Indigenous Peoples of Canada

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#NotYourPrincess
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;

Native women demand to be heard in this stunning anthology.

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous girls and women across North America resound in this book. In the same visual style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, intergenerational trauma, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women demanding change and realizing their dreams. Sometimes outraged, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have had their history hidden and whose modern lives have been virtually invisible.

Reviews
“A stunning anthology of creative writing and art . . . All YA collections will want this."— Alicia Abdul, School Library Journal

Educator Information
Themes: First Nations; Native Peoples; Indigenous; girls and women; biography; multicultural; stereotyping; acceptance; community; prejudice; self-esteem; tolerance

Interest Age 14+ | Grade 9+

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 8-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Social Justice, Social Studies.

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8.5 x 11 | 112 Pages

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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;

“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 People on the Move: The Metis of the Western Plains
Authors:
Irene Ternier Gordon
Format: Paperback
This book paints a picture of Metis life and culture during the 19th century in the area that later became Saskatchewan and Alberta. Gordon brings history to life through the stories of individuals, such as Gabriel Dumont, Antoine Vermette and Edouard Beapr', and remarkable families, including the Rowand and Bird families of Fort Edmonton and the Cardinal and Desjarlis families of Lac La Biche. The tragedy of 1885, the founding of Willow Bunch and the coming of the NWMP are just some of the key events that are covered.

Suggested Grades: 9-12
ABPBC
$9.95

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A Tahltan Cookbook Vol. 2: More Than 88 Ways to Prepare Salmon
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Tahltan;

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.

Additional Information
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

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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$24.95

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An Honest Woman
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

 An Honest Woman by Jonina Kirton confronts us with beauty and ugliness in the wholesome riot that is sex, love, and marriage. From the perspective of a mixed-race woman, Kirton engages with Simone de Beauvoir and Donald Trump to unravel the norms of femininity and sexuality that continue to adhere today.

Kirton recalls her own upbringing, during which she was told to find a good husband who would “make an honest woman” out of her. Exploring the lives of many women, including her mother, her contemporaries, and well-known sex-crime stories such as the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, Kirton mines the personal to loosen the grip of patriarchal and colonial impositions. 

An Honest Woman explores the many ways the female body is shaped by questions that have been too political to ask: What happens when a woman decides to take her sexuality into her own hands, dismissing cultural norms and the expectations of her parents? How is a young woman’s sexuality influenced when she is perceived as an “exotic” other? Can a woman reconnect with her Indigenous community by choosing Indigenous lovers? 

Daring and tender in their honesty and wisdom, these poems challenge the perception of women’s bodies as glamorous and marketable commodities and imagine an embodied female experience that accommodates the role of creativity and a nurturing relationship with the land.

Reviews
“Jonina Kirton is courageously honest about her life experiences as a female of Indigenous and immigrant ancestry. Many poems resonate deeply, as we identify with her personal quest to figure out who she is, and the unacceptable things done to her. Her raw honesty is unsettling and uncomfortable, because it can be our truth too. Her poems depict devaluation and dehumanization, grieving, lessons learned. Her poems offer important insights as to why there are thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women.” — Senator Lillian E. Dyck

“When writing from the voice of between, writer and reader have no place to hide. Assumptions and camouflage fall away. Murdered, missing, and violated women and girl voices have been silenced. The story lethally repeats. Kirton picks over how she was raised familially and culturally like a crime scene. Too, she affirms, ‘I have been here forever and I will rise again and again.’ Tough, eloquent, revelatory, these poems are the very ones we are desperately in need of.” — Betsy Warland, author of Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas

“I’m sure people have been looking at me strangely every time I gasp, but I can’t glance away from the page for even a second to notice. Some of the poems end sharply, with a punch; some deliberately leave me searching for the next line; others show the repetition of heartbreaking cycles of violence and oppression, but offer a portrayal of resilience, too.” — All Lit Up!

Educator Information
This book would be useful for Women's Studies, Creative Writing, English Language Arts, Poetry, and English courses.  Recommended for grades 11-12 and university-college students.  

Please be advised, this book contains explicit sexual references and references to sexual and physical abuse.

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104 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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An Illustrated History of Canada's Native People
Authors:
Arthur Ray
Format: Paperback

Canada’s Native people have inhabited this land since the Ice Age and were already accomplished traders, artisans, farmers and marine hunters when Europeans first reached their shores. Contact between Natives and European explorers and settlers initially presented an unprecedented period of growth and opportunity. But the two vastly different cultures soon clashed. Arthur J. Ray charts the history of Canada’s Native people from first contact to current land claims. The result is a fascinating chronicle that spans 12,000 years and culminates in the headlines of today.

$49.95

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Atlas of Indian Nations
Authors:
Anton Treuer
Format: Hardcover

Atlas of Indian Nations is a comprehensive resource for those interested in Native American history and culture. Told through maps, photos, art, and archival cartography, this is the story of American Indians that only National Geographic can tell.

In the most comprehensive atlas of Native American history and culture available, the story of the North American Indian is told through maps, photos, art, and archival cartography. This illustrated atlas is perfect for fans of Empire of the Summer Moon, Blood and Thunder, and National Geographic atlases, as well as those fascinated with the Old West. Organized by region, this encyclopedic reference details Indian tribes in these areas: beliefs, sustenance, shelter, alliances and animosities, key historical events, and more. See the linguistic groupings and understand the constantly shifting, overlapping boundaries of the tribes. Follow the movement, growth, decline, and continuity of Indian nations and their lifestyles.

$60.00

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Becoming Inummarik: Men's Lives in an Inuit Community
Authors:
Peter Collings
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Aboriginal rights do not belong to the broader category of universal human rights because they are grounded in the particular practices of aboriginal people. So argues Peter Kulchyski in this provocative book from the front lines of indigenous people’s struggles to defend their culture from the ongoing conquest of their traditional lands. Kulchyski shows that some differences are more different than others, and he draws a border between bush culture and mall culture, between indigenous people’s mode of production and the totalizing push of state-led capitalism.

Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights provides much needed conceptual and historical analysis of aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada, and offers concrete suggestions to transform the current policy paradigm into one that supports and invigorates indigenous cultures in a contemporary context.
$32.95

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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

“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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$94.95

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Blackfoot Craftworker's Book
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksikaitsitapi);

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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$15.95

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Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography
Authors:
Andrea Warner
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Cree;

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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$36.00

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Canoe Crossings: Understanding the Craft that Helped Shape British Columbia
Authors:
Sanford Osler
Shelagh Rogers
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

“A comprehensive and well-informed review of canoeing and kayaking in British Columbia.” —BC Studies

Often called one of the Seven Wonders of Canada, the canoe has played a particularly important role in British Columbia. This seemingly simple watercraft allowed coastal First Nations to hunt on the open ocean and early explorers to travel the province’s many waterways. Always at the crossroads of canoe culture, BC today is home to innovative artists and designers who have rediscovered ancient canoe-building techniques, as well as community leaders who see the canoe’s potential to bring people together in exciting, inspiring ways.

The story of Canoe Crossings begins some fifteen thousand years ago, when, as compelling new evidence suggests, the first humans to reach the Americas did so by canoe down the West Coast. It continues through the centuries, chronicling the evolution of the canoe and its impact on the various people who used it to explore, hunt, trade, fight, race, create, and even heal. The book contains dozens of stories of colourful, passionate people who have contributed to the province’s canoe culture, including a teenager who lived ninety feet up in a tree house while designing and building the world’s longest kayak; a group of high school students who practised on a tiny lake and went on to win several World Dragon Boat Championships; and at-risk Aboriginal youth who reconnected with their traditional culture through annual “big canoe” trips.

Canoe Crossings will appeal to anyone who has ever sought adventure, found solace, or seen beauty in a canoe or wondered about the origins of its design and use in British Columbia and beyond.

Reviews
“The canoe is a threshold vessel—a skin, a fabric, and some bark between water and sky. Floating is some kind of miracle, some kind of dream. All canoeists are dreamers to a degree. As you will see in Canoe Crossings, the canoe has always brought diverse groups of people together, both for joy and for common purpose, and it always will." —from the foreword by Shelagh Rogers

 
"Nobody has done a better job of connecting the 'canoe dots' on the Northwest Coast and BC's interior waterways than Sanford Osler. His lifelong interest in canoe travel, canoe design, and canoe personalities enthuses Canoe Crossings with both wisdom and generosity of spirit. His book is a 'j-stroke' in prose." —Michael Robinson, Director, Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

"An important and substantial contribution to canoe literature and to the significance of this watercraft in BC. The blend of history, present-day, and personal accounts is sensitively and fascinatingly presented. A highly informative and captivating read." —Käri-Ann Thor, President, Recreational Canoeing Association of British Columbia
 
"Canoe Crossings is not just about the canoe, but about the many people throughout history to the modern day whose existence and livelihood depend on this noble craft. Sanford Osler brings their passion for paddling to life. If you have ever held a paddle in your hand, you should read this book." —Bob Putnam, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak

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192 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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Caribou Skin Clothing of the Iglulik Inuit
Authors:
Sylvie Pharand
Format: Paperback

Caribou Skin Clothing of the Iglulik Inuit outlines the various steps involved in the creation of traditional Inuit caribou skin clothing, namely the hunt, preparation, and sewing.

In addition to diagrams and practical instructions, this book is filled with historical information and insights from Elders of the Iglulik region.

Meticulously researched by former Arctic resident and anthropologist Sylvie Pharand, this book can be used as a practical guide to creating caribou skin clothing, as well as a general-interest text for those interested in traditional skin clothing.

$29.95

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Chilcotin Chronicles
Authors:
Sage Birchwater
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Dakelh; Nuxalk; Tsilhqot'in;
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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$26.95

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