First Nation Communities Read

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First Nation Communities Read is an annual reading program launched in 2003 by the First Nations public library community in Ontario. First Nation Communities Read selected and other recommended titles:

- encourage family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;

- are written and/or illustrated by, or otherwise involve the participation of a First Nation, Métis, or Inuit creator;

- contain First Nation, Métis, or Inuit content produced with the support of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit advisers/consultants or First Nation, Métis, or Inuit endorsement.

To view the children's and young adult selections, visit:

First Nation Communities Read - Children's Selections

First Nation Communities Read - Young Adult Selections


#NotYourPrincess
Content Territory: Various
Format: Paperback
Native women demand to be heard in this stunning anthology.
Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous girls and women across North America resound in this book. In the same visual style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, intergenerational trauma, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women demanding change and realizing their dreams. Sometimes outraged, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have had their history hidden and whose modern lives have been virtually invisible.

Themes
First Nations; Native Peoples; Indigenous; girls and women; biography; multicultural; stereotyping; acceptance; community; prejudice; self-esteem; tolerance

Interest Age 14+
Grade 9+
8.5 x 11
112 Pages
$14.95

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A Girl Called Echo, Vol 1: Pemmican Wars
Authors:
Katherena Vermette
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Content Territory: Métis
Format: Paperback
Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee’s lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie—and back again to the present. In the following weeks, Echo slips back and forth in time. She visits a Métis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican Wars.

Pemmican Wars is the first graphic novel in a new series, A Girl Called Echo, by Governor General Award–winning writer, and author of The Seven Teaching Stories, Katherena Vermette.
Authentic Canadian Content
$18.95

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A Moon Made of Copper
Content Territory: First Nations, Indigenous Canadian
Format: Paperback

A moon made of Copper is a collection of non-fiction poems that look at the continual maturing and growth of a human being.

The poems were written while touring across Canada, and they capture Bose’s experiences meeting people, wandering different cities, and getting into adventures and mis-adventures. This is Bose’s second book since Stone the Crow.

Bose reveals "what it takes as a First Nations person to survive the unrelenting human conditions of Aboriginals in this country. His poetic expression untangles the pain, loss, and recovery expressed bodly through this volume of poetry. To read this, is to know that journey." Garry Gottfriedson.

$16.00

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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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As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Novel
Format: Paperback

From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.

The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school. She doesn't speak English but is punished for speaking her native language; most terrifying and bewildering, she is also "fed" to the school's attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.

Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue. The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children's Aid to Toronto. In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award - Third Place Winner
$19.95

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Bearskin Diary
Authors:
Carol Daniels
Format: Paperback
In 2017-2018, Bearskin Diary was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

Raw and honest, Bearskin Diary gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced, at a time when movements like Idle No More call for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Carol Daniels adds an important perspective to the Canadian literary landscape.

Taken from the arms of her mother as soon as she was born, Sandy was only one of over twenty thousand Aboriginal children scooped up by the federal government between the 1960s and 1980s. Sandy was adopted by a Ukrainian family and grew up as the only First Nations child in a town of white people. Ostracized by everyone around her and tired of being different, at the early age of five she tried to scrub the brown off her skin. But she was never sent back into the foster system, and for that she considers herself lucky.

From this tragic period in her personal life and in Canadian history, Sandy does not emerge unscathed, but she emerges strong--finding her way by embracing the First Nations culture that the Sixties Scoop had tried to deny. Those very roots allow Sandy to overcome the discriminations that she suffers every day from her co-workers, from strangers and sometimes even from herself.
$21.95

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Burning in this Midnight Dream
Authors:
Louise Bernice Halfe
Content Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback
Burning in the Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded.

In heart-wrenching detail, Halfe recalls the damage done to her parents, her family, herself. With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures.

Halfe's poetic voice soars in this incredibly moving collection as she digs deep to discover the root of her pain. Her images, created from the natural world, reveal the spiritual strength of her culture.
$16.95

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Celia's Song
Content Territory: Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka)
Format: Paperback
Mink is a witness, a shape shifter, compelled to follow the story that has ensnared Celia and her village, on the West coast of Vancouver Island in Nu:Chahlnuth territory. Celia is a seer who - despite being convinced she's a little "off" - must heal her village with the assistance of her sister, her mother and father, and her nephews. While mink is visiting, a double-headed sea serpent falls off the house front during a fierce storm. The old snake, ostracized from the village decades earlier, has left his terrible influence on Amos, a residential school survivor. The occurrence signals the unfolding of an ordeal that pulls Celia out of her reveries and into the tragedy of her cousin's granddaughter. Each one of Celia's family becomes involved in creating a greater solution than merely attending to her cousin's granddaughter. Celia's Song relates one Nu:Chahlnuth family's harrowing experiences over several generations, after the brutality, interference, and neglect resulting from contact with Europeans.
$20.00

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Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers
Format: Hardcover
Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers, the sequel to the Seven Sacred Teachings, warns of voices we can expect to hear in our dreamtime – voices that do not represent the Sacred Teachings.
These are the voices of Seven Deceivers who are spoken of by name. The allure of their whisperings is carefully spelled out in order that all might come to know what to listen for.
Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers is a carefully woven telling of how and why Creator sent Trickster to Turtle Island with a gift that would help us see the light and resist temptation.
At a time before distant religions and churches came with their teachings, their commandments and their seven cardinal sins, we knew. We knew the way of the Good Red Road.
We knew the right way to live; not through commandments but through Sacred Teachings – Teachings that were given to us long before their arrival. And we knew we would be tested by Seven Deceivers – what they called seven cardinal sins.
We knew because we had been forewarned.
And when these distant churches arrived with their teachings, their relics and their symbols, we had our own. One was the Dreamcatcher.
$21.95

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Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Content Territory: Various
Format: Hardcover
A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today.

Truly universal in its themes, Dreaming In Indian will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. Divided into four sections, ‘Roots,’ ‘Battles,’ ‘Medicines,’ and ‘Dreamcatchers,’ this book offers readers a unique insight into a community often misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media.

Emerging and established Native artists, including acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, renowned visual artist Bunky Echo Hawk, and stand-up comedian Ryan McMahon, contribute thoughtful and heartfelt pieces on their experiences growing up Indigenous, expressing them through such mediums as art, food, the written word, sport, dance, and fashion. Renowned chef Aaron Bear Robe, for example, explains how he introduces restaurant customers to his culture by reinventing traditional dishes. And in a dramatic photo spread, model Ashley Callingbull and photographer Thosh Collins reappropriate the trend of wearing ‘Native’ clothing.

Whether addressing the effects of residential schools, calling out bullies through personal manifestos, or simply citing hopes for the future, Dreaming In Indian refuses to shy away from difficult topics. Insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully honest, this book will to appeal to young adult readers. An innovative and captivating design enhances each contribution and makes for a truly unique reading experience.
$19.95

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Halfling Spring: An Internet Romance
Format: Paperback
In Halfling Spring , a series of notes unfolds the dance of desire versus trust through a long season of actual and metaphorical springtime.

Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed blood mother of six, and in this collection she continues her explorations of love, intimacy, and family, with a focus on electronic connections (internet love). Transiting Canada from Victoria to Iqaluit, and transitioning from virtual to real (fantasy to reality), she inspects the realms of miscegenation and love in a class conscious and cross-cultural context, revealing en route the many ways that our deepest connections unveil the depths of old pain.

Optimistic and playful, romantic and mythic, affirming embodiment, this process of poetic revelation shows all the dirty tricks of love.
$16.00

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He Who Dreams
Authors:
Melanie Florence
Format: Paperback
Juggling soccer, school, friends and family leaves John with little time for anything else. But one day at the local community center, following the sound of drums, he stumbles into an Indigenous dance class. Before he knows what's happening, John finds himself stumbling through beginner classes with a bunch of little girls, skipping soccer practice and letting his other responsibilities slide. When he attends a pow wow and witnesses a powerful performance, he realizes that he wants to be a dancer more than anything. But the nearest class for boys is at the Native Cultural Center in the city, and he still hasn't told his family or friends about his new passion. If he wants to dance, he will have to stop hiding. Between the mocking of his teammates and the hostility of the boys in his dance class, John must find a way to balance and embrace both the Irish and Cree sides of his heritage.
$9.95

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I Want
Content Territory: Kwantlen
Format: Paperback

Joseph A. Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about twenty minutes east of Vancouver. He resides there with his three children Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace.

Joseph is the Heritage/Lands Officer for his people and has been performing his duties for 20 years now. He has been tasked with protecting his people’s heritage from the many destructive elements of development in the Kwantlen territory.

Joseph loves to fish. 
He loves to write plays. 
He loves to write books of poetry. 
He also loves to watch his 
daughter Danessa play soccer and hockey. 

Joseph is in love with and follows his rich culture. 
It is his and his family’s medicine 
and it carries them thru the winters 
and into the spring time 
when the fish start 
to come back into the river. 

Joseph loves to fish.

$19.95

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Indian Horse (Special Edition)
Authors:
Richard Wagamese (Ojibway)
Content Territory: Ojibway
Format: Paperback

In 2013-2014, Indian Horse was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

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

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.

Authentic Canadian Content
$21.95

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Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada
Authors:
Chelsea Vowel
Format: Paperback
In Indigenous Writes, Chelsea Vowel initiates myriad conversations about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. An advocate for Indigenous worldviews, the author discusses the fundamental issues—the terminology of relationships; culture and identity; myth-busting; state violence; and land, learning, law and treaties—along with wider social beliefs about these issues. She answers the questions that many people have on these topics to spark further conversations at home, in the classroom, and in the larger community.
$28.00

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