Canadian Aboriginal Resource Lists - Secondary

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Do you have a provincial/territory list of approved Aboriginal resources that you would like to showcase to other provinces and territories? My goal is to see our entire country represented here with all of our favourite titles in one spot! Please contact me, Terri Mack, to make a submission.


#IdleNoMore: And the Remaking of Canada
Authors:
Ken Coates
Format: Paperback
Idle No More bewildered many Canadians. Launched by four women in Saskatchewan in reaction to a federal omnibus budget bill, the protest became the most powerful demonstration of Aboriginal identity in Canadian history. Thousands of aboriginal people and their supporters took to the streets, shopping malls, and other venues, drumming, dancing, and singing in a collective voice.

It was a protest against generations of injustice, a rallying cry for cultural survival, and a reassertion of Aboriginal identity.

Idle No More lasted for almost a year, and then the rallies dissipated. Many observers described it as a spent force. It was anything but. Idle No More was the most profound declaration of Indigenous identity and confidence in Canadian history, sparked by Aboriginal women and their supporters, sustained by young Indigenous peoples, filled with pride and determination. When the drums slowed, a new and different Canada was left in its wake. Partially stunned by the peaceful celebrations, but perplexed by a movement that seemed to have no centre and no leaders, most Canadians missed the point.

Through Idle No More, Aboriginal people have declared that they are a vital and necessary part of Canada's future. The spirit of the drumming, singing and dancing lives on in empowered and confident young Aboriginal people who will shape the future of this country for decades to come.
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$27.95

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100 Days of Cree
Content Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback

As an Elder once said, "Learn one Cree word a day for 100 days, and emerge a different person."

In 100 Days of Cree, Neal McLeod offers us a portal into another way of understanding the universe--and our place within it--while demonstrating why this funny, vibrant, and sometimes salacious language is "the sexiest of them all" (according to Tomson Highway).

Based on a series of Facebook posts, the 100 short chapters or "days" in the book present a chain of related words, some dealing with the traditional--the buffalo hunt, the seasons--and others cheekily capturing the detritus of modern life--from Internet slang to Johnny Cash songs to Viagra.

The result is both an introduction to the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Canada and the opportunity to see the world, and ourselves, in another way.

Reviews
"The nonfiction book is divided into 100 themes and offers Cree words and English explanations for everything from traditional subjects such as powwows and medicine to modern subjects such as Facebook and Star Wars. It also includes a guide to pronunciation written by Arok Wolvengrey, a linguist and the author of a Cree-English dictionary. 'When we think about indigenous languages, there’s a part of us that thinks they’re dying languages, ' URP publisher Bruce Walsh said. 'And then this manuscript comes in that demonstrates a living, vital language.' McLeod said that he and Wolvengrey worked to keep a balance between traditional usage and modern adaptations. 'To revitalize our languages, we have to do two things: we have to document the classical terminology, because within that terminology are all of our metaphors and idioms; but we also have to think of how to put old words together, to coin words, to describe the contemporary world.'" — Laura Godfrey, Publishers Weekly

Additional Information
325 pages | 5.50" x 7.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga
Artists:
Scott Henderson
Content Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback

The 7 Generations series is available in one book, and the illustrations are in vivid colour. 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga includes the four graphic novels: Stone, Scars, Ends/Begins, and The Pact.

Edwin is facing an uncertain future. Only by learning about his family's past—as warriors, survivors of a smallpox epidemic, casualties of a residential school—will he be able to face the present and embrace the future.

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$34.00

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A Difficult Beauty
Authors:
David Groulx
Format: Paperback
David Groulx’s latest collection offers his readers a handful of poems as cutting and brilliant as glass shards, offering glimpses of the anger, pain and lost beauties of his ancestors. These poems cut deep with their clear-eyed honesty, their stripped away pain and suffering. A subtle weaving of black humour and fleeting touches of beauty, as well at the careful craftsmanship of the writing make these poems iconic. This is a collection that should not be missed.
$17.00

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A Feast for All Seasons: Traditional Native Peoples' Cuisine
Authors:
Andrew George Jr.
Format: Paperback
Traditional North American Native peoples' cuisine has existed for centuries, but its central tenet of respecting nature and its bounty have never been as timely as they are now. Andrew George, of the Wet'suwet'en Nation in Canada, is a well-respected aboriginal chef and instructor who has spent the last twenty-five years promoting the traditions of First Nations food. In A Feast for All Seasons, written with Robert Gairns, he has compiled aboriginal recipes that feature ingredients from the land, sea, and sky, elements of an enduring cuisine that illustrate respect for the environment and its creatures, and acknowledgment of the spiritual power that food can have in our lives. The 120 recipes include delectable, make-at home dishes such as Salmon and Fiddlehead Stirfry, Stuffed Wild Duck, Barbecued Oysters, Pan-fried Rabbit with Wild Cranberry Glaze, Clam Fritters, and Wild Blueberry Cookies. The book also features recipes with exotic ingredients that provide a fascinating glimpse into the history of Native cuisine: Moose Chili, Boiled Porcupine, Smoked Beaver Meat, and Braised Bear. This unique cookbook pays homage to an enduring food culture?grounded in tradition and the power of nature?that transcends the test of time.
$24.95

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A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Content Territory: Indigenous Canadian
Format: Paperback

“It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer… The officials have arrived and the children must go.”

So began the school experience of many Indigenous children in Canada for more than a hundred years, and so begins the history of residential schools prepared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

Between 2008 and 2015, the TRC provided opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to share their experiences of residential schools and released several reports based on 7,000 Survivor statements and 5 million documents from government, churches, and schools, as well as a solid grounding in secondary sources.

A Knock on the Door, published in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), gathers material from the TRC reports to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools and inform the journey to reconciliation that Canadians are now embarked upon. An afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the NCTR, home to the archive of recordings and documents collected by the TRC.

Survivor and former National Chief of the Assembly First Nations, Phil Fontaine, provides a Foreword, and an Afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, home to the archive of recordings, and documents collected by the TRC.

As Aimée Craft writes in the Afterword, knowing the historical backdrop of residential schooling and its legacy is essential to the work of reconciliation. In the past, agents of the Canadian state knocked on the doors of Indigenous families to take the children to school. Now, the Survivors have shared their truths and knocked back. It is time for Canadians to open the door to mutual understanding, respect, and reconciliation.

Reviews
“The attempt to transform us failed. The true legacy of the survivors, then, will be the transformation of Canada.” – Phil Fontaine, from the Foreword

A Knock on the Door is a book that I hope every Canadian will read, and read deeply. The transformation of this country begins with acknowledging what happened after that knock on the door. Acknowledging, understanding the implications, and then resolving to do something for positive change. It’s right that the TRC Calls to Action are included, for we are all called to action.” – Shelagh Rogers, O.C., TRC Honorary Witness

"Seven volumes from a nationwide inquiry into the legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools have been condensed into a compelling book that is both accessible and well-documented. The central conclusion—that the schools were part of a deliberate cultural genocide policy aimed at the continent’s first peoples, spearheaded by the Canadian government with the support of mainline churches —is clearly supported by historical references, gut-wrenching personal stories, and a thorough analysis of a system that forcibly removed indigenous children from their families.” – Publishers Weekly 

Educator Information
This book is recommended for grade 11 and 12 students for courses in social studies and social justice (also useful for college/university students in courses of a similar nature).  This book is also a useful teacher resource.

Caution: physical and sexual abuse is discussed in this book.

Additional Information
Edited and Abridged | 296 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 11 b&w photographs | maps | bibliography

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$17.95

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A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System
Authors:
John S. Milloy
Format: Paperback
“I am going to tell you how we are treated. I am always hungry.” — Edward B., a student at Onion Lake School (1923)

“[I]f I were appointed by the Dominion Government for the express purpose of spreading tuberculosis, there is nothing finer in existence than the average Indian residential school.” — N. Walker, Indian Affairs Superintendent (1948)

For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Begun in the 1870s, it was intended, in the words of government officials, to bring these children into the “circle of civilization,” the results, however, were far different. More often, the schools provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of neglect, disease, and often abuse.

Using previously unreleased government documents, historian John S. Milloy provides a full picture of the history and reality of the residential school system. He begins by tracing the ideological roots of the system, and follows the paper trail of internal memoranda, reports from field inspectors, and letters of complaint. In the early decades, the system grew without planning or restraint. Despite numerous critical commissions and reports, it persisted into the 1970s, when it transformed itself into a social welfare system without improving conditions for its thousands of wards. A National Crime shows that the residential system was chronically underfunded and often mismanaged, and documents in detail and how this affected the health, education, and well-being of entire generations of Aboriginal children.
$26.95

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A Night for the Lady
Format: Paperback
A Night for the Lady explores the terrain of poetry conversation. Each poem arises from conversations with poets, colleagues and intimate friends. They range from a 1998 conversation on healing programs and the fundamentals of world change to a sequence of recent indigenous literary events on the prairies. Within the context of these conversations, an exploration emerges of the roles of woman within local as well as historic literary and global situations. The poems draw together diverse figures from world literature, world religions and myths to lay open the experience of human beings within the “brown-feminine.” Identifying and synthesizing connections across a wide palette of human experience, this collection challenges the divisions of personal and global, indigenous and “everyone else,” all the while celebrating both the humanity and the divinity of the Lady. Playful, erotic and occasionally harrowing, this collection bundles together experimental and inspirational work from a longstanding voice of conscience in Canadian letters. Once again, Arnott carries us into the most intimate terrain, casts her net widely, catches us up.
$15.95

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife
Authors:
Robert Bringhurst
Content Territory: Haida
Format: Paperback
A seminal collection of Haida myths and legends; now in a gorgeous new package.

The linguist and ethnographer John Swanton took dictation from the last great Haida-speaking storytellers, poets and historians from the fall of 1900 through the summer of 1901. Together they created a great treasury of Haida oral literature in written form.

Having worked for many years with these century-old manuscripts, linguist and poet Robert Bringhurst brings both rigorous scholarship and a literary voice to the English translation of John Swanton's careful work. He sets the stories in a rich context that reaches out to dozens of native oral literatures and to myth-telling traditions around the globe.

Attractively redesigned, this collection of First Nations oral literature is an important cultural record for future generations of Haida, scholars and other interested readers. It won the Edward Sapir Prize, awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, and it was chosen as the Literary Editor's Book of the Year by the Times of London.

Bringhurst brings these works to life in the English language and sets them in a context just as rich as the stories themselves one that reaches out to dozens of Native American oral literatures, and to mythtelling traditions around the world.
$24.95

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Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada: Echoes and Exchanges
Format: Hardcover
First Nations, Inuit, and Métis music in Canada is dynamic and diverse, reflecting continuities with earlier traditions and innovative approaches to creating new musical sounds. Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada narrates a story of resistance and renewal, struggle and success, as indigenous musicians in Canada negotiate who they are and who they want to be. Comprised of essays, interviews, and personal reflections by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal musicians and scholars alike, the collection highlights themes of innovation, teaching and transmission, and cultural interaction. Individual chapters discuss musical genres ranging from popular styles including country and pop to nation-specific and intertribal practices such as powwows, as well as hybrid performances that incorporate music with theatre and dance. As a whole, this collection demonstrates how music is a powerful tool for articulating the social challenges faced by Aboriginal communities and an effective way to affirm indigenous strength and pride. Juxtaposing scholarly study with artistic practice, Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada celebrates and critically engages Canada's vibrant Aboriginal music scene. Contributors include Véronique Audet (Université de Montreal), Columpa C. Bobb (Tsleil Waututh and Nlaka'pamux, Manitoba Theatre for Young People), Sadie Buck (Haudenosaunee), Annette Chrétien (Métis), Marie Clements (Métis/Dene), Walter Denny Jr. (Mi'kmaw), Gabriel Desrosiers (Ojibwa, University of Minnesota, Morris), Beverley Diamond (Memorial University), Jimmy Dick (Cree), Byron Dueck (Royal Northern College of Music), Klisala Harrison (University of Helsinki), Donna Lariviere (Algonquin), Charity Marsh (University of Regina), Sophie Merasty (Dene and Cree), Garry Oker (Dane-zaa), Marcia Ostashewski (Cape Breton University), Mary Piercey (Memorial University), Amber Ridington (Memorial University), Dylan Robinson (Stó:lo, University of Toronto), Christopher Scales (Michigan State University), Gilles Sioui (Wendat), Gordon E. Smith (Queen's University), Beverly Souliere (Algonquin), Janice Esther Tulk (Memorial University), Florent Vollant (Innu) and Russell Wallace (Lil'wat).
$49.95

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Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights: In Defense of Indigenous Struggles
Authors:
Peter Kulchyski
Format: Paperback
Aboriginal rights do not belong to the broader category of universal human rights because they are grounded in the particular practices of aboriginal people. So argues Peter Kulchyski in this provocative book from the front lines of indigenous people’s struggles to defend their culture from the ongoing conquest of their traditional lands. Kulchyski shows that some differences are more different than others, and he draws a border between bush culture and mall culture, between indigenous people’s mode of production and the totalizing push of state-led capitalism.

Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights provides much needed conceptual and historical analysis of aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada, and offers concrete suggestions to transform the current policy paradigm into one that supports and invigorates indigenous cultures in a contemporary context.
$19.95

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Algonquin Sunset
Authors:
Rick Revelle
Content Territory: Algonquin
Format: Paperback
Anokì and his sister Pangì Mahingan have grown up, and now face a decision that will change their lives forever.

Twelve years after Mahingan was wounded battling for his life against the Haudenosaunee warrior known as Ö:nenhste Erhar (Corn Dog), we rejoin his family and learn what fate held for him.

Now, his children, Anokì and Pangì Mahingan, along with their twin cousins Makwa and Wàbek, are grown and have adult responsibilities. Still living with their Algonquin family, they have become a formidable fighting unit with the addition of three Mi´kmaq warriors, E´s, Jilte´g, and the fierce Elue´wiet Ga´qaquj.

However, there is danger in the land of the setting sun, and nothing is more dangerous than what the family is going to encounter from the fierce enemy of their new Anishinaabe allies: the Lakȟóta.
$12.99

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An Arctic Man: The classic account of sixty-five years in Canada's North
Authors:
Ernie Lyall
Format: Paperback
Ernie Lyall was born in Labrador in 1910 and joined the Hudson's Bay Company at a time when it was expanding its presence in the Eastern Arctic. He spent many years as a front-line player with the company, building stores and developing trade with the local people. He became part of the Inuit community by marrying an Inuk and together with his wife Nipisha he raised a large family, some members of which play significant roles in today's Nunavut. Ernie's fluency in both Inuktitut and English made him a key interpreter and witness to many historic events in the Baffin region for over half a century, giving him insight into both sides of the cultural divide in the North and earning him respect from many quarters. In 1949 he and his family settled in Taloyoak (then known as Spence Bay) where he eventually left the HBC to become a wildlife officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Ernie's story illustrates the realities of life for Inuit in the Canadian North during the last years in their camps on the land, a world that has now in large part been lost to history. His autobiography is unique in the perspective it offers and his original 1979 text is presented here with a foreword which provides new insights into Ernie's comments linking the old Inuit world with the new one in the modern Nunavut. Ernie's children reflect the cross-cultural bridging taught them by their parents and today contribute to the economic and community development of the North through a variety of roles, including leadership in the co-operative movement, land claim boards, business and government.

An Arctic Man not only tells about Inuit life as it was actually lived on the land but also illustrates how change, southern influences and the move into permanent communities impacted their society. This book offers a window onto the remarkable transition that occurred in the Canadian Eastern Arctic for much of the twentieth century with a frankness, insight and humour that was very much a part of Ernie Lyall's straightforward everyday style.
$19.95

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An Honest Woman
Content Territory: Indigenous Canadian
Format: Paperback

 An Honest Woman by Jonina Kirton confronts us with beauty and ugliness in the wholesome riot that is sex, love, and marriage. From the perspective of a mixed-race woman, Kirton engages with Simone de Beauvoir and Donald Trump to unravel the norms of femininity and sexuality that continue to adhere today.

Kirton recalls her own upbringing, during which she was told to find a good husband who would “make an honest woman” out of her. Exploring the lives of many women, including her mother, her contemporaries, and well-known sex-crime stories such as the case of Elisabeth Fritzl, Kirton mines the personal to loosen the grip of patriarchal and colonial impositions. 

An Honest Woman explores the many ways the female body is shaped by questions that have been too political to ask: What happens when a woman decides to take her sexuality into her own hands, dismissing cultural norms and the expectations of her parents? How is a young woman’s sexuality influenced when she is perceived as an “exotic” other? Can a woman reconnect with her Indigenous community by choosing Indigenous lovers? 

Daring and tender in their honesty and wisdom, these poems challenge the perception of women’s bodies as glamorous and marketable commodities and imagine an embodied female experience that accommodates the role of creativity and a nurturing relationship with the land.

Reviews
“Jonina Kirton is courageously honest about her life experiences as a female of Indigenous and immigrant ancestry. Many poems resonate deeply, as we identify with her personal quest to figure out who she is, and the unacceptable things done to her. Her raw honesty is unsettling and uncomfortable, because it can be our truth too. Her poems depict devaluation and dehumanization, grieving, lessons learned. Her poems offer important insights as to why there are thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women.” — Senator Lillian E. Dyck

“When writing from the voice of between, writer and reader have no place to hide. Assumptions and camouflage fall away. Murdered, missing, and violated women and girl voices have been silenced. The story lethally repeats. Kirton picks over how she was raised familially and culturally like a crime scene. Too, she affirms, ‘I have been here forever and I will rise again and again.’ Tough, eloquent, revelatory, these poems are the very ones we are desperately in need of.” — Betsy Warland, author of Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas

“I’m sure people have been looking at me strangely every time I gasp, but I can’t glance away from the page for even a second to notice. Some of the poems end sharply, with a punch; some deliberately leave me searching for the next line; others show the repetition of heartbreaking cycles of violence and oppression, but offer a portrayal of resilience, too.” — All Lit Up!

Educator Information
This book would be useful for Women's Studies, Creative Writing, English Language Arts, Poetry, and English courses.  Recommended for grades 11-12 and university-college students.  

Please be advised, this book contains explicit sexual references and references to sexual and physical abuse.

Additional Information
104 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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An Illustrated History of Canada's Native People
Authors:
Arthur Ray
Format: Paperback

Canada’s Native people have inhabited this land since the Ice Age and were already accomplished traders, artisans, farmers and marine hunters when Europeans first reached their shores. Contact between Natives and European explorers and settlers initially presented an unprecedented period of growth and opportunity. But the two vastly different cultures soon clashed. Arthur J. Ray charts the history of Canada’s Native people from first contact to current land claims. The result is a fascinating chronicle that spans 12,000 years and culminates in the headlines of today.

$49.95

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