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Residential School/Project of Heart

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To deepen and support your understanding of what the Indian Residential School experience was and its impact on Canada please download this document, They Came For the Children:

Click here: They Came For the Children

Project of Heart” is an inquiry based, hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational, artistic journey of seeking truth about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada. Its purpose is to:

Examine the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and to seek the truth about that history, leading to the acknowledgement of the extent of loss to former students, their families and communities

Commemorate the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the residential school experience.

Call Canadians to action, through social justice endeavors, to change our present and future history collectively

Click here to visit the website: Project Of Heart

Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Vol. 1 Summary
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

This is the Final Report of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its six-year investigation of the residential school system for Aboriginal youth and the legacy of these schools. This report, the summary volume, includes the history of residential schools, the legacy of that school system, and the full text of the Commission's 94 recommendations for action to address that legacy.

This report lays bare a part of Canada's history that until recently was little-known to most non-Aboriginal Canadians. The Commission discusses the logic of the colonization of Canada's territories, and why and how policy and practice developed to end the existence of distinct societies of Aboriginal peoples.

Using brief excerpts from the powerful testimony heard from Survivors, this report documents the residential school system which forced children into institutions where they were forbidden to speak their language, required to discard their clothing in favour of institutional wear, given inadequate food, housed in inferior and fire-prone buildings, required to work when they should have been studying, and subjected to emotional, psychological and often physical abuse. In this setting, cruel punishments were all too common, as was sexual abuse.

More than 30,000 Survivors have been compensated financially by the Government of Canada for their experiences in residential schools, but the legacy of this experience is ongoing today. This report explains the links to high rates of Aboriginal children being taken from their families, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and high rates of suicide. The report documents the drastic decline in the presence of Aboriginal languages, even as Survivors and others work to maintain their distinctive cultures, traditions, and governance.

The report offers 94 calls to action on the part of governments, churches, public institutions and non-Aboriginal Canadians as a path to meaningful reconciliation of Canada today with Aboriginal citizens. Even though the historical experience of residential schools constituted an act of cultural genocide by Canadian government authorities, the United Nation's declaration of the rights of aboriginal peoples and the specific recommendations of the Commission offer a path to move from apology for these events to true reconciliation that can be embraced by all Canadians.

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$27.95

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First Nations 101
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

First Nations 101 is an easy to read primer that provides readers with a broad overview of the diverse and complex lives of First Nations people. It is packed with more than 70 subjects including veterans, youth, urbanization, child welfare, appropriate questions to ask a First Nations person, feminism, the medicine wheel, Two-spirit (LGBTQ), residential schools, the land bridge theory, and language preservation. Author Lynda Gray endeavors to leave readers with a better understanding of the shared history of First Nations and non-First Nations people, and ultimately calls upon all of us - individuals, communities, and governments - to play active roles in bringing about true reconciliation between First Nations and non-First Nations people.

288 pages

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$20.00

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Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Australian;

This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. Settlement life was unbearable with its chains and padlocks, barred windows, hard cold beds, and horrible food. Solitary confinement was doled out as regular punishment. The girls were not even allowed to speak their language. Of all the journeys made since white people set foot on Australian soil, the journey made by these girls born of Aboriginal mothers and white fathers speaks something to everyone.

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 English First Peoples Resource.

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160 pages | 5.00" x 7.75"

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$19.95

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From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In this poetic, poignant memoir, Dene artist and social activist Antoine Mountain paints an unforgettable picture of his journey from residential school to art school—and his path to healing.

In 1949, Antoine Mountain was born on the land near Radelie Koe, Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. At the tender age of seven, he was stolen away from his home and sent to a residential school—run by the Roman Catholic Church in collusion with the Government of Canada—three hundred kilometres away. Over the next twelve years, the three residential schools Mountain was forced to attend systematically worked to erase his language and culture, the very roots of his identity.

While reconnecting to that which had been taken from him, he had a disturbing and painful revelation of the bitter depths of colonialism and its legacy of cultural genocide. Canada has its own holocaust, Mountain argues.

As a celebrated artist and social activist today, Mountain shares this moving, personal story of healing and the reclamation of his Dene identity.

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272 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$30.00

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From Lishamie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

With astonishing detail, Albert Canadien fondly recounts his boyhood years in Lishamie, a traditional Dene camp north of the Mackenzie River, and reflects on the devastating and long-lasting impact residential schooling had on him, his family and his people. Separated at a young age from his parents and forced to attend a strict Catholic boarding school, the author, and many like him, was robbed of his language, community and traditional way of living. From Lishamie is a candid memoir of loss and of the journey back.

Reviews
"From Lishamie focuses on the loss of language, culture, exposure to the land, and brings a stark contrast of life pre- and post-residential schools. This rich and lasting book portrays the fullness of life on the land, the seasons, travelling with the food sources, and community." - Joyce Atcheson

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284 pages | 5.50" x 8.49"

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$22.95

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From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;

From the Heart - How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation

Over the summer of 2013, a group of over one hundred community members from 16 to 88 years old took part in an unconventional theatre production in Victoria BC. From the Heart: enter into the journey of reconciliation was performed in a beautiful 14,000 sq. ft. indoor labyrinth made from salvaged doors and windows, trees, and hundreds of metres of fabric, all lit by paper lantern lights. In the alcoves and chambers of the labyrinth, the audience encountered songs, scenes, and shadow theatre performances created by our ensemble of non-Indigenous Canadians to tell the transformative stories that have deepened our understanding about the lived experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We created the show to encourage dialogue about what it might mean for non-Indigenous people to take responsibility for learning more about our own history as a first step toward standing in solidarity with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people.

This book tells the story of how the show was developed and what it was like in performance. For those with an interest in reconciliation, From the Heart offers a gripping example of how theatre can contribute to public dialogue in a creative and vital way. Community groups will be able to use the book as a model to create their own unique production of From the Heart based on the pilot project.

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$24.00

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Good For Nothing
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his Metis reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he's a good-for-nothing who, like all Indians, can look forward to a life of drunkenness, prison and despair. 

The reserve, however, offers nothing to Nipishish. He feels even more isolated here. He remembers little of his late mother and father. In fact, he seems to know less about himself than the people at the band office. He must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father's death.

Adolescents will find inspiration in his courage to reclaim his identity and claim his rightful place on the reserve. The book also provides great insight into the roots of many ongoing Indigenous issues.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Curriculum Connections: Indigenous Studies, History, Geography, Social Sciences, English

Additional Information
256 pages | 4.25" x 7.00" | Written by Michel Noel. Translated by Shelley Tanaka.

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$14.95

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Goodbye Buffalo Bay
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

Drama and humour combine in Goodbye Buffalo Bay by award-winning Cree author Larry Loyie. The sequel to the award-winning book As Long as the Rivers Flow. Goodbye Buffalo Bay is set during the author's teenaged years. In his last year in residential school, Lawrence learns the power of friendship and finds the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He returns home to find the traditional First Nations life he loved is over. He feels like a stranger to his family until his grandfather's gentle guidance helps him find his way. New adventures arise; Lawrence fights a terrifying forest fire, makes his first non-Native friends, stands up for himself in the harsh conditions of a sawmill, meets his first sweetheart and fulfills his dream of living in the mountains. Wearing new ice skates bought with his hard-won wages, Lawrence discovers a sense of freedom and self-esteem. Goodbye Buffalo Bay explores the themes of self-discovery, the importance of friendship, the difference between anger and assertiveness and the realization of youthful dreams.

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160 pages | 4.90" x 7.36"

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$16.95

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Inconvenient Skin / nayêhtâwan wasakay
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Inconvenient Skin challenges how reconciliation has become a contested buzzword filled with promises and good intentions but rarely any meaningful follow-through. While Canada's history is filled with darkness, these poems aim to unpack that history to clean the wounds so the nation can finally heal. Powerful and thought-provoking, this collection will draw you in and make you reconsider Canada's colonial legacy. The cover features the art of Kent Monkman, and the interior features work by Joseph Sanchez, a member of the Indian Group of Seven.

Written in English and Cree.

Educator Information
This collection of poems features Shane Koyczan's well-known poem, "Inconvenient Skin," delivered in a dual-language format of English and Cree and paired with illustrations, artwork, and photography.

Additional Information
80 pages | 8.50" x 8.50" | Colour Illustrations

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Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$29.95

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Information
392 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$29.95

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Indian Horse (Special Edition)
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. His last binge almost killed him, and now he’s a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, surrounded by people he’s sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly comes to see that he’ll find it only through telling his story. With him, readers embark on a journey back through the life he’s led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows. 

With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he’s sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement. Indian Horse unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Literature
  • 2013 First Nation Communities Read Award

Reviews
"Richard Wagamese is a master storyteller, who blends the throb of life with spiritual links to the land, hard work, and culture to find success, his words take you into the soul of Indian Horse, to experience his pain, his growing resentments, his depression, and his fear which has to be faced if he is to regain the joy of life. This book is meant for youth, adults, and elders, to be shared, to be lived, and to be treasured for the clear message of hope and the need to go the distance." — Wawatay News

“…The hockey chapters are compelling; they evoke Sherman Alexie’s fiction that examines contemporary life on American Indian reservations through the lens of basketball. But it is as a story of reconciliation that this novel reveals Wagamese’s masterful subtly…In a single image, Wagamese complicates in blinding ways the entire narrative; in a single page, Indian Horse deepens from an enjoyable read to a gripping critique of Canada.” — Kyle Carsten Wyatt, The Walrus, 2012

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples resource for units on Lost People, Reconciliation, and Place-Conscious Learning.

Additional Information
232 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

This special edition of Richard Wagamese’s novel Indian Horse has been released to coincide with the release of the film Indian Horse in the spring of 2018.

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$21.95

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Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; Inuit; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Indigenous perspectives much older than the nation itself shared through maps, artwork, history and culture.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in partnership with Canada's national Indigenous organizations, has created a groundbreaking four-volume atlas that shares the experiences, perspectives, and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It's an ambitious and unprecedented project inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Exploring themes of language, demographics, economy, environment and culture, with in-depth coverage of treaties and residential schools, these are stories of Canada's Indigenous Peoples, told in detailed maps and rich narratives.

This extraordinary project offers Canada a step on the path toward understanding.

The volumes contain more than 48 pages of reference maps, content from more than 50 Indigenous writers; hundreds of historical and contemporary photographs and a glossary of Indigenous terms, timelines, map of Indigenous languages, and frequently asked questions. All packaged together in a beautifully designed protective slipcase.

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 13+.

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada includes a four volume print atlas, an online atlas, an app, and more!

Additional Information
322 pages | 10.50" x 12.87"

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$83.00

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Island Kids
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

This is a history of British Columbia's island children, told in their voices, from their perspectives. Composed of twenty-two stories, Island Kids is a snapshot of a period and place in time. The topics range from quintessentially coastal experiences, like a day at the beach, to stories that deal with serious issues, such as BC's history of residential schools, but they all remain true to the experience of the children telling the story. At the end of each chapter is a section called "What do we know for sure?" that gives the reader greater depth and context. The stories are written in a dynamic and authentic voice and are aimed at readers aged eight to twelve.

Unlike history that has either been fictionalized or told from an adult's perspective, the Courageous Kids series brings history to kids in their own words. Truly original, Kidmonton, Rocky Mountain Kids, and Island Kids strive to communicate the events and emotions of kids.

Reviews
"Saracuse’s 22 stories, all based (to some degree) on factual accounts, give a sweeping, historical look at young people’s experiences on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands – from First Nations life in pre-contact days to the adventures of contemporary children circumnavigating the island in tall ship. Saracuse is careful to represent diversity: the “courageous kids” include an early black settler on Saltspring Island, a Japanese girl whose family is forciby evicted from their farm during the Second World War, and some contemporary Filipino immigrant boys experiencing their first snow. The subjects of the stories also vary, from risky adventures – like a three-day journey in small canoes across the Georgia Strait in 1858, or young Joe Garner being chased by a cougar – to less dramatic modern-day memories of summer childhood pleasures at the beach in Parksville." - Quill & Quire 

Additional Information
240 pages | 5.50" x 7.50"

Please Note: This book is listed as containing Indigenous content; however, not all the stories in this work are Indigenous.

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$12.95

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Information
300 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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

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$39.95

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Kiss of the Fur Queen
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Born into a magical Cree world in snowy northern Manitoba, Champion and Ooneemeetoo Okimasis are all too soon torn from their family and thrust into the hostile world of a Catholic residential school. Their language is forbidden, their names are changed to Jeremiah and Gabriel, and both boys are abused by priests.

As young men, estranged from their own people and alienated from the culture imposed upon them, the Okimasis brothers fight to survive. Wherever they go, the Fur Queen--a wily, shape-shifting trickster--watches over them with a protective eye. For Jeremiah and Gabriel are destined to be artists. Through music and dance they soar.

Educator Information
Grade 11/12 English First Peoples resource for the unit Further Steps toward Reconciliation - Understanding Residential Schools through Text.

Note: This novel contains mature and challenging material (profanity, coarse language, depictions of sex, sexual abuse, violence, etc.). 

Additional Information
320 pages | 5.20" x 8.00"

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$22.00

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