Women's Studies

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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.

Additional Information
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.

Additional Information
104 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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$16.95

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Astonishing Women Artists
Authors:
Heather Ball
Format: Paperback

The newest addition to the acclaimed Women's Hall of Fame Series profiles ten phenomenal women with a passion for art. Political, beautiful and always springing from the heart, the paintings and sculptures of these creative trailblazers have made the world a better place, and encouraged generations of female artists to do the same. Discover the lives of women artists from the 16th century to the present day, such as the early feminist Artemisia Gentileschi, the adventurous Emily Carr, the flamboyant Frida Kahlo and the brilliant Georgia O'Keefe. These biographies are written in an accessible, engaging and entertaining style that will inspire young readers to have the courage to explore their own creative sides.
Ages 7-9

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$10.95

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Chiwid
Authors:
Sage Birchwater
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Tsilhqot'in;

Chiwid was a Tsilhqot'in woman, said to have shamanistic powers, who spent most of her adult life "living out" in the hills and forests around Williams Lake, BC. Chiwid is the story of this remarkable woman told in the vibrant voices of Chilcotin oldtimers, both native and non-native.

Reviews
"Chiwid was a Chilcotin woman who lived outside, self-sufficiently for most of her life and moving camps with the seasons. Chiwid is a collection of oral histories about the woman, her family and what life was like in the Chilcotin area of British Columbia in the early to mid-1900s." - The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

Additional Information
128 pages | 8.00" x 9.00" 

Authenticity Note: This book's author is not Indigenous; however, the book is listing as containing Authentic Indigenous Text because it contains stories collected by the author from Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It is up to readers to determine if this book will work as an authentic text for their purposes.

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$16.00

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IKWE: Honouring Women, Life Givers, and Water Protectors
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

An Indigneous Art Colouring Book for Adults and Children.

IKWE is a new colouring book by Anishinaabe artist Jackie Traverse. Featuring brand new works, the stunning images in IKWE celebrate the spiritual and ceremonial aspects of women and their important role as water protectors. 

“I had the privilege of going to Standing Rock twice. The strength and power that came from the women there inspired this book. To be a woman is to be a life giver and water protector. Even if you never have children, you have that sense, and the duty to honour and protect the water is within you,” writes Traverse.

Reviews
“The importance of celebrating Indigenous women and girls’ space and place within our collective journey toward healing, empowerment and reconciliation cannot be overstated. When we, as Indigenous women and girls, see ourselves reflected in positive and powerful ways, it renders emotional and spiritual transformative change in our lives. Jackie’s art, her book and her life fundamentally contribute to the positive imagery of Indigenous women and offers a sacred way to understand one another moving toward reconciliation in Canada.”— Nahanni Fontaine, NDP MLA for St. Johns, Legislative Assembly of Manitoba

“Jackie’s work is that medicine that connects us all to a time when the earth and her women were equally respected as sacred —life givers, leaders, teachers and healers. Her genius is to help make us remember.”— Leslie Spillett, Ka Ni Kanichihk, Winnipeg

“I first received Jackie’s colouring book as a gift. I was immediately struck by the feminine strength, beauty and resiliency in her drawings. The teachings she shares in the back of the colouring book add so much spiritual depth to her already powerful work! Hiy hiy mistahi Jackie for sharing your gifts of art and words, along with your cultural teachings with your drawings.— Lynette La Fontaine, Aboriginal nurse educator with Chee Mamuk, BC CDC

Additional Information
50 pages | 10.00" x 8.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$20.00

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Life Stages and Native Women
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree; Métis;

A rare and inspiring guide to the health and well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities.

The process of "digging up medicines" - of rediscovering the stories of the past - serves as a powerful healing force in the decolonization and recovery of Aboriginal communities. In Life Stages and Native Women, Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Metis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders relate stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women's roles in managing death. Through these teachings, we learn how evolving responsibilities from infancy to adulthood shaped women's identities and place within Indigenous society, and were integral to the health and well-being of their communities. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Anderson explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.

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$27.95

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My Life with the Salmon
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Namgis;

Diane “Honey” Jacobson’s latest book is an important comment about First Nations efforts to save the salmon and her personal youthful journey to find meaning and a sense of place in life. Like the style in her first book My Life in a Kwagu’l Big House, Diane’s style in My Life with the Salmon is full of action, amazing adventures and fascinating connections between land, water and people. In My Life with the Salmon, we follow “Honey” through sometimes hilarious and sometimes difficult periods but we always learn a life lesson.

Awards

  • 2012 Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Awards

Additional Information
176 pages | 5.50" x 8.47" 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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Sacred Feminine: An Indigenous Art Colouring Book
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Colouring book for adults and children.

Sacred Feminine is a colouring book by Anishinaabe artist Jackie Traverse.

The beautiful and intricate works of art within depict images of strength, resilience, and empowerment. With each image, the artist explains the symbolism and meaning represented. The first of its kind, Sacred Feminine is intended to heal and educate readers and colourers of all ages.

Additional Information
64 pages | 10.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$20.00

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