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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.

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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
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12;

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

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Extraordinary Canadians: Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont:A Penguin Lives Biography
Authors:
Joseph Boyden
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 Metis, 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.

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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 Metis 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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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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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, Metis, 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

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200 pages | 8.00" x 5.00"

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Louis Riel (The Canadians Series)
Authors:
Rosemary Neering
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8;

Louis Riel has been described as a "saint, sinner, rebel, hero, prophet, madman and traitor." It is no more clear today than it was during his lifetime which of these labels is closest to the truth.

The Métis leader was educated in Montreal, but an itch for political involvement Brough him back to his home in Red River. In 1870 he led a takeover of Fort Garry in protest against the sale of Red River to the Canadian government. The execution of Thomas Scott by Riel's Provisional Government caught Ottawa's attention, and Red River was given provincial status. Despite the political victory, Riel had to leave the country, in fear for his life. Feelings against him ran so high in the East that he had to be smuggled into Parliament even when duly elected by the people of Manitoba.

Riel suffered from mental illness after the 1870 Rebellion and spent some time in an asylum. He exiled himself to a Métis settlement in Montana, where he taught school, until Gabriel Dumont persuaded him to come back to Red River in 1884. The 1885 Rebellion against the Ottawa government proved unsuccessful. The Métis forces were soundly defeated by Canadian troops. Riel was captured and accused of treason. His trial and subsequent execution split the country along racial and religious lines.

Historian Rosemary Neering's vivid account brings to life the story of Riel's contradictory character, colourful times, and lasting influence.

Educator & Series Information
Recommended Ages: 10-13

This book is part of The Canadians Series.

Additional Information
200 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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

Louis Riel devoted his life to the Metis 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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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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Metis Pioneers: Marie Rose Delorme Smith and Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed
Authors:
Doris Jeanne Mackinnon
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In Metis Pioneers, Doris Jeanne MacKinnon compares the survival strategies of two Metis 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 Metis 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 Metis 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 Metis and a few served as Louis Riel’s soldiers. Isabella was from the English-speaking Metis 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 Metis 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 Metis 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 Metis 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 Metis 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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Perception: A Photo Series
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

Social action art in book form, Perception: A Photo Series encourages readers to look and then look again.

Tired of reading negative and disparaging remarks directed at Indigenous people of Winnipeg in the press and social media, artist KC Adams created a photo series that presented another perspective. Called “Perception Photo Series,” it confronted common stereotypes of First Nation, Inuit and Metis people to illustrate a more contemporary truthful story.

First appearing on billboards, in storefronts, in bus shelters, and projected onto Winnipeg’s downtown buildings, Adam’s stunning photographs now appear in her new book, Perception: A Photo Series. Meant to challenge the culture of apathy and willful ignorance about Indigenous issues, Adams hopes to unite readers in the fight against prejudice of all kinds.

Educator Information
For Grades 9-12 / Young Adults

Caution: Mature subject matter/language in some instances as this book is dealing with stereotypes and prejudice.

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120 pages | 6.75" x 9.00" | Hardcover | Foreward from Katherena Vermette

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Portraits of the North
Authors:
Gerald Kuehl
Artists:
Gerald Kuehl
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

This gorgeous book offers an incomparable glimpse into the experiences and history of more than one hundred First Nations and Métis elders from Canada’s North —“the last generation born on the land.” These stunning graphite pencil portraits are rendered with love, respect, and painstaking detail, along with gripping intimate profiles assembled from oral accounts and anecdotes. Their poignant facial features, lines, and creases, weathered by the harsh outdoors and a lifetime of challenges, are like badges of their remarkable achievements, sustained resolve, inspired patience, and deep-set defiance to the hardships their people have endured for generations. The masterful realism of Kuehl’s work helps uncover the tales of these seasoned individuals—their many triumphs and trials revealing in turn a greater portrait of life in the communities of Northern Canada, a compelling homage, and an enduring historical legacy. The portraits capture images of Cree, Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Dene and Metis peoples.

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236 pages | 10.03" x 10.03"

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The Pemmican Eaters
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A picture of the Riel Resistance from one of Canada’s preeminent Métis poets.

With a title derived from John A. Macdonald’s moniker for the Métis, The Pemmican Eaters explores Marilyn Dumont’s sense of history as the dynamic present. Combining free verse and metered poems, her latest collection aims to recreate a palpable sense of the Riel Resistance period and evoke the geographical, linguistic/cultural, and political situation of Batoche during this time through the eyes of those who experienced the battles, as well as through the eyes of Gabriel and Madeleine Dumont and Louis Riel. 

Included in this collection are poems about the bison, seed beadwork, and the Red River Cart, and some poems employ elements of the Michif language, which, along with French and Cree, was spoken by Dumont’s ancestors. In Dumont’s The Pemmican Eaters, a multiplicity of identities is a strengthening rather than a weakening or diluting force in culture.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2016 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry 

Reviews
“A rollicking poem about the fiddle ('the first high call of the fiddle bids us dance/baits with its first pluck and saw of the bow/reels us, feet flick — fins to its lure and line') becomes a statement of cultural pride and defiance — much like The Pemmican Eaters as a whole.” — Toronto Star 

“Dumont’s work is visual and evocative, highlighting recurring symbols and images of a natural world that will be familiar to any dweller of the Prairies . . . The Pemmican Eaters builds off the poet’s earlier work and highlights a writer who has mastered both craft and voice.” — Quill & Quire 

“Dumont honours Métis traditions in music and beadwork in a number of lyrically driven poems. The Pemmican Eaters is a statement of cultural pride and defiance, much like Marilyn herself.” — CBC News Online 

“Marilyn Dumont uses both rhythmic and free verse to provide a brilliant and insightful look at Métis and Cree people.” — Scene Magazine

Educator Information
This book would be useful for grades 9 - 12 in courses such as creative writing, English language arts, and social studies.  Also recommended for students a college/university level.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

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