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Historical Fiction

1 - 13 of 13 Results
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A Wampum Denied: Procter's War of 1812: Second Edition
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Procter, Tecumseh, and Brock, their disparate war aims, and the "all or nothing" character of the campaigns they waged still seem larger than life. Yet Sandy Antal's careful reconstruction of Native and national aspiration, vested colonial interest, and territorial aggression reveals motives and expedients that were as often mundane as heroic.

A Wampum Denied reassesses the much-maligned career of Henry Procter, commander of the British forces, traces the Canadian/British/Native side of the conflict (amid a literature dominated by the American view), and casts new light on an allied military strategy that very nearly succeeded, but when it failed, failed spectacularly.

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$29.95

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Big Bear: The End of Freedom
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

When the white settlers came to western Canada, Big Bear realized the the Cree Indians' way of life was threatened, and he fought to prevent his people from being reduced to poverty-stricken outcasts in their own land. Although his protests were peaceful, he was labelled a troublemaker. Years of frustration and rage exploded when his followers killed the white people of Frog Lake, a tragedy Big Bear was powerless to stop. The old chief stood trial for inciting rebellion--though all he had sought was justice and freedom.

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$19.95

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In the Land of the Grasshopper Song
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Karuk;

In 1908 easterners Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed accepted appointments as field matrons in Karuk tribal communities in the Klamath and Salmon River country of northern California. In doing so, they joined a handful of white women in a rugged region that retained the frontier mentality of the gold rush some fifty years earlier. Hired to promote the federal government’s assimilation of American Indians, Arnold and Reed instead found themselves adapting to the world they entered, a complex and contentious territory of Anglo miners and Karuk families.

In the Land of the Grasshopper Song, Arnold and Reed’s account of their experiences, shows their irreverence towards Victorian ideals of womanhood, recounts their respect toward and friendship with Karuks, and offers a rare portrait of women’s western experiences in this era. Writing with self-deprecating humor, the women recall their misadventures as women “in a white man’s country” and as whites in Indian country. A story about crossing cultural divides, In the Land of the Grasshopper Song also documents Karuk resilience despite seemingly insurmountable odds.

New material by Susan Bernardin, André Cramblit, and Terry Supahan provides rich biographical, cultural, and historical contexts for understanding the continuing importance of this story for Karuk people and other readers.

$22.95

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My Children are My Reward: The Life of Elsie Spence
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Through the story of Elsie Spence, Harpelle describes in vivid terms the traditional ways of the Métis in Manitoba in the mid-20th Century, and shows the strong matriarchal role.

$12.95

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One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cheyenne;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Based on an actual historical event but told through fictional diaries, this is the story of May Dodd—a remarkable woman who, in 1875, travels through the American West to marry the chief of the Cheyenne Nation.

One Thousand White Women begins with May Dodd’s journey into an unknown world. Having been committed to an insane asylum by her blue-blood family for the crime of loving a man beneath her station, May finds that her only hope for freedom and redemption is to participate in a secret government program whereby women from “civilized” society become the brides of Cheyenne warriors. What follows is a series of breathtaking adventures—May’s brief, passionate romance with the gallant young army captain John Bourke; her marriage to the great chief Little Wolf; and her conflict of being caught between loving two men and living two completely different lives.

Reviews
“Fergus portrays the perceptions and emotions of women…with tremendous insight and sensitivity.”—Booklist

“A superb tale of sorrow, suspense, exultation, and triumph.” —Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump

“Impressive…convincing…affecting.” —Kirkus Reviews

Additional Information
528 pages | 5.16" x 7.85"

$12.99

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River Thieves
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Beothuk; Mi'kmaq;

In elegant, sensual prose, Michael Crummey crafts a haunting tale set in Newfoundland at the turn of the nineteenth century. A richly imagined story about love, loss and the heartbreaking compromises — both personal and political — that undermine lives, River Thieves is a masterful debut novel. To be published in Canada and the United States, it joins a wave of classic literature from eastern Canada, including the works of Alistair MacLeod, Wayne Johnston and David Adams Richards, while resonating at times with the spirit of Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy.

British naval officer David Buchan arrives on the Bay of Exploits in 1810 with orders to establish friendly contact with the elusive Beothuk, the aboriginal inhabitants known as “Red Indians” who have been driven almost to extinction. Aware that the success of his mission rests on the support of local white settlers, Buchan approaches the most influential among them, the Peytons, for assistance, and enters a shadowy world of allegiances and deep grudges. His closest ally, the young John Peyton Jr., maintains an uneasy balance between duty to his father — a powerful landowner with a reputation as a ruthless persecutor of the Beothuk - and his troubled conscience. Cassie Jure, the self-reliant, educated and secretive woman who keeps the family house, walks a precarious line of her own between the unspoken but obvious hopes of the younger Peyton, her loyalty to John Senior, and a determination to maintain her independence. When Buchan's peace expedition goes horribly awry, the rift between father and son deepens.

With a poetic eye and a gift for storytelling, Crummey vividly depicts the stark Newfoundland backcountry. He shows the agonies of the men toiling towards the caribou slaughtering yards of the Beothuk; of coming upon the terrible beauty of Red Indian Lake, its frozen valley lit up by the sunset like “a cathedral lit with candles”; then retreating through rotten ice that slices at clothing and skin as they flee the disaster. He breathes life into the rich vernacular of the time and place, and with colourful detail brings us intimately into a world of haying and spruce beer, of seal meat and beaver pelts: a world where the first governor of Newfoundland to die in office is sent back to England preserved in “a large puncheon of rum”.

Years later, when the Peytons’ second expedition to the Beothuks' winter camp leads to the kidnapping of an Indian woman and a murder, Buchan returns to investigate. As the officer attempts to uncover what really happened on Red Indian Lake, the delicate web of allegiance, obligation and debt that holds together the Peyton household and the community of settlers on the northeast shore slowly unravels. The interwoven histories of English and French, Mi’kmaq and Beothuk, are slowly unearthed, as the story culminates with a growing sense of loss — the characters’ private regrets echoed in the tragic loss of an entire people. An enthralling story of passion and suspense, River Thieves captures both the vast sweep of history and the intimate lives of a deeply emotional and complex cast of characters caught in its wake.

Many historical events which provided inspiration for the novel took place around where Crummey grew up. There was a family of Peytons in the Bay of Exploits who were intimately involved in the fate of the Beothuk, John the Elder known as a ‘great Indian killer’ and his son, John the Younger, attempting to establish friendly contact. “What set of circumstances would account for this difference?” asked Crummey. “How would the two men relate to one another? What would the motivations be for their particular actions? As soon as a writer begins answering these sorts of questions in any definitive way, the writing becomes fiction.” Though faithful to historical record in many details, he imagined ways in which the characters might participate more fully in each other’s story. “Of course a different writer, or even myself at a different time in my life, would have imagined a different world of characters and events, a radically different picture.”

Authentic Canadian Content
$21.00

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Rudy Wiebe: Collected Stories, 1955 - 2010
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

For more than fifty years, Canadian literary legend Rudy Wiebe has been defining and refining prairie literature through his oeuvre of world-renowned novels, histories, essays, and short stories. He has introduced generations of readers far and wide to western Canadian Mennonite, aboriginal, and settler culture. Some say he wrote the book on historical prairie fiction. In fact, he's written quite a few. The University of Alberta Press is proud to publish the fifty short stories that Wiebe completed between 1955 and 2010, including four previously unpublished stories. This is a must-have book for aficionados of great world literature, fans of prairie fiction, and Wiebe's faithful readers.

Text Content Note: Some Indigenous Content

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$39.95

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Song of Batoche
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Louis Riel arrives at Batoche in 1884 to help the Métis fight for their lands and discovers that the rebellious outsider Josette Lavoie is a granddaughter of the famous chief Big Bear, whom he needs as an ally. But Josette learns of Riel's hidden agenda - to establish a separate state with his new church at its head - and refuses to help him. Only when the great Gabriel Dumont promises her that he will not let Riel fail does she agree to join the cause. In this raw wilderness on the brink of change, the lives of seven unforgettable characters converge, each one with secrets: Louis Riel and his tortured wife Marguerite; a duplicitous Catholic priest; Gabriel Dumont and his dying wife Madeleine; a Hudson's Bay Company spy; and the enigmatic Josette Lavoie. As the Dominion Army marches on Batoche, Josette and Gabriel must manage Riel's escalating religious fanaticism and a growing attraction to each other. Song of Batoche is a timeless story that traces the borderlines of faith and reason, obsession and madness, betrayal and love.

Awards
2015 Governor General's Award for French-to-English Translation winner

Reviews
"This passionate retelling uses women's eyes to reveal the hidden history behind Riel and Gabriel Dumont. Deeply researched, and rooted in the soil of Batoche." - Marina Endicott, author of the Giller-nominated Close to Hugh

"Combining fine research and engaging storytelling, Song of Batoche is a stirring fictionalized account of events in and around the 1885 North-West Resistance. Josette Lavoie is an intriguing and memorable heroine." - Katherena Vermette, author of the The Break and winner of the Governor General's Award

"Caron weaves a tale of love, betrayal and obsession . . . a vivid and fast-paced retelling of this moment in Canadian history." - Toronto Star

"A fascinating and beautifully written account of Louis Riel and the months preceding the Battle of Batoche, as seen through the eyes of the Métis women. This is a perspective we've not seen before, and Caron handles it with compassion and depth." Lauren B. Davis, author of the Giller-nominated Our Daily Bread

Additional Information
372 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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The Foot of the River
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Through a rich blend of history and fiction, Lalor tells the story of the birth and growth of the Aboriginal communities along the Winnipeg River.

Uniquely rich in providing an historical look into Manitoba's past.

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$9.95

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The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;

The Golden Spruce is the story of a glorious natural wonder, the man who destroyed it, and the fascinating, troubling context in which his act took place.

A tree with luminous glowing needles, the golden spruce was unique, a mystery that biologically speaking should never have reached maturity; Grant Hadwin, the man who cut it down, was passionate, extraordinarily well-suited to wilderness survival, and to some degree unbalanced. But as John Vaillant shows in this gripping and perceptive book, the extraordinary tree stood at the intersection of contradictory ways of looking at the world; the conflict between them is one reason it was destroyed. Taking in history, geography, science and spirituality, this book raises some of the most pressing questions facing society today.

The golden spruce stood in the Queen Charlotte Islands, an unusually rich ecosystem where the normal lines between species blur, a place where "the patient observer will find that trees are fed by salmon [and] eagles can swim." The islands' beauty and strangeness inspire a more personal and magical experience of nature than western society is usually given to. Without romanticizing, Vaillant shows that this understanding is typified by the Haida, the native people who have lived there for millennia and know the land as Haida Gwaii - and for whom the golden spruce was an integral part of their history and mythology. But seen a different way, the golden spruce stood in block 6 of Tree Farm License 39, a tract owned by the Weyerhaeuser forest products company. It survived in an isolated "set-aside" amidst a landscape ravaged by logging.

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$21.00

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The Scorched-Wood People
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

"Sixteen years later Louis Riel would be dressing himself again ... to be hanged by his neck until he is at last, perfectly, dead. 0 my God have mercy."

So begins Rudy Wiebe's powerful portrayal of Louis Riel, the mystic revolutionary of the Northwest, and Gabriel Dumont - "the savage" as he calls himself - the great buffalo hunter who becomes Riel's commander-in-chief.

With the same epic scope and inspired vision that he brought to The Temptations of Big Bear (winner of the Governor Generals Award for Fiction), Wiebe recreates an agonizing chapter in Canadian history which can never be forgotten - the explosive world of the North West Rebellions and the characters of the two men who led them.

Written with powerful clarity and compassion, The Scorched-Wood People is an immense achievement, a brilliant exploration of the faces of prophetic vision, the morality of politics and the nature of faith.

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$18.95

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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+

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Winter of the Holy Iron
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In the winter of 1750, a holy iron (flintlock rifle) and two Frenchmen are thrust into the lives of the Sicangu Lakota. Whirlwind, a war chief, finds his people divided in their feelings about the intrusion of the holy iron into their lives and what it could mean to their future.

Additional Information
304 pages | 5.54" x 8.51"

This book is available only by special import order, meaning it may take longer than normal to receive.

Authentic Indigenous Text
$21.95

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