Indigenous Stories / Narratives

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A Matter of Conscience
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

A novel of love and betrayal dealing with the biggest issues facing Canada’s Indigenous peoples today.

In the summer of 1972, a float plane carrying a team of child welfare officials lands on a river flowing through the Yellow Dog Indian reserve. Their mission is to seize the twin babies of an Indigenous couple as part of an illegal scheme cooked up by the federal government to adopt out tens of thousands of Native children to white families. The baby girl, Brenda, is adopted and raised by a white family in Orillia.

Meanwhile, that same summer, a baby boy named Greg is born to a white middle-class family. At the age of eighteen, Greg leaves home for the first time to earn money to help pay for his university expenses. He drinks heavily and becomes embroiled in the murder of a female student from a residential school.

The destinies of Brenda and Greg intersect in this novel of passion, confronting the murder and disappearance of Indigenous women and the infamous Sixties Scoop.

Reviews
"James Bartleman, a First Nation person himself, writes movingly … about the tragic reality of misogynistic racism and violence against Indigenous women and girls." — Sharon Stinson Henry, Chief of Chippewas of Rama First Nation

Forces us to confront uncomfortable truths as we seek a path to reconciliation. — Alan Bowker, author of A Time Such as There Never Was Before

Bartleman’s strength as a writer is his compassion. He respects each of his characters and sets the stage for real-world discussions of Canada’s past, present, and future. — Publishers Weekly

Additional Information
272 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

A Reader's Guide includes discussion of Sixties Scoop and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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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"

 

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$12.95

In Re-Print
A Short History of Indians in Canada: Stories
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Acclaimed author Thomas King is in fabulous, fantastical form in this bestselling short story collection. From the surreal migrations of the title story to the misadventures of Coyote in the modern world and the chaos of a baby's unexpected arrival by airmail, King's tales are deft, hilarious and provocative. 

Reviews
"The stories in this volume cover a lot of ground. King touches on the history of displacement, racism and stereotyping, oppressive government policy, marriage and relationships, and Aboriginal-white relations, among other topics." - Dragonfly Consulting Services Canada

Educator Information
Grade 10/11 English First Peoples resource used in the unit The Trickster - A Recurring Presence.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.31" x 8.00"

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$18.95

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As I Remember It
Authors:
Tara Lee Morin
Format: Paperback

Taken from her Native birth mother as a baby. Removed from her adoptive parents’ home at 5 and caught shoplifting at 11. On the streets prostituting herself at 14. This is the stark childhood and adolescence of Tara Lee, the protagonist of As I Remember It. But she triumphs over rejection and abuse, thanks to her indomitable spirit and the efforts of a pair of unique foster parents.

Breakdowns in the fostering system make the headlines, but what is day-to-day life really like for foster children and teens? What struggles do they face, and what resources do they draw on? Why are kids in care more liable to get involved in crime?

As I Remember It yields first-person insight into these issues, but beyond that, it will draw you in with its unblinking portrait of a young girl who discovers that she possesses a core of strength equal to that of her storybook heroines.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award - Second Place Winner
$18.95

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As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.

The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school. She doesn't speak English but is punished for speaking her native language; most terrifying and bewildering, she is also "fed" to the school's attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.

Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue. The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children's Aid to Toronto. In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award - Third Place Winner
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Bearskin Diary
Authors:
Carol Daniels
Format: Paperback
In 2017-2018, Bearskin Diary was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

Raw and honest, Bearskin Diary gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced, at a time when movements like Idle No More call for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Carol Daniels adds an important perspective to the Canadian literary landscape.

Taken from the arms of her mother as soon as she was born, Sandy was only one of over twenty thousand Aboriginal children scooped up by the federal government between the 1960s and 1980s. Sandy was adopted by a Ukrainian family and grew up as the only First Nations child in a town of white people. Ostracized by everyone around her and tired of being different, at the early age of five she tried to scrub the brown off her skin. But she was never sent back into the foster system, and for that she considers herself lucky.

From this tragic period in her personal life and in Canadian history, Sandy does not emerge unscathed, but she emerges strong--finding her way by embracing the First Nations culture that the Sixties Scoop had tried to deny. Those very roots allow Sandy to overcome the discriminations that she suffers every day from her co-workers, from strangers and sometimes even from herself.
$21.95

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Bella Coola Man
Authors:
Harvey Thommasen
Format: Paperback

When Clayton Mack was a child, his parents wrapped him in wolf skin and dumped him in water four times so he would grow up strong and fierce in the woods like a wolf. True to this Nuxalk tradition, Mack grew up to be a world-famous grizzly bear hunter and guide.
Clayton Mack''s first book of amazing tales about bears and q''umsciwas (white men), "Grizzlies and White Guys," became an instant best seller when it was published in 1993. In "Bella Coola Man," Clayton Mack continues his hair-raising stories about pulling bears out of the bushes by their legs, eating fresh bear meat with Thor Heyerdahl, finding gold nuggets in the bush, murder in the Big Ootsa country and dead men's talking beans, plus Crooked Jaw the Indian agent and where to find good fishing.
Clayton Mack was a walking encyclopedia of tribal lore, and one of the best storytellers ever born. The stories in "Bella Coola Man" are the last he told, and reflect his desire to pass on as much information about Nuxalk life and legends as he could before his death. Hear about the man-eater dance performed at River's Inlet where the dancers ate a dead woman's head, or about the last Indian war on the coast, native remedies like devil's club tea which is "good for anything," Alexander Mackenzie''s travels through Bella Coola country along the Grease Trail, how native hunters killed mountain goats by prying them off cliffs with sticks, and about forgotten villages and places, which come alive again through Clayton Mack''s words.
Clayton Mack had a deep understanding and appreciation of life on British Columbia''s rugged coast. His stories are unique lessons in history, as well as pure entertainment. Here are the stories of the legend himself, Clayton Mack.

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$24.95

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Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
Helen Betty Osborne, known as Betty to her closest friends and family, dreamed of becoming a teacher. She left her home to attend residential school and high school in a small town in Manitoba. On November 13, 1971, Betty was abducted and brutally murdered by four young men. Initially met with silence and indifference, her tragic murder resonates loudly today. Betty represents one of almost 1,200 Indigenous women in Canada who have been murdered or gone missing.

This book is a true account. Content may be disturbing to some readers.
$16.00

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Birdie
Authors:
Tracey Lindberg
Format: Paperback
Birdie is a darkly comic and moving first novel about the universal experience of recovering from wounds of the past, informed by the lore and knowledge of Cree traditions. Bernice Meetoos, a Cree woman, leaves her home in Northern Alberta following tragedy and travels to Gibsons, BC. She is on something of a vision quest, seeking to understand the messages from The Frugal Gourmet (one of the only television shows available on CBC North) that come to her in her dreams. She is also driven by the leftover teenaged desire to meet Pat Johns, who played Jesse on The Beachcombers, because he is, as she says, a working, healthy Indian man. Bernice heads for Molly’s Reach to find answers but they are not the ones she expected.

With the arrival in Gibsons of her Auntie Val and her cousin Skinny Freda, Bernice finds the strength to face the past and draw the lessons from her dreams that she was never fully taught in life. Part road trip, dream quest and travelogue, the novel touches on the universality of women's experience, regardless of culture or race.
$22.99

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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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Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories (paperback)
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Spokane;

Sherman Alexie's stature as a writer of stories, poems, and novels has soared over the course of his twenty-book, twenty-year career. His wide-ranging, acclaimed stories from the last two decades, from 'The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven' to his most recent PEN/Faulkner award-winning 'War Dances', have established him as a star in modern literature.

A bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, the daring, versatile, funny, and outrageous Alexie showcases all his talents in his newest collection, 'Blasphemy', where he unites fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers.

Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including What You Pawn I Will Redeem," This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," The Toughest Indian in the World," and War Dances." Alexie's new stories are fresh and quintessential-about donkey basketball leagues, lethal wind turbines, the reservation, marriage, and all species of contemporary American warriors.

An indispensable collection of new and classic stories, 'Blasphemy' reminds us, on every thrilling page, why Sherman Alexie is one of our greatest contemporary writers and a true master of the short story.

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$24.95

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Born With a Tooth
Authors:
Joseph Boyden
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Almost a decade after its original publication, award winner and Governor General Literary Award nominee Joseph Boyden's classic book of short stories is finally being reissued. Born With A Tooth, Boyden's debut work of fiction, is a collection of thirteen beautifully written stories about aboriginal life in Ontario. They are stories of love, unexpected triumph, and a passionate belief in dreams. They are also stories of anger and longing, of struggling to adapt, of searching but remaining unfulfilled. The collection includes 'Bearwalker', a story that introduces a character who appears again in Boyden's novel Three Day Road. By taking on a new voice in each story, Joseph Boyden explores aboriginal stereotypes and traditions in a most unexpected way. Whether told by a woman trying to forget her past or by a drunken man trying to preserve his culture, each story paints an unforgettable and varied image of modern aboriginal culture in Ontario. An extraordinary first book, Born With A Tooth reveals why Joseph Boyden is a writer worth reading.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 10-11

Authentic Canadian Content
$22.00

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Coyote Tales of the Northwest
Authors:
Thomas George
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Coyote has long been an important symbol and creature in the stories and literature of the Indigenous peoples of BC, WA and OR. A creature of myth and magic emerging from the mist-shrouded forests of the Northwest, Coyote appears as a creator, messenger, hero, trickster, fool or shapeshifter. Always on the lookout for fun, mischief or the opportunity to help humans, Coyote's encounters with gods, demons and the supernatural bring to life the rich cultural traditions of the Northwest peoples: * Coyote pierces the sky with his arrow and, with the help of Fox, steals fire from the people in the clouds * Trapped inside a large cedar tree, Coyote takes himself apart, putting each body part through an opening in the bark of the tree, then reassembles himself outside * Coyote helps Wolf rescue his wife from her kidnapper, the Great Whale * Once Coyote finished his work on earth, the Great Spirit placed him in a deep slumber; when the world needs him again, he will reappear and render his unique brand of mischief and spiritual rescue.

Additional Information
216 pages | 5.25" x 8.25"

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$18.95

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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"

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$12.99

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Daughters Are Forever
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Salish; Sto:lo;
This powerful novel about a woman's self-discovery reinforces Lee Maracle's stature as one of the most important First Nations writers in North America. The novel incorporates an innovative structure - one based on Salish Nation storytelling - to depict the transformation of Marilyn, a First Nations woman who is alienated from her culture, her family, and herself. By discovering her own culture's ways and listening to the natural world, Marilyn begins to heal her deep-rooted hurt and gradually becomes reconciled with her estranged daughters. Here is a moving work about First Nations people in the modern world, and the importance of courage, truth, and reconciliation.

Additional Information
206 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
Authentic Canadian Content
$19.95

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