Indigenous Stories / Narratives

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A Name Earned
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Choctaw;

After overcoming years of trouble with his alcoholic father and surviving a near-death car accident, Bobby Byington - for the first time in his life - has a strong family. His parents are reunited, his father has turned away from the bottle, and he is a starter on the basketball team at his high school.

But the door to trouble never stays closed. Bobby's girlfriend, next-door-neighbor Faye, suffers attacks from a bullying classmate, and some of Bobby's basketball teammates are dealing with family problems that are all too familiar to him. Maybe Bobby's old backyard hideout will need to be uncovered again and the door reopened.

Hoping to help his friends, Bobby shares the Choctaw legend of No Name that Coach Robison had told him back when Bobby needed to hide from his father. Who knew Coach's wisdom would become so meaningful to others?

As the playoffs near and the team plays to win, Coach delivers a message that extends well beyond the basketball court: "Your life is carved by the choices you make. You earn your name by your actions."

Educator Information
Reading Level: 2.5

Recommended Ages: 12-16

Series Information
This is the third book in the No Name series, which is part of the PathFinders series. The PathFinders series of Hi-Lo (high interest, low readability) novels offers the following features: 

• Indigenous teen protagonists
• Age appropriate plots
• 2.5 – 4.5 Reading Level
• Contemporary and historical fiction
• Indigenous authors

The PathFinders series is from an American publisher. Therefore, Indigenous terminology in the PathFinders books is not the same as Canadian Indigenous terminology. This prompts a useful teaching moment for educators in discussing appropriate terminology use in Canada.  The recommended ages for books in the PathFinders series are 12-16.

Additional Information
160 pages | 4.50" x 7.00"

 

Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

In Re-Print
A Stranger at Home: A True Story
Editors:
Liz Amini-Holmes
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit; Inuvialuit;

The powerful memoir of an Inuvialuit girl searching for her true self when she returns from residential school. 

Traveling to be reunited with her family in the Arctic, 10-year-old Margaret Pokiak can hardly contain her excitement. It's been two years since her parents delivered her to the school run by the dark-cloaked nuns and brothers. 

Coming ashore, Margaret spots her family, but her mother barely recognizes her, screaming, "Not my girl." Margaret realizes she is now marked as an outsider. 

And Margaret is an outsider: she has forgotten the language and stories of her people, and she can't even stomach the food her mother prepares. 

However, Margaret gradually relearns her language and her family's way of living. Along the way, she discovers how important it is to remain true to the ways of her people -- and to herself. 

Highlighted by archival photos and striking artwork, this first-person account of a young girl's struggle to find her place will inspire young readers to ask what it means to belong.

Sequel to Fatty Legs.

Reviews
"This memoir, detailing a woeful piece of Canadian history and demonstrating Margaret's strength of character, compassion, courage and her willingness to sacrifice herself for her family's sake, gives the reader a lot to ponder. Highly recommended." — Shelbey Krahn, Canadian Materials, February 2012

"A Stranger at Home will speak to anyone who has experienced displacement or assimilation into a new culture. This fabulous story enhances the Grades 6 to 8 social studies curriculum." — Professionally Speaking (Ontario College of Teache, April 2012

"While it may not have the same drama and tension of the first memoir, this tale provides a compelling and moving story of a girl searching for the strength to find her place in the world." — Jody Kopple, School Library Journal, December 2011

"Without being graphic or overwhelming, the Fentons recreate a tragic moment in Canadian history through the innocent reflections of a child...a must for any classroom library." — Canadian Teacher Magazine, May 2012

"This tale provides a compelling and moving story of a girl searching for the strength to find her place in the world. The writing is unpretentious and accessible and readers who enjoyed the first book will find this an interesting follow-up. Vivid paintings are a beautiful accompaniment to the storytelling. Photographs from Pokiak Fenton's own collection add important points of reference for readers looking to visualize the characters and the unique setting of the Arctic Circle. A welcome addition to biography collections." — Jody Kopple, School Library Journal, December 2011

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 9-13.

Guided Reading Level: Fountas and Pinnell U

Themes: biography; Inuit; Indigenous peoples; arctic; residential schools; identity; community; Canadian content; family; society; history; memoir.

Additional Information
128 pages | 6.25" x 9.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Algonquin Spring: An Algonquin Quest Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Algonquin;

Years after a devastating battle, Mahingan and his tribe struggle to recover a lost loved one.

Six years earlier in the fourteenth century, Mahingan and his tribe fought the Battle of the Falls against the Haudenosaunee. There were many losses, and Mahingan thought he had lost his wife, Wàbananang (Morning Star). But after the battle, he learned she was still alive, taken captive by the Haudenosaunee. Now on a desperate quest to rescue her, Mahingan and his small family are wintering north of the Ottawa River near present-day Lachute, Quebec. If they are to have any hope of recovering Wàbananang, though, they must first survive until spring.

At the same time, over 2,000 kilometres away in present-day Newfoundland, events taking place will affect four Native tribes: Mahingan’s, a group of Mi’kmaq, a Beothuk group, and a band of Haudenosaunee warriors led by Mahingan’s old nemesis, Ò:nenhste Erhar (Corn Dog) — a fierce Mohawk War Chief and Wàbananang’s captor.

Along the way, Mahingan’s brother, Mitigomij, will reveal his true self and powers. Then, an influential Mi’kmaq legend puts a new, powerful twist on events, and threatens to send things spiraling out of Mahingan’s control.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Series Information
This novel is part of the Algonquin Quest Series, a series of young adult novels from Algonquin author Rick Revelle.

Additional Information
296 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.99

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As Long As the Rivers Flow (PB)
Artists:
Heather D. Holmlund
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In the 1800s, the education of First Nations children was taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures. 

As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl and watches his grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting and gathering trip.

Awards

  • In 2006, As Long As the Rivers Flow was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.
  • Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction 

Additional Information
48 pages | 7.25" x 10.25"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Black Sheep, White Crow and Other Windmill Tales: Stories from Navajo Country
Authors:
Jim Kristofic
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Navajo;

When Kameron moves to his grandma's sheep camp on the Navajo Reservation, he leaves behind his cell phone reception and his friends. The young boy's world becomes even stranger when Kameron takes the sheep out to the local windmill and meets an old storyteller. As the seasons turn, the old man weaves eight tales that teach the deeper story of the Diné country and the Diné people.

Reviews
“A wonderful set of stories that encompass the past, present, and future of the Navajos. It encourages [readers] to be determined, disciplined, and motivated as they move through life and make stories of their own.”—Edison Eskeets, Diné runner, artist, educator, and first Diné trader at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

Awards

  • Winner of the 2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award for Multicultural and International Books

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 9-13

Contents
Preface
Shįįgo—Summer

  • Black Sheep, White Crow
  • The Animals Who Wanted to Be What They Were Not

’Aak’eedgo—Autumn

  • The Rattling Bones
  • The Ring with Three Stones

Haigo—Winter

  • The Heart of a Rider
  • The Ugly Dog

Dąągo—Spring

  • The Boy Who Became Coyote
  • The Flint Bear

Author’s Notes
Notes on Navajo Pronunciation

Additional Information
120 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$29.95

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Coyote Tales
Artists:
Byron Eggenschwiler
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;

Two tales, set in a time “when animals and human beings still talked to each other,” display Thomas King’s cheeky humor and master storytelling skills. Freshly illustrated and reissued as an early chapter book, these stories are perfect for newly independent readers.

In Coyote Sings to the Moon, Coyote is at first the cause of misfortune. In those days, when the moon was much brighter and closer to the earth, Old Woman and the animals would sing to her each night. Coyote attempts to join them, but his voice is so terrible they beg him to stop. He is crushed and lashes out — who needs Moon anyway? Furious, Moon dives into a pond, plunging the world into darkness. But clever Old Woman comes up with a plan to send Moon back up into the sky and, thanks to Coyote, there she stays.

In Coyote’s New Suit, mischievous Raven wreaks havoc when she suggests that Coyote’s toasty brown suit is not the finest in the forest, thus prompting him to steal suits belonging to all the other animals. Meanwhile, Raven tells the other animals to borrow clothes from the humans’ camp. When Coyote finds that his closet is too full, Raven slyly suggests he hold a yard sale, then sends the human beings (in their underwear) and the animals (in their ill-fitting human clothes) along for the fun. A hilarious illustration of the consequences of wanting more than we need.

Educator Information
Recommended for Grades K-4 English Language Arts.

Additional Information
56 pages | 5.25" x 7.75"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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Curse of the Shaman: A Marble Island Story
Artists:
Vladyana Krykorka
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

Sometimes even shamans get cranky. That was baby Wolverine’s misfortune — to be cursed by an out-of-sorts shaman frustrated by his own baby daughter’s incessant crying. Not only has shaman Paaliaq forbidden the future marriage of Wolverine to Breath, Paaliaq’s beautiful but teary baby girl, he has cursed Wolverine, banishing him when he becomes a young man. And even when a contrite Paaliaq later revokes the curse, the shaman’s even crankier magic animal will not. Now Wolverine finds himself stranded on a barren island, locked in a life-or-death struggle to return to his home, his family and a very special young girl.

Michael Kusugak, consummate storyteller and bestselling author, conjures up an Inuit tale of adventure, perseverance and first-time love shot through with humanity and humour. This is a story perfect for its pre-teen and ’tween audience, where even the strong and the mighty have bad days, the bully gets his due and a dream can come true.

Author's Note: "I was thinking The Curse Of The Shaman, A Marble Island Story would make a wonderful book for those studying Inuit in social studies programs."

Reviews
"Wonderful! I loved every minute of it. Native story-telling at its best."— Tomson Highway, author of Fox on the Ice and Dragonfly Kites

Additional Information
168 pages | 5.50" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.99

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Dear Canada: These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;

Acclaimed author Ruby Slipperjack delivers a haunting novel about a 12-year-old girl's experience at a residential school in 1966.

Violet Pesheens is struggling to adjust to her new life at residential school. She misses her Grandma; she has run-ins with Cree girls; at her "white" school, everyone just stares; and everything she brought has been taken from her, including her name-she is now just a number. But worst of all, she has a fear. A fear of forgetting the things she treasures most: her Anishnabe language; the names of those she knew before; and her traditional customs. A fear of forgetting who she was.

Her notebook is the one place she can record all of her worries, and heartbreaks, and memories. And maybe, just maybe there will be hope at the end of the tunnel.

Drawing from her own experiences at residential school, Ruby Slipperjack creates a brave, yet heartbreaking heroine in Violet, and lets young readers glimpse into an all-too important chapter in our nation's history.

Additional Information
192 pages | 5.54" x 7.66"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.99

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Fatty Legs: A True Story
Artists:
Liz Amini-Holmes
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit; Inuvialuit;

The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact. 

Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. 

At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls -- all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school. 

In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity. 

Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's collection and striking artwork from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.

Awards

  • First Nation Communities Read recipient, 2011-2012

Reviews
"I highly recommend this book for the discussion it would stir with students...Makes the harrowing residential school stories accessible to youth." — Resource Links, December 2010

"Presents a unique and enlightening glimpse into the residential school experience and, most importantly, one little girl's triumph over her oppressors." — Quill & Quire, November 2010

Educator Information
Fountas and Pinnell T

Themes: biography; Inuit; Indigenous peoples; Indigenous; arctic; school; self-esteem; abuse; community; prejudice; Canadian content; courage/bravery; right vs. wrong; role reversal; secrets; society; history; bullying; memoir; character education.

Additional Information
112 pages | 6.25" x 9.00" | full-color illustrations, archival photographs, map

Authenticity Note
This illustrator of this book is not Indigenous; therefore, her artwork is not considered to be Authentic Indigenous Artwork according to Strong Nations Authenticity Guidelines. The archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's personal collection, however, are considered to be authentic, which is why the book is labelled as containing Authentic Indigenous Artwork. It is up to readers to determine whether or not the images in this work are authentic for their purposes.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

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Flying With the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear: Tales From Native North America
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Flying with the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear is a continent-spanning collection of 16 thrilling tales in which young Native American men must face great enemies, find strength and endurance within themselves to succeed, and take their place by the side of their elders.

Additional Information
144 pages | 6.00" x 8.90"

Authentic Indigenous Text
$12.95

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Moonshot Vol. 1
Editors:
Hope Nicholson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

MOONSHOT is a collection of short stories created by indigenous writers and incredible artists in Canada and the US. From traditional stories to exciting new visions of the future, this collection presents some of the finest comic book and graphic novel work in North America. The traditional stories presented in the book are with the permission from the elders in their respective communities, making this a truly genuine, never-before-seen publication. MOONSHOT is an incredible collection will amaze, intrigue and entertain!

MOONSHOT received the Bronze Medal in the 20th Annual Independent Publisher's Awards for "Best Graphic Novel"! This publication was also awarded the title "The Best Book of 2015" by the School Library Journal - the largest book reviewer in the world.

MOONSHOT includes work by 28 writers and artists, including: Claude St-Aubin (R.E.B.E.L.S., Green Lantern, Captain Canuck), Jeffery Veregge (G.I. Joe, Judge Dredd), Stephen Gladue (MOONSHOT cover artist), Haiwei Hou (Two Brothers), Nicholas Burns (Arctic Comics, Curse of Chucky, Super Shamou), Jon Proudstar (Tribal Force), George Freeman (Captain Canuck, Aquaman, Batman), Elizabeth LaPensee (Survivance, The Nature of Snakes, Fala), Buffy Sainte-Marie (Fire & Fleet & Candlelight, Coincidence & Likely Stories), Richard Van Camp (Path of the Warrior, Kiss Me Deadly), Fred Pashe (SpiritWolf), David Robertson (The Evolution of Alice, Stone), Michael Sheyahshe (Native Americans in Comic Books, Dark Owl), David Cutler (The Northern Guard), Menton J. Matthews III (Monocyte, Memory Collectors, Three Feathers), Jay Odjick (Kagagi: The Raven), Ian Ross (Heart of a Distant Tribe, Bereav'd of Light, An Illustrated History of the Anishinabe), Lovern Kindzierski (X-Men, Wolverine, Incredible Hulk, Thor, Spiderman), Arigon Starr (Super Indian, Indigenous Narratives Collective) and more!

Educator Information
Grades 10-11 English First Peoples Resource.

Additional Information
176 pages

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.99

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My Name is Seepeetza
Authors:
Shirley Sterling
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Interior Salish;
Told in diary form, this autobiographical novel about a sixth-grade Native girl tells of her heartbreak at the terrible conditions at her school where she is persecuted because of her race.
$10.95

Quantity:
Nosta
Artists:
Brenda Valiaho
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Haisla; Heiltsuk;

In this collection of chapters, Joe Starr shares his history, the teachings of those who love and who have loved him dearly. Readers gain a better understanding of the histories and traditions of the Haisla people through these personal stories.

This collection of chapters is dedicated to the Haisla and Heiltsuk children.

This book is a Hi-Lo Reading Book recommended for ages 11-15.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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Spirit Quest
Format: Paperback
In the rich tradition of Coast Salish legend, mother and son Diane and Joe Silvey write and illustrate a classic quest story.

Teenage twins Kaya and Tala journey into the perilous British Columbia wilderness confronting fish and fowl, beast and phantom, and the wolf spirit destined to be Tala''s protective guardian. Imaginative black-and-white illustrations complement this unique story of adventure.
$11.99

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Strong Stories Tlingit: Raven Returns the Daylight
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Tlingit;
In this beautifully illustrated chapter book, Bill Helin tells the story of how Raven freed the sun, moon and stars. The Chief of Darkness had thought he was clever to keep them all hidden away. Discover how Raven shows how clever he can be as he transforms himself to return daylight to the world.
Authentic Canadian Content
Available as an iBook
$8.50

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