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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.

7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

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
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

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.

Reviews
"This collection of poetry is a passionate snapshot of poignant aspects of life on the rez depicted in simple scenes that are propelled forward with a sparse economy of language. It is little wonder that Groulx has won awards for his poetry and it has appeared globally in over one hundred periodicals." - Canadian Literature

 

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$17.00

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A Feast for All Seasons: Traditional Native Peoples' Cuisine
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

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.

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$24.95

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A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System
Authors:
John S. Milloy
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

“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.

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$26.95

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A Night for the Lady
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

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.

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$15.95

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A Story as Sharp as a Knife
Authors:
Robert Bringhurst
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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.

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$24.95

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An Arctic Man: The classic account of sixty-five years in Canada's North
Authors:
Ernie Lyall
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

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.

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$19.95

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An Illustrated History of Canada's Native People
Authors:
Arthur Ray
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

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.

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$39.95

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Arctic Thunder
Authors:
Robert Feagan
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10;

Mike Watson''s team has just won the Alberta Bantam Provincial box lacrosse championships. The euphoria of victory and plans for next season are short-lived when Mike''s father, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is transferred to Inuvik, Northwest Territories.

The transition to life inside the Arctic Circle is a tough one. With temperatures of -30 Celsius, a hulking monster named Joseph Kiktorak threatening him at every turn, and not a lacrosse ball in site, Mike''s resentment at moving north escalates.

As his friendships with local youth develop, Mike is introduced to the amazing spectacle and athleticism of traditional "Arctic Sports." When his father witnesses the natural talent of Mike''s new friends, the idea of an Inuvik lacrosse team is born! With hearts full of desire, the motley group of athletes heads south to participate in the Baggataway Lacrosse Tournament, and to face Mike''s former team, The Rams.

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$12.99

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As Long As the Rivers Flow (PB)
Artists:
Heather D. Holmlund
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

In the 1800s, the education of First Nations children was taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures. 

As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl and watches his grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting and gathering trip.

Awards

  • In 2006, As Long As the Rivers Flow was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.
  • Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction 

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 7 to 11. 

Curriculum Connections: Indigenous Studies, Social Studies, Science and Nature

Additional Information
48 pages | 7.25" x 10.25"

 

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$12.95

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Bear Bones & Feathers
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In this powerful book of poetry, First Nations Cree writer Louise Bernice Halfe sets out to heal the past.

Employing Native spiritualism, black comedy and the memories of her own childhood as healing arts, she finds an irrepressible source of strength and dignity in her people. Bear Bones and Feathers is rooted in Louise Bernice Halfe's own life. She offers moving portraits of her grandmother (a medicine woman whose life straddled old and new worlds), her parents (both trapped in a cycle of jealousy and abuse), and the people whose pain she witnessed on the reserve and at residential school.

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$12.95

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Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School
Authors:
Agnes Jack
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Behind Closed Doors features written testimonials from 32 individuals who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The school was one of many infamous residential schools that operated from 1893 to 1979. The storytellers remember and share with us their stolen time at the school; many stories are told through courageous tears.

$26.95

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Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe
Editors:
Martine J. Reid
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;

Northwest Coast peoples were maritime engineers who mastered the art of building dugout canoes from gigantic red cedars, using only tools made from bone, stone, and wood. Ubiquitous, these elegant craft were used for everyday and ceremonial purposes, for fishing, hunting and trading, for feasting and potlatching, and in warfare—they were the keys that unlocked the treasure chest of the North Pacific.

Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe tells the story of the Northwest Canoe from its zenith in pre-contact times, through its decline in the late nineteenth century, to its revival in Lootaas (Wave Eater) which Bill Reid built for Expo '86, to its culmination with the Tribal Canoe Journeys of the twenty-first century and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii sculptures. Bill Reid expressed awe for the traditional Haida canoe and what it represents visually, symbolically, and culturally. In his words, "Western art starts with the figure—West Coast Indian art starts with the canoe."

The successive journeys of Lootaas were significant stages in Bill Reid's work, which culminated with the iconic sculpture The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, a monumental bronze canoe filled to overflowing with creatures of Haida mythology (currently featured on the Canadian twenty-dollar bill). As a final creative act Bill Reid requested that, at the end of his life, his ashes be transported in Lootaas paddled by a crew of his Haida friends and relatives to Tanu, his grandmother's village in Gwaii Haanas.

The story is told through writings and artworks by Bill Reid, vivid photographs by Phillip Hersee, Ulli Steltzer, Robert Semeniuk and others, texts by James Raffan, Martine J. Reid, and Mike Robinson and first-hand accounts by First Nations paddlers.

Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe is a companion book to the Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe exhibition mounted by the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and touring to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario.

Authenticity Note: Because of this work's contributions of writings and artworks from Bill Reid and other First Nations peoples on Indigenous topics, it has received the Authentic Indigenous Text and Authentic Indigenous Artwork labels.

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$29.95

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Blue Marrow
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

This moving tribute to Native female strength, nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry is available again in a rewritten, re-edited and redesigned edition. The beautifully designed cover depicts the author's 4 grandmothers dancing among the Northern lights.

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$16.95

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Born With a Tooth
Authors:
Joseph Boyden
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11;

Almost a decade after its original publication, award winner and Governor General Literary Award nominee Joseph Boyden's classic book of short stories is finally being reissued. Born With A Tooth, Boyden's debut work of fiction, is a collection of thirteen beautifully written stories about aboriginal life in Ontario. They are stories of love, unexpected triumph, and a passionate belief in dreams. They are also stories of anger and longing, of struggling to adapt, of searching but remaining unfulfilled. The collection includes 'Bearwalker', a story that introduces a character who appears again in Boyden's novel Three Day Road. By taking on a new voice in each story, Joseph Boyden explores aboriginal stereotypes and traditions in a most unexpected way. Whether told by a woman trying to forget her past or by a drunken man trying to preserve his culture, each story paints an unforgettable and varied image of modern aboriginal culture in Ontario. An extraordinary first book, Born With A Tooth reveals why Joseph Boyden is a writer worth reading.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 10-11

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$22.00

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