Lakota

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Dana Claxton
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Sioux; Lakota; Hunkpapa;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Known for her expansive multidisciplinary approach to art making Vancouver-based Dana Claxton, who is Hunkpapa Lakota (Sioux), has investigated notions of Indigenous identity, beauty, gender and the body, as well as broader social and political issues through a practice which encompasses photography, film, video and performance. Rooted in contemporary art strategies, her practice critiques the representations of Indigenous people that circulate in art, literature and popular culture in general. In doing so, Claxton regularly combines Lakota traditions with "Western" influences, using a powerful and emotive "mix, meld and mash" approach to address the oppressive legacies of colonialism and to articulate Indigenous world views, histories and spirituality. This timely catalogue is the first monograph to examine the full breadth and scope of Claxton's practice. It's extensively illustrated and includes essays by Claxton's colleague Jaleh Mansoor, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at the University of British Columbia; Monika Kin Gagnon, Professor in the Communications Department at Concordia University, who has followed Claxton's work for 25 years; Olivia Michiko Gagnon, a New York-based scholar and doctoral student in Performance Studies; and Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Additional Information
160 pages | 9.08" x 10.60"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$40.00

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Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Tilly has always known she’s part Lakota on her dad’s side. She’s grown up with the traditional teachings of her grandma, relishing the life lessons of her beloved mentor. But it isn’t until an angry man shouts something on the street that Tilly realizes her mom is Aboriginal, too—a Cree woman taken from her own parents as a baby.

Tilly feels her mother’s pain deeply. She’s always had trouble fitting in at school, and when her grandma dies unexpectedly, her anchor is gone. Then Abby, a grade seven classmate, invites her home for lunch and offers her “something special” to drink. Nothing has prepared Tilly for the tingling in her legs, the buzz in her head and the awesome feeling that she can do anything. From then on, partying seems to offer an escape from her insecurities. But after one dangerously drunken evening, Tilly knows she has to change. Summoning her courage, she begins the long journey to finding pride in herself and her heritage. Just when she needs it most, a mysterious stranger offers some wise counsel: “Never question who you are or who your people are. It’s in your eyes. I know it’s in your heart.”

Loosely based on author Monique Gray Smith’s own life, this revealing, important work of creative non-fiction tells the story of a young Indigenous woman coming of age in Canada in the 1980s. With compassion, insight and humour, Gray Smith illuminates the 20th-century history of Canada’s First Peoples—forced displacement, residen­tial schools, tuberculosis hospitals, the Sixties Scoop. In a spirit of hope, this unique story captures the irrepressible resilience of Tilly, and of Indigenous peoples everywhere.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Winner

Reviews
“What a gorgeous read! Reminiscent of Lee Maracle’s Will’s Garden and Ruby Slipperjack’s Little Voice, Tilly will bring strength, comfort and peace to all who read it. Let it discover and inspire you, too. Wow! I've been waiting for a book like this for years. Mahsi cho, Monique Gray Smith, for digging so deep to create something so loving and nurturing for the world.” —Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed and The Moon of Letting Go

"Gray Smith intricately pieces together stories, traditional teachings and hard-earned personal wisdom, creating a hand-stitched quilt you can’t help but wrap yourself in—a quilt filled with optimism and the assurance that no matter how lost we are, hope, love and guidance surround us at every turn. Delicate with the handling of mature details, but fiercely candid with emotion, Tilly is an ideal resource not only for youth, but also for those who are easily triggered, while its universality will be appreciated by a wider audience. A brave new voice ready to take her place among the great contemporary storytellers, Gray Smith breaks her own trails as she explores what it means to be Indigenous in a modern world." —Christy Jordan-Fenton, author of Fatty Legs, A Stranger at Home and When I Was Eight

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 15-18.

Grades 10-12 English First Peoples resource for units on Childhood through the Eyes of Indigenous Writers and Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

Additional Information
208 pages | Ages 14+

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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