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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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A People on the Move: The Métis of the Western Plains
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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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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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Extraordinary Canadians: Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont:A Penguin Lives Biography
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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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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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Gabriel Dumont Speaks: Revised 2nd Edition
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Gabriel Dumont's memoirs present a rare view of Métis history as told by one of their key heros.

In 1903, eighteen years after leading the Métis Army against the Northwest Expeditionary Force and the Northwest Mounted Police at Fish Creek, Duck Lake and Batoche, Louis Riel’s Adjutant General Gabriel Dumont dictated his memoirs to a group of friends, one of whom is thought to have written Dumont’s stories out in longhand during that epic meeting. This manuscript languished unseen and unpublished in the Manitoba Provincial Archives as part of L’Union nationale métisse de Saint-Joseph collection until its discovery there by Michael Barnholden in 1971. Now re-translated into English, it preserves the record of an unrepeatable oral recital, offering us a rare opportunity to view one of the central events in the history of the Métis in a new context: as perceived by one of their key heroes.

Like Riel, Dumont put the interest of his people ahead of his own. Although he could neither read nor write, he was an eloquent speaker, sought after to defend Métis rights both in Canada and the United States throughout the 1880s and 1890s. Known to have spoken Blackfoot, Sioux, Crow, Cree, French and English, Dumont dictated his memoir in “incipient Michif,” thought to be his first language: using Cree syntax and some verbs, with a vocabulary that was primarily French.

Dumont’s first-person account of the details of his early life, leading up to the events variously referred to as the Riel Rebellion, the Northwest Rebellion or the War of 1885, provide a third reading of the “Rebellion” from the point of view of its military leader, as well as many personal, cultural and historical revelations worthy of examination. In addition, Dumont’s sheer strength of narrative carries these decisive events with a conviction, drama and suspense that only the tradition of oral history can deliver.

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Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Gabriel Dumont is an iconic figure in Métis and Canadian history. In the popular imagination, he is well known for leading the Métis forces during the 1885 Resistance, and for being a renowned bison hunt leader, a Wild West show performer, and a husband to his beloved Madeleine. But outside of printed history and a fragmented oral history what do we really know about him? How has he been imagined over time? This book answers these questions by focusing on visual and journalistic representations of Gabriel Dumont through time and space. Compiled together for the first time, these eclectic sources provide poignant vignettes of Gabriel Dumont’s life, which will greatly contribute to our knowledge about him, and will further contribute to his legend.

Educator Information
Grade Level: Secondary/Post Secondary/Adult

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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.

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224 pages | 5.21" x 7.99"

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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!

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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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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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Louis Riel: Firebrand
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Louis Riel devoted his life to the Métis cause. A fiery activist, he struggled against injustice as he saw it. He was a pioneer in the field of Aboriginal rights and land claims but was branded an outlaw in his own time. In 1885, he was executed for treason. In 1992, the House of Commons declared Riel a founder of Manitoba. November 16 is now designated Louis Riel Day in Canada.

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$17.95

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Meet a Police Officer: Mueller Sisters
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Three Albertan Métis sisters join the Royal Mounted Canadian Police. Read about their journey to becoming police officers.

They provide a realistic look at how much hard work and determination was required to reach their goals.

An inspirational story for young women.

Perfect for high school guidance departments.

Series Information
The Career Path Choices series showcases young Canadian First Nation, Métis and Inuit people engaged in interesting careers. The series highlights these peoples' hard work and determination and some interesting facts about their profession.

Additional Information
19 pages

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$15.95

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Métis Pioneers: Marie Rose Delorme Smith and Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In Métis Pioneers, Doris Jeanne MacKinnon compares the survival strategies of two Métis women born during the fur trade—one from the French-speaking free trade tradition and one from the English-speaking Hudson’s Bay Company tradition—who settled in southern Alberta as the Canadian West transitioned to a sedentary agricultural and industrial economy. MacKinnon provides rare insight into their lives, demonstrating the contributions Métis women made to the building of the Prairie West. This is a compelling tale of two women’s acts of quiet resistance in the final days of the British Empire.

Reviews
"[These two women's] individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Métis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economy. Marie Rose’s family was French-speaking Métis and a few served as Louis Riel’s soldiers. Isabella was from the English-speaking Métis stock. Both were born in 1861 and both married non-Indigenous men in unions that were influenced, or arranged outright, by their families. Both families had a strong history in the fur trade; Marie Rose’s were free traders and Isabella as part of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Both were community builders who later relied on their influence and circle of acquaintances for support after they became widows and fell on hard times. And the stories of both women showed how the Métis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery...." — Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

"MacKinnon's book offers readers an in-depth look at the contributions each of the two women made to the growth of Canada's west, but more than that, it is a book about courage, resilience, determination and strength of character. The book was written to tell the truth..." — John Copley, Alberta Native News

"Whether or not the two women were ever in the same room together, their individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Métis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economy…And the stories of both women showed how the Métis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery."— Eric Volmers, Strength and Resilience

"This book deals with the lives of two frontier women - Isabella Lougheed and Marie Rose Smith. They both were Métis but their histories were miles apart. ... The author has found a rich source of history in these two women and offers them in a detailed account of their lives."  — Alberta History

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584 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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$45.00

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