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Indigenous Peoples of Canada

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#NotYourPrincess
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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;
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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A People on the Move: The Métis of the Western Plains
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12;

This book paints a picture of Métis 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

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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.

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
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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An Honest Woman
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

 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.

Additional Information
104 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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An Illustrated History of Canada's Native People
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

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.

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$39.95

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Arrows in a Quiver: From Contact to the Courts in Indigenous-Canadian Relations
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Written in an accessible style and ideal for classroom use, Arrows in a Quiver provides an overview of Indigenous-settler relations, including how land is central to Indigenous identity and how the Canadian state marginalizes Indigenous people. Illustrating the various “arrows in a quiver” that Indigenous people use to fight back, such as grassroots organizing, political engagement, and the courts, Frideres situates “settler colonialism” historically and explains why decolonization requires a fundamental transformation of long-standing government policy for reconciliation to occur. The historical, political, and social context provided by this text offers greater understanding and theorizes what the effective devolution of government power might look like.

Reviews
“A useful introduction to Indigenous issues, especially for post-secondary students in Canada.” —Jonathan Dewar, co-editor of Cultivating Canada: Reconciliation through the Lens of Cultural Diversity

Educator Information
Recommended for students in grade 12 or college/university.

Additional Information
320 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$39.95

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Atlas of Indian Nations
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

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.

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$60.00

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Beau Dick: Devoured by Consumerism
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Accompanying an exhibition of Beau Dick’s work, this beautifully illustrated volume distills his powerful argument against our unsustainable way of living.

"With this body of work, Beau intended to launch his most overt critique of a system that he knew was unsustainable, in favour of a return to the cultural values of his people, and his profound generosity compelled him to share these values as widely as possible." - LaTiesha Fazakas

Beau Dick (1955 - 2017) was celebrated far beyond his hometown of Alert Bay, B.C., for both his political activism and his creation of striking, larger-than-life carved masks inspired by the traditional stories of the Kwakwaka'wakw. Dick's multi-faceted engagement with Kwakwaka'wakw culture included carving (which he learned from Northwest Coast artists such as Henry Hunt, Doug Cranmer, and Bill Reid), storytelling, and dancing.

As a high-ranking member of Hamat'sa, the prestigious Kwakwaka'wakw secret society centred on the story of a ravenous, man-eating spirit, Dick drew on all these art forms to create regalia for and participate in elaborate ceremonies that enacted Kwakwaka'wakw cosmology. Devoured by Consumerism shares nearly two dozen of these masks: vivid, unforgettable creations, made with traditional and contemporary methods and materials, depicting figures like Cannibal Raven, Nu-Tla-Ma (Fool Dancer), and Bookwus (Wild Man of the Woods).

Texts by LaTiesha Fazakas, John Cussans, and Candice Hopkins outline the stories that the masks depict, consider the inescapable parallels between Hamat'sa and the consumerism of capitalist society, and grapple with the philosophy that animates Hamat'sa - one that seeks to confront and, ultimately, master the voracious appetites inside us all.

Educator Information
A useful book for the study of art and culture.

Devoured by Consumerism is Beau Dick's aesthetic response to Western capitalist values and an overt critique of the unchecked commercialism of capitalist society. The intention with this hardcover publication is to contrast the Kwakwaka'wakw economic and legal system of potlatching, which also functions as a way of maintaining and preserving oral history, again Western society's system of capitalism. The book references the Hamat'sa ceremony during potlatch, wherein the Hamat'sa cannibals' insatiable hunger and consumption is 'tamed' ritually through the dance. The power to control one's hunger is considered much greater than the power of hunger itself. This book works to critique the West's ravenous need to devour and consumer by presenting works that highlight this Kwakwaka'wakw worldview. 

Additional Information
96 pages | 8.00" x 9.00" 

 

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$30.00

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Becoming Inummarik: Men's Lives in an Inuit Community
Authors:
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:
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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$15.95

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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

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


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Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography
Authors:
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.

Educator Information
Recommended in the Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2019-2020 resource list as being useful for grades 11-12 for English Language Arts, Arts Education, Music Education, and Social Justice.

Contains strong language and some instances of sexual and drug abuse.

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

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$36.00

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