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Annie Muktuk and Other Stories
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

I woke up with Moses Henry’s boot holding open my jaw and my right eye was looking into his gun barrel. I heard the slow words, “Take. It. Back.” I know one thing about Moses Henry; he means business when he means business. I took it back and for the last eight months I have not uttered Annie Mukluk’s name.

In strolls Annie Mukluk in all her mukiness glory. Tonight she has gone traditional. Her long black hair is wrapped in intu’dlit braids. Only my mom still does that. She’s got mukluks, real mukluks on and she’s wearing the old-style caribou parka. It must be something her grandma gave her. No one makes that anymore. She’s got the faint black eyeliner showing off those brown eyes and to top off her face she’s put pretend face tattooing on. We all know it’ll wash out tomorrow. — from "Annie Muktuk"

When Sedna feels the urge, she reaches out from the Land of the Dead to where Kakoot waits in hospital to depart from the Land of the Living. What ensues is a struggle for life and death and identity. In “Kakoot” and throughout this audacious collection of short stories, Norma Dunning makes the interplay between contemporary realities and experiences and Inuit cosmology seem deceptively easy. The stories are raucous and funny and resonate with raw honesty. Each eye-opening narrative twist in Annie Muktuk and Other Stories challenges readers’ perceptions of who Inuit people are.

Awards

  • 2017-2018 Danuta Gleed Literary Award Winner
  • 2018 INDIEFAB Book of the Year (Short Stories)
  • 2018 Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Story

Reviews
"Dunning’s stories, nuanced and deeply felt, reach deep into the heart of what it means to be Inuit, into the sacred place where the songs of the north are still sung, visions are still seen, and the spirits still speak. From this place, it is possible to laugh at those who come to destroy. From this place, dignity is maintained and the connection to the turning of the seasons is unbroken. Together with grief for what has been lost, there is power and light in these stories." — Kristine Morris, Foreword Magazine, June 2017

"When I read the article, 'What inspired her was getting mad,' about the story behind Norma Dunning’s debut collection, Annie Mukluk and Other Stories, I was not surprised. Acts of justice and revenge factor throughout the book, propelling the stories so terrifically. Dunning wrote her stories in response to ethnographic representations of Inuit people that neglected to show them as actual people, and the result is a book that’s really extraordinary. Because her people are so real, people who laugh, and joke, and drink, and have sex (and they have a lot of sex)." — Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This, August 2017

"Although [Dunning] deals with serious contemporary realities for Inuit people, she manages to work in moments of humour that flesh out her characters, making them fully realized and complex.”— Matthew Stepanic, Where.ca, September 2017

"A successful short story takes us to unfamiliar places, and the 16 stories in this collection certainly fill that bill. It’s a journey deep into Inuit life, with tales of Inuk of all shapes, genders and ages. The title story is at turns funny, violent and cunning: Jimmy tries to convince best friend Moses to stay away from the glorious Annie Muktuk, an arnaluk (naughty woman, according to the glossary) who will cause him grief." — Sarah Murdoch, Toronto Star, November 2017

"This whole collection is fantastic, but the story with the bad trip is 'Husky', inspired by the life of trapper and HBC Factor "Husky" Harris whose visit to Winnipeg with his three Inuit wives, Tetuk, Alaq and Keenaq, is written about in history books. In the story, naturally, the group and their children make an impression at their hotel, and the racism of hotel staff leads to a fight that lands Husky in the hospital. The violence doesn't end there and the women are further victimized—but then they enact the most beautiful justice." — Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf, August 2017

"Inuk writer Norma Dunning’s debut collection passed under the radar of the big awards despite being the year’s best short fiction collection. The stories infuse Inuit myth with reality, explore the effects of colonialism, and delve into settler-writer portrayals of Inuit, all told with heart and humour that is infectious." — Michael Melgaard, National Post, December 2017

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198 pages | 5.25" x 9.00"

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As I Remember It
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

Taken from her Native birth mother as a baby. Removed from her adoptive parents’ home at 5 and caught shoplifting at 11. On the streets prostituting herself at 14. This is the stark childhood and adolescence of Tara Lee, the protagonist of As I Remember It. But she triumphs over rejection and abuse, thanks to her indomitable spirit and the efforts of a pair of unique foster parents.

Breakdowns in the fostering system make the headlines, but what is day-to-day life really like for foster children and teens? What struggles do they face, and what resources do they draw on? Why are kids in care more liable to get involved in crime?

As I Remember It yields first-person insight into these issues, but beyond that, it will draw you in with its unblinking portrait of a young girl who discovers that she possesses a core of strength equal to that of her storybook heroines.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award - Second Place Winner
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As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

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
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Bearskin Diary
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

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.

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Dr. Oronhyatekha: Security, Justice, and Equality
Format: Paperback

A man of two cultures in an era where his only choices were to be a trailblazer or get left by the wayside.

Dr. Oronhyatekha (“Burning Sky”), born in the Mohawk nation on the Six Nations of the Grand River territory in 1841, led an extraordinary life, rising to prominence in medicine, sports, politics, fraternalism, and business. He was one of the first Indigenous physicians in Canada, the first to attend Oxford University, a Grand River representative to the Prince of Wales during the 1860 royal tour, a Wimbledon rifle champion, the chairman of the Grand General Indian Council of Ontario, and Grand Templar of the International Order of Good Templars. He counted among his friends some of the most powerful people of the day, including John A. Macdonald and Theodore Roosevelt. He successfully challenged the racial criteria of the Independent Order of Foresters to become its first non-white member and ultimately its supreme chief ranger.

At a time when First Nations peoples struggled under assimilative government policy and society’s racial assumptions, his achievements were remarkable.

Oronhyatekha was raised among a people who espoused security, justice, and equality as their creed. He was also raised in a Victorian society guided by God, honour, and duty. He successfully interwove these messages throughout his life, and lived as a man of significant accomplishments in both worlds.

Awards
2016 Ontario Historical Society Joseph Brant Award winner
2017 Speaker's Book Award short-listed

Review
With their detailed biography of this giant of Canadian history, Jamieson and Hamilton have done an enormous favour both for aboriginals and non-aboriginals living on this piece of geography currently known as Canada.
Tworowtimes

Key Points
- A comprehensive biography of Dr. Oronhyatekha, Canada’s first Indigenous physician, and an influential First Nations statesman.
- Covers his friendships with Teddy Roosevelt and John A. Macdonald and his international business.
- He was the first non-White member of the Independent Order of Foresters (IOF), a fraternally organized life-insurance company, having successfully challenged the race criteria for membership.
- As CEO of the IOF, he transformed it from a near-bankrupt, legally embattled organization to a financially stable international company.
- Ahead of his time, Oronhyatekha attempted to broaden the mandate of the IOF so that women and French-Canadians could belong.
- Also details the political, social, and historical context of the Six Nations of the Grand River community in the mid-nineteenth century.

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368 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | b&w and colour illustrations | notes, index, bibliography

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Grey Eyes A Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In a world without time and steeped in ceremony and magic, walks a chosen few who hold an ancient power: the Grey Eyes. True stewards of the land, the Grey Eyes use their magic to maintain harmony and keep evil at bay. With only one elderly Grey-Eye left in the village of the Nehiyawak, the birth of a new Grey-Eyed boy promises a renewed line of defence against their only foe: the menacing Red-Eyes, whose name is rarely spoken but whose presence is ever felt. While the birth of the Grey-Eyed boy offers the clan much-needed protection, it also initiates a struggle for power that threatens to rip the clan apart, leaving them defenceless against the their sworn ememy. The responsibility of restoring balance and harmony, the only way to keep the Nehiyawak safe, is thrust upon a boy’s slender shoulders. What powers will he have, and can he protect the clan from the evil of the Red Eyes?

Awards

  • 2015 Burd Award - Second Place Winner
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Indian Horse (Special Edition)
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

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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Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts
Authors:
Margaret Kovach
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;

What are Indigenous research methodologies, and how do they unfold? Indigenous methodologies flow from tribal knowledge, and while they are allied with several western qualitative approaches, they remain distinct. These are the focal considerations of Margaret Kovach's study,which offers guidance to those conducting research in the academy using Indigenous methodologies.

Kovach includes topics such as Indigenous epistemologies, decolonizing theory, story as method, situating self and culture, Indigenous methods, protocol, meaning-making, and ethics. In exploring these elements, the book interweaves perspectives from six Indigenous researchers who share their stories, and also includes excerpts from the author's own journey into Indigenous methodologies. Indigenous Methodologies is an innovative and important contribution to the emergent discourse on Indigenous research approaches and will be of use to graduate students, professors, and community-based researchers of all backgrounds - both within the academy and beyond.

Awards

  • 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award for Scholarly Writing winner
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LaRose
Format: Paperback

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

Finalist for the 2017 PEN Faulkner Award

In this literary masterwork, Louise Erdrich, the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning The Round House and the Pulitzer Prize nominee The Plague of Doves wields her breathtaking narrative magic in an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he’s hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.

The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux’s five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux’s wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty’s mother, Nola. Horrified at what he’s done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition—the sweat lodge—for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. “Our son will be your son now,” they tell them.

LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Plagued by thoughts of suicide, Nola dotes on him, keeping her darkness at bay. His fierce, rebellious new “sister,” Maggie, welcomes him as a coconspirator who can ease her volatile mother’s terrifying moods. Gradually he’s allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Raviches’ own. As the years pass, LaRose becomes the linchpin linking the Irons and the Raviches, and eventually their mutual pain begins to heal.

But when a vengeful man with a long-standing grudge against Landreaux begins raising trouble, hurling accusations of a cover-up the day Dusty died, he threatens the tenuous peace that has kept these two fragile families whole.

Inspiring and affecting, LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of America’s most distinguished literary masters.

Paperback: 400 pages
Physical Dimensions: 5.31" x 8.00"

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Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology
Editors:
Hope Nicholson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. These stories range from a transgender woman undergoing an experimental transition process to young lovers separated through decades and meeting in their own far future. These are stories of machines and magic, love and self-love.

Artists and Stories
- Grace Dillon – A foreword about Indigenous LGBT sci-fi.
- Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair – A research essay on two-spirit history.
- Richard Van Camp – Aliens – a story about a new romantic relationship on a reserve, set against the backdrop of benevolent interspatial visitors.
- Cherie Dimaline – Legends are Made not Born – a story of the power of family, blood and made alike. Auntie Dave teaches a young boy about the responsibility and power of his two-spirit identity.
- David Robertson – Perfectly You – a story about young love and indecision – and time travel.
- Daniel Heath Justice – The Boys Who Became the Butterflies – a new traditional story about the beautiful people that make life worth living and inspire others to live their true selves.
- Darcie Little Badger – Né łe – an astronaut and the in-house vet face challenges as chihuahuas in outer space run amok.
- Gwen Benaway – Transitions – a young office worker tries an experimental new medication designed to fast-track transition.
- Mari Kurisato – Imposter Syndrome – A story set in the far future of transition and cyborgs.
- Nathan Adler – Valediction at the Star View Motel – A story about the literal magic of sudden physical attraction as a rockabilly girl with spider magic woos her crush.
- Cleo Keahna – Parallax – a poem on the perpetual journey of transition.
- Jeffrey Veregge – cover

Awards
- 2013 On the Same Page winner

Reviews
"I'd like every single person working in literature, as a writer, an editor, or a reviewer, to get a copy and see what Native voice is like." - Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature

Educator Information
Audience: Primarily published for adults, but recommended for ages 14 to adult.

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 8-12 for English Language Arts.

Note: Stories have romantic elements and deal with mature subjects and themes, such as sexual references. Includes teen characters. Reading levels vary across the collection.

Additional Information
120 pages | 6.35" x 8.91" | Edited by Hope Nicholson.

Authenticity Note: This anthology of Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi contains works from Indigenous contributors; therefore, it has received the Authentic Indigenous Text label.

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Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth is the emotional story of a woman’s struggle to acknowledge her birth family. Grace, a Native girl adopted by a White family, is asked by her birth sister to return to the Reserve for their mother’s funeral. Afraid of opening old wounds, Grace must find a place where the culture of her past can feed the truth of her present. Cast  of 2 women and 2 men.

Reviews
“…this play is a very tender, engaging look at two strangers learning to be sisters…witty one-liners and snappy dialogue has crafted likeable, real characters…brings a satisfying sense of closure to the struggles of Barb and Janice/Grace. It is a welcome ending, one that reflects hope for the future – not only for these two sisters , but also for all the others who have yet to find their way home.” - Cheryl Isaacs, Aboriginal Voices.

Awards

  • James Buller Award for Playwright of the Year, 1997
  • Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, Small Theatre Division, 1996.

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the units Yes, there is Funny Stuff - Humour in First Peoples Literature and What Creates Family?

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112 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Peace Pipe Dreams
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; Inuit; First Nations;

In 2015-2016, Peace Pipe Dreams was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

Darrell Dennis is a stereotype-busting, politically incorrect Native American/Aboriginal/Shuswap (Only he's allowed to call himself an "Indian." Maybe. Under some circumstances). With a large dose of humour and irreverence, he untangles some of the truths and myths about First Nations: Why do people think Natives get free trucks, and why didn't he ever get one? Why does the length of your hair determine whether you’re good or bad? By what ratio does the amount of rain in a year depend on the amount of cactus liquor you consume?

In addition to answering these burning questions, Dennis tackles some tougher subjects. He looks at European-Native interactions in North America from the moment of first contact, discussing the fur trade, treaty-signing and the implementation of residential schools. Addressing misconceptions still widely believed today, Dennis explains why Native people aren't genetically any more predisposed to become alcoholics than Caucasians; that Native religion doesn't consist of worshipping rocks, disappearing into thin air, or conversing with animals; and that tax exemptions are so limited and confusing that many people don't even bother.

Employing pop culture examples, personal anecdote and a cutting wit, Darrell Dennis deftly weaves history with current events to entertain, inform and provide a convincing, readable overview of First Nations issues and why they matter today.

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Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

In 2018-2019, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City was an award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

A portion of each sale of Seven Fallen Feathers will go to the Dennis Franklin Cromarty Memorial Fund, set up in 1994 to financially assist Nishnawbe Aski Nation students’ studies in Thunder Bay and at post-secondary institutions.

Awards
- 2018-2019 First Nation Communities Read
- 2018 RBC Taylor Prize

Reviews
“Talaga has written Canada’s J’Accuse, an open letter to the rest of us about the many ways we contribute — through act or inaction — to suicides and damaged existences in Canada’s Indigenous communities. Tanya Talaga’s account of teen lives and deaths in and near Thunder Bay is detailed, balanced and heart-rending. Talaga describes gaps in the system large enough for beloved children and adults to fall through, endemic indifference, casual racism and a persistent lack of resources. It is impossible to read this book and come away unchanged.” — RBC Taylor Prize Jury Citation

“In Seven Fallen Feathers, Tanya Talaga delves into the lives of seven Indigenous students who died while attending high school in Thunder Bay over the first eleven years of this century. With a narrative voice encompassing lyrical creation myth, razor-sharp reporting, and a searing critique of Canada’s ongoing colonial legacy, Talaga binds these tragedies — and the ambivalent response from police and government — into a compelling tapestry. This vivid, wrenching book shatters the air of abstraction that so often permeates news of the injustices Indigenous communities face every day. It is impossible to read Seven Fallen Feathers and not care about the lives lost, the families thrust into purgatory, while the rest of society looks away.” — Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury Citation

“[A]n urgent and unshakable portrait of the horrors faced by Indigenous teens going to school in Thunder Bay, Ontario, far from their homes and families. . . . Talaga’s incisive research and breathtaking storytelling could bring this community one step closer to the healing it deserves.” — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Seven Fallen Feathers may prove to be the most important book published in Canada in 2017. Tanya Talaga offers well-researched, difficult truths that expose the systemic racism, poverty, and powerlessness that contribute to the ongoing issues facing Indigenous youth, their families, and their communities. It is a call to action that deeply honours the lives of the seven young people; our entire nation should feel their loss profoundly.” — Patti LaBoucane-Benson, author of The Outside Circle

“[W]here Seven Fallen Feathers truly shines is in Talaga’s intimate retellings of what families experience when a loved one goes missing, from filing a missing-persons report with police, to the long and brutal investigation process, to the final visit in the coroner’s office. It’s a heartbreaking portrait of an indifferent and often callous system . . . Seven Fallen Feathers is a must-read for all Canadians. It shows us where we came from, where we’re at, and what we need to do to make the country a better place for us all.” — The Walrus

Educator Information
The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grade 12 English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Additional Information
376 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 8-page colour insert and maps

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The Break
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.

A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette’s abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

Awards

  • 2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Literature Winner
  • Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction Winner
  • McNally Robison Book of the Year Winner
  • Amazon.ca First Novel Award 

Reviews
“Vermette is a staggering talent. Reading The Break is like a revelation; stunning, heartbreaking and glorious. From her exquisitely rendered characters to her fully realized world and the ratcheting tension, I couldn’t put it down. Absolutely riveting.” — Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach

“In Vermette’s poetic prose, The Break offers a stark portrayal of the adversity that plagues First Nations women in this country — and the strength that helps them survive.” — Toronto Star

The Break doesn’t read like an impressive first novel; it reads like a masterstroke from someone who knows what they’re doing . . . Vermette is skilled at writing with a language that is conversational and comfortable and with a poetic ease that makes the hard things easier to swallow. The result is a book that is at times emotionally demanding, funny, suspenseful, and always engaging.”—The Winnipeg Review

“This is a debut novel by the Governor General's Literary Award-winning Métis poet Katherena Vermette. The story takes place in Winnipeg's North End. And it starts when Stella thinks she sees a violent assault taking place in a barren strip of land outside her window, known as The Break. Turns out, she is right. In fact, there is a threat of violence that hovers over all the women in the story, three generations of them, and the story is told in many voices. Katherena writes with empathy and understanding about people who are living with the pain of intergenerational trauma. The Winnipeg winter she evokes is cold and cruel. But there is such love, loyalty and support in this story. If you enjoy a gripping family saga, I would recommend The Break.” — Shelagh Rogers, CBC The Next Chapter

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit What Creates Family?

The Canadian Indigenous Books for School list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts.

Note: This novel contains mature and challenging content, such as incidents of drug use, rape, and, violence.

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288 pages | 5.25" x 8.00"

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$22.95

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The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

The Education of Augie Merasty offers a courageous and intimate chronicle of life in a residential school.

Now a retired fisherman and trapper, Joseph A. (Augie) Merasty was one of an estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children who were taken from their families and sent to government-funded, church-run schools, where they were subjected to a policy of "aggressive assimiliation."

As Merasty recounts, these schools did more than attempt to mold children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their native heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse.

Even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty’s generous and authentic voice shines through.

Awards

  • 2016 Burt Award Second Place Winner

Educator Information
The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 9-12 English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Caution: Mature subject matter and descriptions of discrimination, sexual/physical violence, and substance abuse.

Additional Information
105 pages | 4.25" x 6.50"

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