Inconvenient Indian

Additional Information
192 pages | 7.08" x 9.03" | Colour photos throughout


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$32.95

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Extraordinary Canadians: Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont:A Penguin Lives Biography
Authors:
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.

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$22.00

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From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.

If I can just make it to the next minute... then I might have a chance to live; I might have a chance to be something more than just a struggling crackhead.

From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.

Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, but their tough-love attitudes meant conflicts became commonplace. And the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. One day, he finally realized he would die unless he turned his life around.

In this heartwarming and heartbreaking memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful experiences with abuse, uncovering the truth about his parents, and how he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family through education.

An eloquent exploration of what it means to live in a world surrounded by prejudice and racism and to be cast adrift, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help one find happiness despite the odds.

Reviews
From the Ashes hits you like a punch in the gut. It’s an unflinching, heartrending and beautifully written story of survival against seemingly impossible odds. But it’s also a book that should make you furious. Thistle paints a vivid portrait of a country seemingly incapable of doing right by Indigenous youth or by those struggling with homelessness, addiction and intergenerational trauma. That he survived to tell this story is truly a miracle. Still, one question haunts me after finishing this powerful and devastating book: How do we ensure that the next generation isn’t forced to navigate a broken system that takes their lives for granted and fails them at every turn? My greatest hope, then, is that From the Ashes will be the wakeup call Canada needs.” — IAN MOSBY, historian and author of Food Will Win the War

Educator Information
Caution: Deals with mature subject matter.

Additional Information
368 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"


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$24.99

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Halfbreed: Restored Edition
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

A new, fully restored edition of the essential Canadian classic.

An unflinchingly honest memoir of her experience as a Métis woman in Canada, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed depicts the realities that she endured and, above all, overcame. Maria was born in Northern Saskatchewan, her father the grandson of a Scottish businessman and Métis woman--a niece of Gabriel Dumont whose family fought alongside Riel and Dumont in the 1885 Rebellion; her mother the daughter of a Cree woman and French-American man. This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust. Laced with spare moments of love and joy, this is a memoir of family ties and finding an identity in a heritage that is neither wholly Indigenous or Anglo; of strength and resilience; of indominatable spirit.

This edition of Halfbreed includes a new introduction written by Indigenous (Métis) scholar Dr. Kim Anderson detailing the extraordinary work that Maria has been doing since its original publication 46 years ago, and an afterword by the author looking at what has changed, and also what has not, for Indigenous people in Canada today. Restored are the recently discovered missing pages from the original text of this groundbreaking and significant work.

Additional Information
224 pages | 5.21" x 7.99"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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I am a Métis
Authors:
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Gerry St. Germain's story begins in "Petit Canada" on the shores of the Assiniboine, growing up with his two younger sisters, his mother and his father--a shy Métis trapper and construction worker who sometimes struggled to put food on the table. St. Germain was initially troubled in school, scrapping with classmates and often skipping out to shoot pool, but an aunt and uncle with some extra cash paid his tuition to Catholic school, where a nun recognized his aptitude for math and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. He would go on to become an air force pilot, undercover policeman and West Coast chicken farmer. Business gave way to politics, and in 1988 he became one of a tiny number of Aboriginal Canadians named to a federal cabinet. That milestone was just one of many for a man who played a critical role in Canada's Conservative movement for a generation.


From the Brian Mulroney era to the roller-coaster leadership of Kim Campbell, then to the collapse of the Progressive Conservative party in 1993 and the subsequent rebuilding of the movement under Stephen Harper, St. Germain remained a trusted confidant of prime ministers and a crucial and often daring behind-the-scenes broker in bringing warring factions together. But he is most proud of his efforts during his later years in the Senate, when he was a quiet hero to Canada's Aboriginal community. He spearheaded major Senate reports on key issues like land claims and on-reserve education during the Harper era, when there were few friendly faces for First Nations leaders on Parliament Hill. That role reflected St. Germain's profound determination to help people who are still dealing today the brutal legacy of residential schools and the paternalistic Indian Act. Memories of his humble beginnings, and the shame he once felt over his Métis heritage, bubbled to the surface in his final address to Canada's Parliament in 2012, when he said in a voice quaking with emotion: "I am a Métis."

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$32.95

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Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; Inuit; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Indigenous perspectives much older than the nation itself shared through maps, artwork, history and culture.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in partnership with Canada's national Indigenous organizations, has created a groundbreaking four-volume atlas that shares the experiences, perspectives, and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It's an ambitious and unprecedented project inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Exploring themes of language, demographics, economy, environment and culture, with in-depth coverage of treaties and residential schools, these are stories of Canada's Indigenous Peoples, told in detailed maps and rich narratives.

This extraordinary project offers Canada a step on the path toward understanding.

The volumes contain more than 48 pages of reference maps, content from more than 50 Indigenous writers; hundreds of historical and contemporary photographs and a glossary of Indigenous terms, timelines, map of Indigenous languages, and frequently asked questions. All packaged together in a beautifully designed protective slipcase.

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 13+.

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada includes a four volume print atlas, an online atlas, an app, and more!

Additional Information
322 pages | 10.50" x 12.87"

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$99.00

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Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Indigenous Relations: Your Guide to Working Effectively with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

A timely sequel to the bestselling 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act - and an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to work more effectively with Indigenous Peoples.

We are all treaty people. But what are the everyday impacts of treaties, and how can we effectively work toward reconciliation if we're worried our words and actions will unintentionally cause harm?

Hereditary chief and leading Indigenous relations trainer Bob Joseph is your guide to respecting cultural differences and improving your personal relationships and business interactions with Indigenous Peoples. Practical and inclusive, Indigenous Relations interprets the difference between hereditary and elected leadership, and why it matters; explains the intricacies of Aboriginal Rights and Title, and the treaty process; and demonstrates the lasting impact of the Indian Act, including the barriers that Indigenous communities face and the truth behind common myths and stereotypes perpetuated since Confederation.

Indigenous Relations equips you with the necessary knowledge to respectfully avoid missteps in your work and daily life, and offers an eight-part process to help business and government work more effectively with Indigenous Peoples - benefitting workplace culture as well as the bottom line. Indigenous Relations is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to improve their cultural competency and undo the legacy of the Indian Act

Additional Information
200 pages | 8.00" x 5.00"

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$19.95

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Lac Pelletier: My Métis Home
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Gabriel Dumont Institute Press is honoured to publish Cecile Blanke’s Lac Pelletier: My Métis Home. A prominent Métis Elder living in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, but with deep roots in nearby Lac Pelletier, Cecile has been a tireless presence on the Métis and larger cultural scene in southwest Saskatchewan for many years. The history of the southwest Saskatchewan Métis is not widely known, and this book contributes significantly to our knowledge of this community. With her vivid memories of Lac Pelletier’s local families and traditions, we are left with an enduring portrait of a caring Métis community which maintained close family ties and lived in harmony with Lac Pelletier’s flora and fauna. Cecile also chronicles the racism that the local Métis often faced and discussed how colonization made her and others question their Métis identity. With time and perspective, she overcame this self-hatred and became proud of her Métis heritage, becoming its biggest promoter in her region of Saskatchewan.

Educator Information
Recommended by Gabriel Dumont Institute for these grade levels: Secondary/Post-Secondary/Adult

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$20.00

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Let Me See Your Fancy Steps: Story of a Métis Dance Caller
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

“The Gabriel Dumont Institute Press is pleased to be able to preserve and share Jeanne Pelletier’s work and life story through Let Me See Your Fancy Steps—Story of a Métis Dance Caller. The Story of Jeanne Pelletier as told to Sylvie Sara Roy and Wilfred Burton. Jeanne’s achievement as the first female Métis dance caller is, of course, about Métis dance, but it is also about the determination of a young Métis girl who achieves her dream to become a dance caller during a time when this was only done by men.”

This resource includes dance calls for 16 dances and is accompanied by the instructional DVD All My Relations which features dance company V’ni Dansi which is led by renowned dancer and artistic director, Yvonne Chartrand.

Reviews
"The recounting of Jeanne’s work is supplemented throughout the book by testimonials of her former dance students and community members, all of whom praise the dance caller for the substantial impact that she’s had both on their personal lives, as well as the academic and social climates of the Métis community in Saskatchewan. As a Métis myself, I feel lost at times, as if my culture is fuzzy or foreign to me. Reading the life experiences, knowledge, and not to mention the wealth of Métis Jig steps found in this book gave me an overwhelming sense of peace to see research of this caliber and this level of care being invested in my culture. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Métis culture and the significance that the jig has to the culture. Anyone who has seen the Métis Jig performed live knows that it is a beautiful and awe-inspiring dance, but after reading Jeanne’s explanations of the cultural significance of the dances, I will now appreciate the dance that much more as a story and celebration of my culture. It is also worth mentioning that entire dance sequences are written out to follow with Jeanne’s notes, and the book includes an instructional DVD." - Ben Charles for SaskBook Reviews

Educator Information
Recommended by Gabriel Dumont Institute for Secondary/Post Secondary/Adult.

Includes a DVD.

Recommended in the Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2019-2020 resource list as being useful for grades 5-12 with regard to these subjects: English Language Arts, Physical Education, Social Studies, Teacher Resource.

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$25.00

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Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Over the past fifty years, Canada's Indigenous Affairs department (now two departments with more than 30 federal co-delivery partners) has mushroomed into a "super-province" delivering birth-to-death programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. This vast entity has jurisdictional reach over 90-percent of Canada's landscape, and an annual budget of some $20-billion. Yet Indigenous people have no means to hold this "super-province" accountable to them. Not a single person in this entity has been elected by Indigenous people to represent their interests. Not one. When it comes to federal Indigenous policy, ordinary Indigenous people in Canada are voiceless and powerless.

In Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation, author and journalist Sheilla Jones raises an important question: are the well-documented social inequities in Indigenous communities--high levels of poverty, suicide, incarceration, children in care, family violence--the symptoms of this long-standing, institutionalized powerlessness? If so, the solution lies in empowerment. And the means of empowerment is already embedded in the historic treaties. Jones argues that there can be meaningful reconciliation only when ordinary Indigenous Canadians are finally empowered to make their voices heard, and ordinary non-Indigenous Canadians can join with them to advance a shared future.

Educator Information
Includes a foreword from Sheila North. Sheila is from the Bunibonibee Cree Nation and is the former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), and former Chief Communications Officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. She is a former Gemini-nominated CBC journalist, former CTV journalist and documentarist.

Additional Information
256 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
$22.95

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Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Louis Riel, prophet of the new world and founder of the Canadian province of Manitoba, has challenged Canadian politics, history and religion since the early years of Confederation. In Canada's most important and controversial state trial, Riel was found guilty of "high treason," sentenced to hang and executed on November 16, 1885. With 2017 being Canada's sesquicentennial of the initial Confederation of four British colonies, and with the question of reconciliation on the minds of many, the celebrations must recognize that the brutal execution of Louis Riel remains Canada's "great divide." Was the 1885 execution of Riel the hanging of a traitor? Or the legal murder of a patriot and statesman? Tried in a territorial court, Riel called out for justice, for an "inquiry into his career." To date, no such inquiry has been called. The spiritual and political father of the Métis nation and Western Canada remains branded a traitor to Canada.

In this imaginative re-enactment of his trial, Riel is finally given the opportunity to respond to his conviction for treason, offering his side of the story at Batoche and Red River.

Reviews
“In this era of reconciliation, Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done is a tour de force. Exposing the combined pillars of racism and colonialism, Doyle assists in the decolonization of Canadian history during her sesquicentennial commemorations and celebrations.” — Venerable Dr. John A. (Ian) MacKenzie

“David Doyle’s advocacy, both in his writings and presentations, appropriates nothing from the Métis or their culture, rather it supplements it both for them and for all Canadians.” — George & Terry Goulet, authors of The Trial of Louis Riel

Additional Information
200 pages | 9.00" x 6.00" | 16 b&w photos

This book is creative nonfiction, a genre of writing that presents factually accurate narratives using literary style and technique (creativity).

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$24.95

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Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Métis Plant Use - Study Prints & Resource Guide
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Based on Métis artist Christi Belcourt’s painting “Medicines to Help Us,” this innovative and vibrant resource honours the centuries-old healing traditions of Métis women.

In the Michif language, the words for medicine include "Mhaskigi," "Maskihkiya," and "Askipasan."  Within each word is an innate awareness that the healing power of plants is a life force generated from the strength of Mother Earth.

Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Métis Plant Use is a stunning set of 30 full-colour gallery-quality study prints and an accompanying companion guide in which Christi Belcourt fuses her evocative artwork with research on plants and traditional knowledge to explore traditional Métis medicinal knowledge and the medicinal properties of the plants depicted in her painting.  This innovative and vibrant resource honours the centuries-old healing traditions of Métis woman.

Filled with full-colour photographs, maps, illustrations, and the names of plants listed in three Aboriginal languages - Michif, Nehiyawewin (Cree), and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) - each study print showcases a type of wild plant that can be found in one or all of the provinces of the Métis Homeland, from Ontario to British Columbia.  In addition, the reverse sides of the 8.5" x 11" study prints can be assembled to recreate a highly detailed 60" replica of Belcourt's painting.

Along with an essay by Elder Rose Richardson on her first-hand experience in using medicinal plants, this compelling one-of-a-kind resource melds Métis contemporary art and the floral motif within Métis beadwork with Métis traditional knowledge.

Educator Information
Translators: Laura Burnoff and Rita Flamand

Elder Validation: Rose Richardson

Format: Prints and Book.  Written in English with plant names in three languages: Michif, Nehiyawewin (Cree), and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway)

 

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$90.00

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Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Métis Plant Use (Resource Guide Only)
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Based on Métis artist Christi Belcourt’s painting “Medicines to Help Us,” this innovative and vibrant resource honours the centuries-old healing traditions of Métis women. With contributions from Métis Elders Rose Richardson and Olive Whitford, as well as key Michif phrases and terminology, Medicines to Help Us is the most accessible resource relating to Métis healing traditions produced to date.

Educator Information
This resource guide does not include the study prints referred to on the back cover and within the book.  For the study prints and resource guide, check out Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Métis Plant Use - Study Prints & Resource Guide on our website.

Michif Translators: Laura Burnoff and Rita Flamand

Elder Validation: Rose Richardson

Format: Book Only - English, with plant names in Michif, Nehiyawewin (Cree), and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway)

 

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$25.00

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