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BC Core Competencies

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The core competencies along with literacy and numeracy foundations and essential content and concepts are at the centre of the redesign of curriculum and assessment. Core competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to develop in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning. Through provincial consultation, three core competencies were identified.

In response to the BC Core Competencies we have matched some of our best titles to each competency. Please feel free to download a pdf copy for a list of all titles or peruse the selections in the categorized list here on our site.

Click here to download a pdf of: Connecting Core Competencies to Aboriginal Titles - updated

If you would like to add to our list please send us an e-mail with your selections.

I Help/Niwechihaw
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

Written and illustrated by members of the Tahltan and Cree nations, this sweet, simple story looks at a very special relationship. A young boy goes for a walk with his kohkom, or grandmother, listening, picking, praying, eating . . . just as she does. In doing so, he begins to learn the rich cultural traditions and values of his Cree heritage.

Caitlin Dale Nicholson’s acrylic-on-canvas illustrations portray the close relationship between the boy and his grandmother and the natural beauty of the bush. Her text has been translated into Cree by Leona Morin-Neilson, who was also the inspiration for the story.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 4-7

Delivered in a dual-language format of Cree (y-dialect) and English. 

Recommended for Grades K-1 for the following subject areas: English Language Arts, Indigenous Language Studies, Social Studies, Science and Nature, Visual Arts.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.50" x 12.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

Quantity:
I Like Who I Am
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

Celina is a young Mohawk girl who moves to her mother's home reserve. She is teased by her classmates who tell her that she is not Mohawk and does not belong because she has blond hair and blue eyes. Celina starts to believe her classmates and decides not to dance at an upcoming Pow Wow. But her great-grandmother helps Celina understand that being Mohawk is not about how she looks but about what she feels in her heart. When the drumming starts at the Pow Wow, Celina decides to dance after all. A beautifully illustrated story, I Like Who I Am explores issues of bullying and belonging as Celina looks for acceptance in her new community.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 6-11

Additional Information
44 pages | 8.00" x 9.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

Quantity:
I'm In Charge Of Celebrations
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4;

From the highly acclaimed team of Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall comes the story of a girl who shares her love for desert life as she tells of treasured experiences like dancing in the wind on Dust Devil Day or sleeping outside on a hot summer night during The Time of the Falling Stars. Baylor's radiant prose-poem and Parnall's exquisite illustrations combine to create a joyous celebration of the human spirit.

Reviews
"With a text by Byrd Baylor and pictures by Peter Parnall, this delightful book will inspire you to create your own holidays. "Last year I gave myself one hundred and eight celebrations — besides the ones that they close school for," announces a young girl. She lives in the desert and just laughs when people suggest that she might get lonely. How could she get lonely when there are so many things around her that catch her attention and fill her with wonder?" - Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality Practice

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 10.00"

$9.99

Quantity:
Lessons From Mother Earth
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

This gentle story demonstrates the First Nations' tradition of taking care of Mother Earth.

Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really being aware of the garden. But today when they step out the door, Tess learns that all of nature can be a garden. And if you take care of the plants that are growing, if you learn about them - understanding when they flower, when they give fruit, and when to leave them alone - you will always find something to nourish you. 

At the end of the day, Tess is grateful to Mother Earth for having such a lovely garden, and she is thankful for having such a wise grandma.

Elaine McLeod's poetic text and Colleen Wood's gentle watercolors combine to make Lessons from Mother Earth a celebration of nature and life.

Educator Information
Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, Science and Nature.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.80" x 8.80"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

Quantity:
Little Bear's Vision Quest
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4;

A full-colour storybook that teaches respect for others. The paintings were done by Joe Silvey (Salish). The book deals with name calling, initially showing the main character, Little Bear, as selfish and inconsiderate of other's feelings. The book is a modern First Nations legend applying the traditional method of using stories as a teaching tool. Little Bear learns to value the traditions of his ancestors and through the daily ritual of cleansing himself becomes in tune with nature. The book can be used by teachers, parents and other caring adults to teach children the value of respect. Discussion questions are included for parents and teachers.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 1-4.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

Quantity:
Raven And Eagle
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Salish; Coast Salish;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

Raven learns a powerful lesson from his friend, Eagle. Learn and understand from others, but most importantly, be yourself!

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

Quantity:
Relatives With Roots
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

Relatives With Roots: A Story About Métis Women’s Connection to the Land is a heartfelt story about a Métis grandmother who takes her granddaughter out into the bush to teach her how to pick traditional medicines. As the granddaughter learns the traditional beliefs and stories about how the Métis people use the plants for food and medicine, she feels happy to be a Métis child with access to such wonderful cultural knowledge. This charming and vibrant book introduces young readers to key concepts in the traditional Métis worldview while focusing on the special relationship between a young Métis girl and her grandmother. Relatives With Roots is the second in a series of children’s books relating to traditional Métis values by Leah Marie Dorion. The first book, The Giving Tree: A Retelling of a Traditional Métis Story, was nominated in 2010 for a Willow Award in the Shining Willow category.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

Quantity:
Secret of the Dance
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

"Many years ago, when the world and I were younger, my family defied the government."
A boy will never forget witnessing a forbidden Potlatch.
In 1935, a nine-year-old boy's family held a forbidden Potlatch in faraway Kingcome Inlet. Watl'kina slipped from his bed to bear witness. In the Big House masked figures danced by firelight to the beat of the drum. And there, he saw a figure he knew. Aboriginal elder Alfred Scow and award-winning author Andrea Spalding collaborate to tell the story, to tell the secret of the dance.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$10.95

Quantity:
Shannen and the Dream for a School
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

In 2012-2013 Shannen and the Dream for a School was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

All children have the right to a school.

This is the true story of Shannen Koostachin and the people of Attawapiskat, a Cree community in Northern Ontario, who have been fighting for a new school since 1979, when a fuel spill contaminated their original school building.

It is 2008, and thirteen-year-old Shannen and the other students at J.R. Nakogee Elementary are tired of attending class in portables that smell and don’t keep out the freezing cold winter air. They make a YouTube video describing the poor conditions, and their plea for a decent school gains them attention and support from community leaders and children across the country. Inspired, the students decide to turn their grade-eight class trip into a visit to Ottawa, to speak to the Canadian government. Once there, Shannen speaks passionately to the politicians about the need to give Native children the opportunity to succeed. The following summer, Shannen is nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Her passion and that of the other students makes politicians stand up and take notice, and becomes a rallying point for the community and for the country.

Shannen will never see her dream fulfilled. Tragically, she was killed in a car crash in 2010. Her family, friends, and supporters are continuing to fight and to honor her memory as they work for equality for children in communities everywhere.

Authenticity Note: This book has received the Authentic Indigenous Text label as it is written by Janet Wilson with the participation and support of members of the Attawapiskat community.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$14.95

Quantity:
Shi-shi-etko
Artists:
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10;

In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school.

She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world -- the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping.

Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss -- a loss that native people have endured for generations because of the residential schools system.

This gentle story of a child on the verge of great loss was selected as the Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year.

Awards

  • Winner of the Anskohk Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award. 

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 2-10.

Curriculum Connections: Indigenous Studies, Visual Arts, Science, Health.

Recommended Authentic First Peoples resource K-9.

This illustrated children's story is recommended for English First Peoples Grades 10 for units pertaining to childhood through Indigenous writers' eyes and the exploration of residential schools and reconciliation through children's literature.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 8.13" 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

Quantity:
Strong Stories Coast Salish: Taking Care of Our Mother Earth
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

In this Coast Salish story, it is explained how each family played a traditional role in taking care of our Mother Earth. From controlled burning to ethical hunting and fishing practices, the Coast Salish people were, and still are, taught by their elders to respect Mother Earth.

Educator & Series Information
Taking Care of Our Mother Earth is part of the Strong Stories: Coast Salish series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Available as an iBook
$8.50

Quantity:
Strong Stories Coast Salish: Taking Care of Our Mother Earth 6-Pack
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

In this Coast Salish story, it is explained how each family played a traditional role in taking care of our Mother Earth. From controlled burning to ethical hunting and fishing practices, the Coast Salish people were, and still are, taught by their elders to respect Mother Earth.

Educator Information
This is a 6-Pack Bundle, which contains 6 copies of Taking Care of Our Mother Earth.

Taking Care of Our Mother Earth is part of the Strong Stories: Coast Salish series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$51.00

Quantity:
Strong Stories Kanyen’keha:ka: The Game
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

The animals and the birds are getting ready for a game of lacrosse. Bat would love to play but neither team wants him because he is different than them. This Kanyen'kehà:ka (Gan-yeh-ga-ha-ga) story is about how we all have a special talent that we must respect in others. The book also includes information about lacrosse. The Kanyen'kehà:ka is one of Six Nations that together are the Haudenosaunee.

Educator & Series Information
The Game is part of the Strong Stories: Kanyen’kehà:ka series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
Available as an iBook
$8.50

Quantity:
Strong Stories Kanyen’keha:ka: The Game 6-Pack
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

The animals and the birds are getting ready for a game of lacrosse. Bat would love to play but neither team wants him because he is different than them. This Kanyen'kehà:ka (Gan-yeh-ga-ha-ga) story is about how we all have a special talent that we must respect in others. The book also includes information about lacrosse. The Kanyen'kehà:ka is one of Six Nations that together are the Haudenosaunee.

Educator Information
This is a 6-Pack Bundle, which contains 6 copies of The Game.

The Game is part of the Strong Stories: Kanyen’kehà:ka series. Strong Stories focus on different First Nation territories from across Canada and the United States. These stories reflect the belief that our stories are the roots of our people, our lands and our cultures. It is from our stories that we grow and become strong and proud.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$51.00

Quantity:
The Giving Tree: A Retelling of a Traditional Metis Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3;

This charming story, richly steeped in Metis culture, focuses on the boyhood reminisces of Moushoom as her describes finding the "great giving tree" with his mother and father. The story emphasizes the Metis core values and beliefs including strength, kindness, courage, tolerance, honesty, respect, love, sharing, caring, balance, patience, and most of all, the important connection with the creator and Mother Earth.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

Quantity:
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