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First Nation Communities Read

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First Nation Communities Read is an annual reading program launched in 2003 by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. First Nation Communities Read selected and other recommended titles:

- encourage family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;

- are written and/or illustrated by, or otherwise involve the participation of a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit creator;

- contain First Nation, Métis, or Inuit content produced with the support of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit advisers/consultants or First Nation, Métis, or Inuit endorsement.

To view the young adult and adult selections, visit:

First Nation Communities Read - Young Adult Selections

First Nation Communities Read - Adult Selections

A Coyote Solstice Tale
Artists:
Gary Clement
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Coyote is having friends over for a little solstice party in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the friends through the snowy woods to the mall -- a place they had never seen before. The trickster goes crazy with glee as he shops with abandon, only to discover that filling a shopping cart with goodies is not quite the same thing as actually paying for them.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 5 - 8.

Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, Geography, Physical Education and Health, Science.

Authentic Canadian Content
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$14.95

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A Walk on the Tundra
Artists:
Qin Leng
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

A Walk on the Tundra follows Inuujaq, a little girl who travels with her grandmother onto the tundra. There, Inuujaq learns that these tough little plants are much more important to Inuit than she originally believed.

In addition to an informative storyline that teaches the importance of Arctic plants, this book includes a field guide with photographs and scientific information about a wide array of plants found throughout the Arctic.

Reviews
This volume is a cross between a picture book, a story and a field guide to edible plants.... Authors, Rebecca Hainnu and Anna Ziegler, have worked on several educational publications. That background is apparent in this book.  There are eighteen Inuktitut words, including 6 plant names, introduced in the text.  They are explained and italicized when they are first introduced, for example “Nirilikkit – eat them”. The next time the word is used, it is assumed that the reader knows what it means.... [A]s a tool for building vocabulary, or as a storybook for students who have some familiarity with Inuktitut, this work would be excellent."  – Sandy Campbell, The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.50" x 8.50"

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$10.95

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An Aboriginal Carol
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; Inuit; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

Before the angels stars grew dim 
And wondering hunters heard their hymn 
One mystic flute - one hundred drums 
One message clear, "A King has come!" 
Not one had ever seen the like 
By light of day or moon of night 
Before the angels stars grew dim 
And wondering hunters heard this hymn. . . 


An Aboriginal Carol is the ultimate Aboriginal collaboration: 

  • Poetry by Metis poet David Bouchard. 
  • Paintings by First Nations artist Moses Beaver.
  • Music by Inuit performer Susan Aglukark. 

Best-selling Canadian author David Bouchard reworks Canada's oldest and most well-known carol, The Huron Carol. The art of Moses Beaver, from the fly-in reserve of Summer Beaver, Ontario (Nikinamik), resonates and awakens an awareness that is at once exciting and empowering, a way for all people to understand the birth of Christ from an Aboriginal worldview. The pride of the north, Susan Aglukark, interprets, for the first time, the revered carol. 

Written in English and in Inuktituk, the language of Canada's Inuit people, the book is accompanied by a CD, which includes a reading in both languages and a performance by Susan. Also available in French and Inuktituk. An Aboriginal Carol is certain to become a classic.

Awards

  • Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

 

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$24.95

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B is for Basketball
Artists:
Judy Hilgemann
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3;

This is the official book of the 2011 All Native Basketball Tournament. These games have been held in Prince Rupert, British Columbia for over 50 years. Since its inception, the Tournament has become an important cultural gathering.

B is For Basketball was created in collaboration with the students and teachers of School District No. 50 on Haida Gwaii. It is a tribute, and it is a labour of love.

Finally, this is also an alphabet book that includes a Foreword by Governor General Award-Winning Artist Robert Davidson, and is filled with captivating illustrations, which is sure to be enjoyed by all!

B is For Basketball was recently featured on the CBC's North By Northwest! Congrats to the Students and Teachers of School District #50 (Haida Gwaii), and to Judy!

Educator Information
B is For Basketball was created in collaboration with the students and teachers of School District No. 50 on Haida Gwaii. It is a tribute, and it is a labour of love. 

Additional Information
Foreward by Robert Davidson (Haida)

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$12.99

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Caribou Song
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

Joe and Cody are young Cree brothers who follow the caribou all year long, tucked into their dog sled with their Mama and Papa. To entice the wandering herds, Joe plays the Kitoochigan, his accordion, and Cody dances, whirling like a young caribou. They are so busy playing and dancing, they don't hear the rumble of the caribou. Bursting from the forest, ten thousand animals fill the meadow like a lake. Joe is engulfed; he can barely see Cody a few yards away, perched like a doll on the caribou moss. Their parents seem to have disappeared.

And yet what should be a moment of terror turns into something mystical and magical, as the boys open their arms and their hearts to embrace the caribou spirit.

A tale that is perfectly simple and satisfying, yet infused with layers of wonder that will open both children's and adults' minds to the intriguing possibilities of independence, separation and the strength of the spirit, Caribou Song is the first in a three-book series about Joe and Cody.

Reviews
"Caribou Song is a story of family, tradition, spirit, and livelihood. Music weaves the elements together, making them soar just as Highway's words and Rombough's art beautifully and evocatively express a way of life that has slipped (or is slipping) away. Rombough's illustrations in Caribou Song are strongly influenced by the Woodland (or Anishinaabe) School, with its emphasis on dark outlines, vivid colours, and visionary imagery. Founding member Norval Morrisseau's iconic style lives on in Rombough's work, but where they diverge is in the almost effervescent quality of Rombough's paintings. Bubbling with circular imagery and spots of amethyst, sapphire and topaz, framed in black and laid over flat washes of colour, each scene is like a pane of stained glass; a mix of storytelling and spirituality that is simply magnificent." — 32pages.ca

"Tomson Highway's mastery creates an exciting, action-packed plot. Elements of suspense simultaneously entertain beauty, magic, and whimsy. Highway artfully crafts his scenes with the vivid river imagery capturing the full drama of the caribou's presence - the sound of their hooves beating on the earth like the pounding of drums. Caribou Song is an experience for the senses. — CM Magazine

Educator & Series Information
Written in English with Cree translations.

This is the first book in the Songs of the North Wind series.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 10.50"

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$14.95

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Cloudwalker
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Gitxsan (Gitksan);
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Cloudwalker, describing the creation of the rivers, is the second in a series of Northwest Coast legends by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd. Their previous collaboration, Raven Brings the Light (2013), is a national bestseller.

On British Columbia's northwest coast lies the Sacred Headwaters--the source of three of British Columbia's largest salmon-bearing rivers. These rivers are the source of life for all creatures in the area. But what gave life to the rivers themselves?

Astace, a young Gitxsan hunter, is intent on catching a group of swans with his bare hands. He is carried away by the birds' powerful wings and dropped in the clouds. With only a cedar box of water Astace wanders the clouds, growing weaker, stumbling and spilling the contents. When he finally returns to earth he discovers lakes, creeks, and rivers where there were none before. The Gitxsan rejoice at having him home, and name the new river they live alongside Ksien--"juice from the clouds."

Roy Henry Vickers' vibrant artwork, including 18 new prints, accompany this new retelling of an ancient story--readers of all ages will be captivated.

Series Information
This book is part of the Northwest Coast Legends series.

Additional Information
40 pages | 12.00" x 8.25"

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$19.95

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Come and Learn With Me: Ewo, seh Kedjdjh
Artists:
Tessa Macintosh
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

Nine-year-old Sheyenne lives in Sambaa K'e, Northwest Territories-that's Trout Lake in English. Come learn with her as she takes you on a journey to her community in the fall, the season of moose.

This is the fourth book in the popular series "The Land Is Our Storybook" and features the Dehcho region of the Dene. "The Land Is Our Storybook" is a series of books about the lands and cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories. In the books, storytellers, elders, and cultural leaders from the ten regions in the Territories share real stories of everyday life in the North today.

Reviews
"The non-fiction book is colorful with rich, brilliant photographs and maps. Well-organized . . . Intriguing facts are contained within this book, making it a valuable resource for in classrooms, libraries, and homes. Come and Learn With Me can be used with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal readers to learn about Trout Lake's daily life during the fall moose season. This book will help preserve and keep the Dene Yatie (used to be known as South Slavey) group's language and culture alive. It is an innovative teaching tool and a 'must have' to read." — CM magazine

"Readers would be hard pressed to find a book of better quality whether it be for information, text, illustrations, layout, photography, or overall presentation. The text is well written and informative. The text is enhanced by maps, glossary, sidebars, graphics and stunning photography." — Resource Links

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the "The Land Is Our Storybook" series, which considers the diverse lands and cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories. Told in a uniquely diverse range of northern voices, with a child-centred approach, books in the series highlight each official Aboriginal language group in the NWT, revealing a richly textured picture of life in the North -- on the trapline, around the campfire, in communities, at school, and within the outdoor school that is the land itself. The series celebrates the seasons, ages, genders, traditional activities, and communities of the NWT.

The stories are illustrated by the striking images of acclaimed northern photographer, Tessa Macintosh and depict the similarities in lifestyle between children of the North and South, as well as the marked cultural differences, and highlight the special relationship these First Nations people have with the land and how they are adapting to rapid change while remaining connected to the land. Images of the landscape and animals within it, of trapping, hunting, fishing, and bannock baking sit alongside pictures of children at school, swimming at recreation centres, and reading in libraries. Here is modern northern culture painted beautifully: a complex mix of the new and the old.

These wonderful books, written with a variety of provincial and territorial curricula in mind, are specially designed for the classroom and include special features such as glossaries relating details on animals biology and cultural definitions, regional and language maps. The text of the stories also have sidebars such as Our Stories, which contain the stories of the people and language group featured, and Our Words, which highlight words in the featured language that are important to the story.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00" | colour photographs and illustrations, map

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$16.95

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Coyote Christmas: A Lakota Story
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4;

Christmas with a Lakota trick!

A traditional Native American character gets a modern update in this charming Christmas tale.

On Christmas Eve, Coyote wants to find some people to trick out of a hot meal. Sneaky Coyote is known in the Native American tradition as the Trickster. He knows that there's one character people can't refuse on Christmas Eve: Santa Claus! Using straw for a jolly belly and wool for his Santa's beard, the Trickster fools a family into welcoming him to their Christmas meal. But just when he thinks he's gotten away with his ruse, taking their food and leaving the family with nothing, he's foiled by a strange occurrence. Could it be a Christmas miracle?

Coyote's antics, beautifully told and illustrated by S. D. Nelson, will delight readers, and his eventual comeuppance just in time for Christmas makes this a perfect holiday tale.

Additional Information
40 pages | 9.50" x 10.50"

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$22.95

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Dragonfly Kites
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3;

Dragonfly Kites is the third book in Tomson Highway's magical Songs of the North Wind trilogy. Like Fox on the Ice and Caribou Song, it has a bilingual text, written in English and Cree. And once again Tomson Highway brilliantly evokes the very essence of childhood as he weaves a deceptively simple story about the power of the imagination.

Joe and Cody, two young Cree brothers, along with their parents and their little dog Ootsie, are spending the summer by one of the hundreds of lakes in northern Manitoba. Summer means a chance to explore the world and make friends with an array of creatures, But what Joe and Cody like doing best of all is flying dragonfly kites. They catch dragonflies and gently tie a length of thread around the middle of each dragonfly before letting it go. Off soar the dragonflies into the summer sky and off race the brothers and Ootsie too, chasing after their dragonfly kites through trees and meadows and down to the beach before watching them disappear into the night sky. But in their dreams, Joe and Cody soar through the skies with their kites until it's time to wake up.

Reviews
"Unlike most fiction, Dragonfly Kites does not follow a standard plot line. Like the dragonfly kites that the boys follow, the plot simply glides along until the boys wake up from their dream. This is appropriate due to the significance the illustrations play in this picture book, as well as the age of the intended audience. Readers are not overwhelmed by the storyline and are free to appreciate the accompanying illustrations. The illustrations in Dragonfly Kites act as an extension of the story. The pictures in the book are colourful, beautiful, and have an austere, stark quality. This is consistent with other works produced by award-winning illustrator Julie Flett. This style suits the story as, aside from the nature that surrounds around them, Joe and Cody are depicted as being by themselves. While they live with the parents, their adventures occur when their parents are fishing without them. The full-page illustrations demonstrate the vast space that surrounds the boys." — CM Magazine

"At once a celebration of heritage, the wilderness, and imagination, this book is a breath of fresh northern air." — Kirkus Reviews

Educator & Series Information
This is the third book in the Songs of the North Wind series, a dual-language (English and Cree) series about two young Cree boys.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.26" x 10.70"

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$14.95

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Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;
Grade Levels: 5;

Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers, the sequel to the Seven Sacred Teachings, warns of voices we can expect to hear in our dream time – voices that do not represent the Sacred Teachings.

These are the voices of Seven Deceivers who are spoken of by name. The allure of their whisperings is carefully spelled out in order that all might come to know what to listen for. Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers is a carefully woven telling of how and why Creator sent Trickster to Turtle Island with a gift that would help us see the light and resist temptation. At a time before distant religions and churches came with their teachings, their commandments and their seven cardinal sins, we knew. We knew the way of the Good Red Road. We knew the right way to live; not through commandments but through Sacred Teachings – Teachings that were given to us long before their arrival. And we knew we would be tested by Seven Deceivers – what they called seven cardinal sins. We knew because we had been forewarned. And when these distant churches arrived with their teachings, their relics and their symbols, we had our own. One was the Dreamcatcher.

Rooted in humility and honesty, the creators have tried to respect the cultures and traditions of all peoples. It is our hope that this telling will unite and thus heal divisions. Prophecies tell that this is the time for One Heart, One Mind and One Drum. We, readers and authors alike, are the ones we have been waiting for. There is nobody else who can revitalize our culture and values except ourselves.

It is our hope that this telling might move readers toward greater courage and wisdom and ultimately toward achieving and understanding what is true in life’s journey.

The Seven Sacred Teachings are a link that ties all Native, Inuit and Metis communities together.

Additional Information
35 pages

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$21.95

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Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today.

Truly universal in its themes, Dreaming In Indian will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. Divided into four sections, ‘Roots,’ ‘Battles,’ ‘Medicines,’ and ‘Dreamcatchers,’ this book offers readers a unique insight into a community often misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media.

Emerging and established Native artists, including acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, renowned visual artist Bunky Echo Hawk, and stand-up comedian Ryan McMahon, contribute thoughtful and heartfelt pieces on their experiences growing up Indigenous, expressing them through such mediums as art, food, the written word, sport, dance, and fashion. Renowned chef Aaron Bear Robe, for example, explains how he introduces restaurant customers to his culture by reinventing traditional dishes. And in a dramatic photo spread, model Ashley Callingbull and photographer Thosh Collins reappropriate the trend of wearing ‘Native’ clothing.

Whether addressing the effects of residential schools, calling out bullies through personal manifestos, or simply citing hopes for the future, Dreaming In Indian refuses to shy away from difficult topics. Insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully honest, this book will to appeal to young adult readers. An innovative and captivating design enhances each contribution and makes for a truly unique reading experience.

Reviews
“It’s hard to imagine a middle- or high-school classroom that wouldn’t benefit from having this.” —Booklist, 02/15

“Belongs in every middle school, high school and public library.” —CM Reviews, 05/22/15

"For some time now, I've been waiting for Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices... It was getting buzz in Native networks on social media. I've read it, now, and highly recommend it... Dreaming in Indian has a vibrancy I've not seen in anything else. A vibrancy that, perhaps, is characteristic of a generation at ease with technology and its tools... I want to pore over the art, studying it, thinking about it, marveling at it. I can imagine a lot of people dismissing this work because it doesn't conform to their stereotypical ideas of dead or stoic Indians. But I can also imagine a lot of others holding it dear because it reflects who we are... You'll also have a solid introduction to the artists and writers, their lives, what drives them... Gritty and real, their live stories are inspiring... There's a lot to ponder in Dreaming In Indian. It'll challenge readers, in good ways, and that is a good thing. Check it out." — Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature, September 2014

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 11-18

Themes: First Nations; native peoples; Indigenous; biography; multicultural; stereotyping; acceptance; community; prejudice; self-esteem; tolerance.

Fountas & Pinnell Reading Level: Z+

Authentic First Peoples resource K-9.

Recommended English First Peoples resource.

Additional Information
128 pages | 8.50" x 11.00" | full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, foreword, introduction

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$19.95

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Grandmother Ptarmigan
Artists:
Qin Leng
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

It's bedtime for baby ptarmigan, but he will not go to sleep. So his grandmother decides to tell him a bedtime story that he will never forget.

With delightful illustrations by Qin Leng, this nursery rhyme–inspired rendition of a traditional Inuit origin tale is perfect for the youngest of children.

Additional Information
28 pages | 7.80" x 7.75"

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$13.95

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Grandpa's Girls
Artists:
Kim LaFave
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2;

A young girl delights in a visit to her grandpa's farm. She and her cousins run through the fields, explore the root cellar where the salmon and jars of fruit are stored, swing on a rope out the barn loft window, visit the Appaloosa in the corral and tease the neighbor's pig. The visit is also an opportunity for this child to ask Grandpa what her grandmother, Yayah, was like, and to explore the "secret room," with its old wooden trunk of ribbons, medals and photos of Grandpa in uniform.

There is a wonderful blend of fun and family history in this visit to a grandparent, and the realization that there can be some things about the people we know and love that will always remain a mystery. But above all, there's nothing like being with Grandpa.

In her two previous picture books, Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's Canoe, Nicola Campbell worked with elders and survivors of residential schools, documenting the tragic experiences that many endured. This new book, based on her own childhood memories, is a sunny, joyful story, vibrantly illustrated by Kim LaFave.

Reviews
"Grandpa’s Girls follows a group of four cheerful Interior Salish cousins let loose on their grandfather’s sprawling B.C. farm.... The book is a vicarious pleasure for anyone who ever wished they’d once had a hay loft to swing from, a pig to tease, or a cobwebby root cellar to explore. Beyond that, it is an honest look at how kids sometimes need to experience the past in the context of the present to really understand it." - Quill & Quire 

Educator Information
Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, Visual Arts, History

Recommended Ages: 4 - 7

Additional Information
32 pages | 7.50" x 9.63"

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$18.95

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How the Fox Got His Crossed Legs
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene; Tlicho (Dogrib);
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

Fox is howling, crying, for he lost his leg to Bear, all the people wanted to help Fox, but didn't know what to do. Raven is called upon to help retrieve his leg. Will Raven succeed in the quest for Fox's leg?

This book includes an audio and interactive multimedia CD that you can play on a CD player, PC or Mac. Also included is a Dogrib Elder telling his version of this ancient legend in Dogrib. An orthography chart is included.

Educator Information
Delivered in a dual-language format of Dogrib and English.

English translation by Mary Siemens & Rosa Mantla.

Additional Information
32 pages | 10.24" x 8.30"

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$22.95

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I Am Raven: A Story of Discovery
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

David Bouchard dives into his own life and identity in this beautifully illustrated book. Personal totems are often described as animal spirit guardians. Totems are passed down through family lines. The beautiful prose describes an amazing personal journey of discovery, finally, inviting the reader to do the same.

An Elder once asked me if my spirit animal guardian was Bear. I must have looked somewhat confused because she went on to explain that Bear was the wise Elder, the teacher. She told me that Bear understood as well as any what to take from our mother Earth and how important it was to always put back that which we took. “You’ve been a teacher many years? Are you guided by Bear?” she asked. “YES!” I answered confidently. “Yes. In fact, my guardian is the Grizzly Bear” I smiled. 

Dear reader, you must understand that I have always been fascinated by the powerful giant, Bear. “If you want to be certain of this,” she said softly, “all you have to do is close your eyes before travelling to your dreamtime – close your eyes and picture your guardian. Thank it. Ask it for guidance. Try to see it. It will be there for you. It does not hide. It is proud to be part of who you are.” 

That night, I couldn’t wait to get to bed. I was very anxious to see my totem. I knew to be Bear. I closed my eyes and the first and only thing I saw was a big, goofy looking Raven staring straight at me. He looked ragged; one of his neck feathers was sticking off to the side. I spoke to him, respectfully. “Hello Raven. It is good to see you here in my dreamtime. However, I’d be grateful if you would just step over to the side – either side – just step aside please because Bear is trying to come into my vision and – just step aside a little – please. 

I fell asleep. The next day, I shared my story with the knowing Elder who didn’t hesitate to tell me that she wasn’t surprised to hear my story. She knew that I had succeeded in school in spite of the fact that I was a weak reader. She knew that I had done things in my life that could have been seen as being too much for me. She knew my wife and that I had to be very cunning indeed to have talked such a beautiful woman into marrying me. The lesson I learned from that Elder that day came to me through the last words she spoke to me. “David, surely you know that you are not Bear. You are Raven.”

Reviews
"I Am Raven represents another chapter in the Canadian children’s literature depiction of the First Nation experience in Canada. What’s more, however, is that the text is so well written and the illustrations so well crafted that I Am Raven is not presented in any sort of an exclusionary manner. Rather, the notion of totems and “animal spirit guardians” is presented as an idea for everyone, regardless of their cultural identity. The author, David Bouchard, is Métis, and the illustrator, Andy Everson, has K'omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations ancestry. The author and illustrator’s evident pride in their ancestry contributes to a powerful, engaging, fascinating and, simply, lovely book for readers young and old." - Gregory Bryan, CM Magazine 

Additional Information
32 pages

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Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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