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Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 8 - 12 2018-2019

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#NotYourPrincess
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Native women demand to be heard in this stunning anthology.

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous girls and women across North America resound in this book. In the same visual style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, intergenerational trauma, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women demanding change and realizing their dreams. Sometimes outraged, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have had their history hidden and whose modern lives have been virtually invisible.

Reviews
“A stunning anthology of creative writing and art . . . All YA collections will want this."— Alicia Abdul, School Library Journal

Educator Information
Themes: First Nations; Native Peoples; Indigenous; girls and women; biography; multicultural; stereotyping; acceptance; community; prejudice; self-esteem; tolerance

Interest Age 14+ | Grade 9+

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 8-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Social Justice, Social Studies.

Additional Information
8.5 x 11 | 112 Pages

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$14.95

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A Girl Called Echo, Vol 1: Pemmican Wars
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee’s lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie—and back again to the present. In the following weeks, Echo slips back and forth in time. She visits a Métis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican Wars.

Educator & Series Information
Pemmican Wars is the first graphic novel in the A Girl Called Echo series.

The Canadian Indigenous Books for School list recommends this for Grades 5-12 for these subject areas: Arts Education, English Language Arts, Social Studies.

Additional Information
48 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

 

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$18.95

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A Matter of Conscience
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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

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

The Candian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts.

Caution: Thi book could trigger some readers because of disturbing topics.

Additional Information
272 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$24.99

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Aaniiih/Gros Ventre Stories
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

The first-ever collection of Anniiih/Gros Ventre narratives to be published in the Aaniiih/Gros Ventre language, this book contains traditional trickster tales and war stories. Some of these stories were collected by Alfred Kroeber in 1901, while others are contemporary, oral stories, told in the past few years. 

As with the previous titles in the First Nations Language Readers series, Aaniiih/Gros Ventre Stories comes with a complete glossary and provides some grammar usage. Delightfully illustrated, each story is accompanied by an introduction to guide the reader through the material.

The Aaniiih/Gros Ventre people lived in the Saskatchewan area in the 1700s, before being driven south during the 1800s to the Milk River area in Montana, along the USA/Canada border.

Educator Information
This book is published in the Aaniiih/Gros Ventre language. An English glossary is provided at the back of the book. 

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Indigenous Language Studies, Language Studies.

Series Information
Aaniiih/Gros Ventre Stories is part of the First Nations Language Readers series. With a mix of traditional and new stories, each First Nations Language Reader introduces an Indigenous language and demonstrates how each language is used today. The University of Regina Press’s long-term goal is to publish all 60+ Indigenous languages of Canada.

Additional Information
120 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Compiled and Edited by Terry Brockie and Andrew Cowell
 

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$24.95

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Being Ts'elxwéyeqw: First Peoples' Voices and History from the Chilliwack-Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Editors:
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

“Our stories identify for us the land which surrounds us and tie us to our ancestors. We find ourselves inextricably linked to the past, to the land, to the river, to each other, to the future.” —Shirley Hardman, contributor

This impressive volume tells of the First Peoples of the area through vivid narratives from the past and present.

The traditional territory of the Ts’elxwéyeqw First Peoples covers over 95,000 hectares of land in Southwestern BC. It extends throughout the central Fraser Valley, encompassing the entire Chilliwack River Valley (including Chilliwack Lake, Chilliwack River, Cultus Lake and areas, and parts of the Chilliwack municipal areas). In addition to being an area of natural beauty and abundant resources, it also has a rich cultural history. The Chilliwack region gets its name from the Ts’elxwéyeqw tribe, and this volume delves into what this name means—and also what it means to be Ts’elxwéyeqw. Being Ts’elxwéyeqw portrays the people, artifacts and landscapes that are central to the Ts’elxwéyeqw people, and represents a rich oral record of an aboriginal heritage that has been kept alive—even through adversity—for thousands of years.

Lavishly illustrated with over seven hundred historic and current photos and maps, this book amalgamates a variety of voices and personal histories from elders, while providing background into eighty-five place names within the region. The book’s unique composition—with an emphasis on visual storytelling—showcases a culture with a deep connection to the surrounding land and the watershed.

Educator Information
Recommended for Grades 5-12 for the following subject areas: Geography, Social Studies, Science.  Also a useful Teacher Resource.

Note: Educators should pre-read sections of this book that they are considering using from this reference book, as reading levels vary greatly.

Additional Information
304 pages | 11.00" x 14.00"

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$94.95

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Black Chuck
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Psycho. Sick. Dangerous. Réal Dufresne's reputation precedes him. When the mangled body of his best friend, Shaun, turns up in a field just east of town, tough-as-hell Réal blames himself. But except for the nightmares, all Ré remembers is beating the living crap out of Shaun the night of his death.

Shaun's girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Evie Hawley, keeps her feelings locked up tight. But now she's pregnant, and the father of her baby is dead. And when Réal looks to her to atone for his sins, everything goes sideways. Fast.

The tighter Evie and Réal get, the faster things seem to fall apart. And falling in love might just be the card that knocks the whole house down.

Reviews
"McDonell has captured the brashness and insecurity of adolescence in this gravel-splattering joy-ride. Four teenagers attempt to discern what is real from what is not after trauma threatens to rob them all of their futures." — Karen Nesbitt, author of Subject to Change, November 2017

"[A] beautiful and painful novel…McDonell's background in creative writing and poetry is evident in this excellent debut novel…[Réal] is a character I don't think I've really experienced before…He's a character who I felt bad for, cheered for, wanted to slap at times, and who I needed to see find some hope in life…A strange, brutal, heartbreaking, and strangely uplifting novel about lies, love, friendship, courage, and the struggle to overcome guilt. Recommended."— Rob Bittner, Sense and Sensibility and Stories blog, November 2017

"Superb debut novel; the pain and angst of both Ré and Evie is palpable, and the struggles they face within their respective relationships are real and nuanced…This is a brutal, heartbreaking, and yet strangely uplifting novel about the consequences of lies, the gravity of love, and the courage it takes to prevail over self-condemnation."— Booklist, January 2018

"A book unlike anything I have read before…McDonell has developed characters who are diverse, multidimensional, and flawed, which makes them relatable…Black Chuck is an engaging and diverse book that would be a welcomed additional to any classroom or school library. Highly Recommended. " — CM Magazine, February 2018

"Atmospheric…Ojibwe mythology and language add texture as the mystery surrounding what really happened to Shaun, and who—or what—is at fault, deepens."— Publishers Weekly, March 2018

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12+

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools recommends this resource for Grades 9-12 for English Language Arts.

Themes: grief, friendship, romance, loyalty, diversity, hallucinations, Wendigo, small-town suspense, coming-of-age.

Additional Information
304 pages | 5.50" x 8.25"

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$14.95

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Blackbird Song
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

An exquisite series of meditations on memory, evanescence and the land. Randy Lundy draws deeply from his Cree heritage and equally from European and Asian traditions. Readers will be reminded by turns of Simon Ortiz, P?r Lagerkvist, and Jane Hirshfield. This is the mind of prayer, a seeing and re-seeing of the immense cyclic beauty of the earth.

Reviews
“Lundy has entered the place where the masters reside. His poems join the shades that walk among them. There aren’t many people who get to that place and sometimes it can feel very lonely there, but the masters are saved by the brilliant and humble work they have done, their poems the crevices in our lives where the light shines through." – Patrick Lane, author of Washita

“Randy Lundy’s poems bring forward the spirit of his Cree ancestry, and place our species humbly among the creatures of Earth—who are all observed with deep reverence and perceptive care.” – Don McKay, author of Strike/Slip

“This is the book of poems I’ve been waiting for … His poems burn us, feed us, and make us feel beloved even if we have been broken. Language, as he uses it, holds us and leads us to a place where we can mourn and pray and wonder.” – Lorna Crozier, author of What the Soul Doesn’t Want

Educator Information
The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for English Language Arts.

Caution: Some poems contain content that may cause trigger reactions for readers. Pre-read poems before using them with students.

Additional Information
96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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Doug Knockwood, Mi'kmaw Elder: Stories, Memories, Reflections
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Freeman Douglas Knockwood is a highly respected Elder in Mi’kmaw Territory and one of Canada’s premier addictions recovery counsellors. The story of his life is one of unimaginable colonial trauma, recovery and hope.

At age 6, Knockwood was placed in the Shubenacadie Residential School, where he remained for a year and a half. Like hundreds of other Mi’kmaw and Maliseet children, he suffered horrible abuse. By the time he reached his twenties, he was an alcoholic. He contracted tuberculosis in the 1940s, had one lung and several ribs removed.

Having hit rock bottom, Knockwood, gained sobriety in his thirties through Alcoholics Anonymous. He went on to become a much sought after drug and alcohol rehabilitation counsellor in Canada. Many of Doug’s initiatives have been implemented across Canada and used by thousands of people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Looking back now, says Doug, “I realize I wasn’t only helping them. They were helping me to gather strength in my presentations, in feeding them the knowledge I received, the same as it was fed to me. That helped me to gain confidence in myself; doing all these things that I didn’t know I could yet do”.

This book is an in-depth look at Doug Knockwood’s life that also casts a wide and critical glance at the forces that worked to undermine his existence and the indomitable spirit of a man who recovered from, yet still struggles to overcome, those forces.

Educator Information
The 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Social Justice, Social Studies.

Additional Information
128 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | Written by Doug Knockwood and Friends

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$21.00

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Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Elements of Indigenous Style offers Indigenous writers and editors—and everyone creating works about Indigenous Peoples—the first published guide to common questions and issues of style and process. Everyone working in words or other media needs to read this important new reference, and to keep it nearby while they’re working.

This guide features:

• Twenty-two succinct style principles.
• Advice on culturally appropriate publishing practices, including how to collaborate with Indigenous Peoples, when and how to seek the advice of Elders, and how to respect Indigenous Oral Traditions and Traditional Knowledge.
• Terminology to use and to avoid.
• Advice on specific editing issues, such as biased language, capitalization, and quoting from historical sources and archives.
• Case studies of projects that illustrate best practices.

Reviews
"Style is fraught with politics, especially when writing about Indigenous Peoples. Now, writers, academics, journalists, publishers, and students can breathe a sigh of relief. Reach for this essential Indigenous style guide, not only when searching for the right word, but when seeking guidance on the importance of relationships and trust." - Duncan McCue, CBC Radio Host and author of The Shoe Boy

"Elements of Indigenous Style is a beautiful beginning, a gathering place and a cultivator of both discussion and growth. Younging’s work clears the ground, drafts the blueprints and starts the framing out on the house that we need for our stories. At the same time, Younging manages to write both solid and grounded guidelines while leaving malleability in the architecture so that the ideas can grow and evolve. And we are all invited to share, discuss, add to, and cultivate this important work." - Cherie Dimaline, author and winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award

Educator Information
This book would be useful for the following courses and/or areas of studies from elementary to university: Indigenous Studies, Canadian Literature, Language Arts, English, Media Studies, Education, Journalism, Editing and Proofreading, Social Science/Ethnic Studies, and Composition and Creative Writing.

Recommended for Grades 3-12 for the following subject areas: English Language Arts, Indigenous Studies, Social Studies.  Also a useful Teacher's Resource.

Additional Information
168 pages | 5.50" x 7.50"

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$19.95

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Fire Song
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

How can Shane reconcile his feelings for David with his desire for a better life?

Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she’s too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. What he really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he loves—his friend, David.

Things go from bad to worse as Shane’s dream of going to university is shattered and his grieving mother withdraws from the world. Worst of all, he and David have to hide their relationship from everyone. Shane feels that his only chance of a better life is moving to Toronto, but David refuses to join him. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make difficult choices about their future together.

With deep insight into the life of Indigenous people on the reserve, this book masterfully portrays how a community looks to the past for guidance and comfort while fearing a future of poverty and shame. Shane’s rocky road to finding himself takes many twists and turns, but ultimately ends with him on a path that doesn’t always offer easy answers, but one that leaves the reader optimistic about his fate.

Reviews
“Complex, vulnerable emotion is embedded within the specificity of the writing in this dramatic prose debut. Jones avoids clichés of reservation life, humanizing the stories of how his people reconcile the trauma of suicide, missing family members, same-sex relationships, and the isolation of a community left to fend for itself. A touching story that has been a long time coming for the Indigenous community.”
Kirkus Reviews

“This complex, well-written debut will resonate with young people . . . A great coming-out novel with Native American protagonists; recommended for all teen collections.”
Jill Baetiong, School Library Journal

“A powerful, challenging book that is full of deeply meaningful turns as it boldly encourages living life to the best of one’s abilities.”
Foreword Reviews

"A stunning debut. If you loved the movie Fire Song, get ready to swoon over this movie-to-novel adaptation. The tension, beauty, desperation, hunger for someone, hunger for yourself, a family at the crossroads and a highway that's calling--it's all here. Completely riveting. Completely compelling. Adam Garnet Jones, I would follow you and your characters anywhere. Bravo! A literary and unforgettable masterpiece."
Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed

Educator Information
Recommended for Ages 14+ / Grades 9+

Novel Themes: LGBTQ, family relationships, suicide, friendships, acceptance, sexuality, secrets, stereotyping, siblings, diversity, teens, multigenerational, Indigenous.

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for English Language Arts and Physical and Health Education.

Additional Information
232 pages | 5.50" x 8.25"

A hardcover copy of this book is also available on the Strong Nations website.

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$12.95

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Hiraeth
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Hiraeth is about women supporting and lending strength and clarity to other women so they know that moving forward is always possible-- and always necessary. It documents a journey of struggle that pertains to a dark point in Canadian history that few talk about and of which even fewer seem aware. Poems speak to the 1960's "scoop up" of children and how this affected the lives of (one or thousands) of First Nations and Métis girls-- girls who later grew to be women with questions, women with wounds, women who felt like they had no place to call home. That is, until they allowed themselves to be open to the courage others have lived and shared. "Hiraeth" is a word that is Celtic in origin and it means looking for a place to belong that never existed. But this place does exist -- in the heart.

Educator Information
The 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 9-12 for English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Caution: some poems contain depictions of violence and racism and use strong language.

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112 pages | 7.50" x 6.00"

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$18.95

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In Spirit
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Twelve-year-old Molly was riding her new bicycle on a deserted road when a man in a truck pulled up next to her, saying he was lost. He asked if she could get in and help him back to the highway, and said he could bring her back to her bike after. Molly declined, out of interest for her own safety. The next things Molly remembers are dirt, branches, trees, pain, and darkness.

Molly is now a spirit.

Mustering up some courage, she pieces together her short life for herself and her family while she reassembles her bicycle—the same one that was found thrown into the trees on the side of the road. Juxtaposed with flashes of news, sounds, and videos, Molly’s chilling tale becomes more and more vivid, challenging humanity not to forget her presence and importance.

Reviews
“Tara Beagan's In Spirit distills the tragic disappearance of hundreds of native women along BC's Highway of Tears into a powerful theatrical experience.” —Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine 

In Spirit is a very touching piece, not only for the content, but also because of how we were transported into this little girl’s world… It is a refreshing change to see a play tackle a societal defect without hate and guilt. Through love and empathy, it reminds us of the missing women and the horrors that are still taking place in our county.” —Emma Letki, Mooney on Theatre

Educator Information
This play is listed in the 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list as a resource for Grades 11-12 for these subjects: Acting, Drama, English Language Arts.

Caution: discussion of violence and death.

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64 pages | 5.13" x 7.65"

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$17.95

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Indian Act: Residential School Plays
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Indian Act is a tribute and thank you to those who survived the Indian Residential School system so that future generations could be free to pursue their lives unhindered by educationally enforced lowered expectations and institutionalized abuse. Plays by contemporary First Nations and Metis playwrights cover the broad scope of residential school experiences, all kinds of characters, and no stereotypes, giving voice to those who could not be heard.

Includes the plays:
Bunk #7 by Larry Guno
God and the Indian by Drew Hayden Taylor
They Know Not What They Do by Tara Began
A Very Polite Genocide or The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Melanie J. Murray
Kihew by Curtis Peeteetuce
Dear Mr. Buchwald by Yvette Nolan

Educator Information
Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts, Drama, and Acting.  

Caution: Some plays contain mature subject matters and cover themes of substance abuse, sexual and physical violence, etc.  Some plays are not appropriate for high school use and may be better suited for college-level courses. 

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392 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$29.95

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Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest Coast, 40th Anniversary Edition
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Of the many resources available to the First Nations of the Northwest Coast, the most vital was fish. The people devised ingenious ways of catching the different species of fish, creating a technology vastly different from that of today’s industrial world. With attention to clarity and detail, Hilary Stewart illustrates their hooks, lines, sinkers, lures, floats, clubs, spears, harpoons, nets, traps, rakes and gaffs, showing how these were made and used in over 450 remastered drawings and 75 photographs. With material gathered from museum archives, fish camps and coastal village elders, the scope of this classic volume covers everything from how the catch was butchered, cooked, rendered and preserved to the attributes of fish designs on household and ceremonial objects—images that tell of fishing’s importance to the whole culture. The spiritual aspects of fishing are also described—prayers and ceremonies in gratitude and honour to the fish, as well as customs and taboos indicating the people’s respect for this life-giving resource.

An incredibly varied and highly refined assemblage of tools, techniques and knowledge, the culmination of thousands of years of evolutionary development, Indian Fishing is more than a bare account of the technology of fishing; it is about fish and fishing in the total lives of the Northwest Coast people. A classic, thoroughly researched and informative text, it examines fishing techniques of a people who have lived on the coast for over 9,000 years to reveal their complex and rich culture.

Educator Information
Recommended for Grades 3-12 for the following subject areas: Arts Education, Science, Social Studies.  Also a useful Teacher Resource.

Additional Information
182 pages | 10.00" x 9.00"

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$28.95

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kisiskaciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

This groundbreaking anthology from territory that is now Saskatchewan, kisiskâciwan, includes rich oral narratives from Cree, Saulteaux, Nakoda, Dakota, Dene, and Metis cultures; early writings from Cree missionaries; speeches and letters by Treaty Chiefs; stories from elders; archival discoveries; and contemporary literary works in all genres.

Historically and culturally comprehensive, voices include Big Bear, Thunderchild, Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Edward Ahenakew, Maria Campbell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rita Bouvier, Harold Johnson, Gregory Scofield, Warren Cariou, Louise Halfe, and many more.

Educator Information
The collected works in this anthology would be useful for high school and college/university courses.  All the works in this anthology are connected to Saskatchewan in some way.  Some themes include Residential Schools, family, resilience, the Sixties Scoop, and coming of age.

Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 for these subjects: Drama, English Language Arts, Social Studies.

Caution: Some of the works in this anthology contain mature subject matter, such as discussion of abuse, violence, sexuality, etc. 

Additional Information
300 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authenticity Note: This work is labelled as containing Authentic Indigenous Text because of the contributions from Indigenous Peoples.

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$39.95

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