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Reawakening Our Ancestors' Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: University/College;

For thousands of years, Inuit practiced the traditional art of tattooing. Created the ancient way, with bone needles and caribou sinew soaked in seal oil, sod, or soot, these tattoos were an important tradition for many Inuit women, symbols etched on their skin that connected them to their families and communities. But with the rise of missionaries and residential schools in the North, the tradition of tattooing was almost lost. In 2005, when Angela Hovak Johnston heard that the last Inuk woman tattooed in the old way had died, she set out to tattoo herself in tribute to this ancient custom and learn how to tattoo others. What was at first a personal quest became a project to bring the art of traditional tattooing back to Inuit women across Nunavut, starting with Johnston’s home community of Kugluktuk. Collected in this beautiful book are moving photos and stories from more than two dozen women who participated in Johnston’s project. Together, these women have united to bring to life an ancient tradition, reawakening their ancestors’ lines and sharing this knowledge with future generations.

Awards

  • 2018 NorthWords Book Prize Winner 
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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;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

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.

Curriculum Connections: Indigenous Studies, History, Health

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

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Shared Histories: Witsuwit'en - Settler Relationships in Smithers, British Columbia, 1913-1973
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

Using extensive first-hand interviews with both Witsuwit'en and settler elders, Shared Histories describes what happened in the 50 years after the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway established Smithers in the middle of Witsuwit'en territory in northwest British Columbia. By examining these relationships in the context of the history of colonization throughout the province, the author has written an open and honest portrayal of the ways in which the Witsuwit'en were marginalized, but still managed to create and maintain a place for themselves in a community that didn't want them.

Written with extensive consultation with members of the Witsuwit'en community and some of the town's earliest settler families, Shared Histories brings to life the often unwritten history of the ways in which these communities both clashed and joined forces. Its careful use of academic sources and the lived experience of participants make it the kind of history we all need to read.

This book will appeal to history buffs, educators, and academics and to those interested in First Nations and British Columbia history, truth, and reconciliation projects.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2019 Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing

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200 pages | 9.50" x 9.00"

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Split Tooth
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

From the internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer who has dazzled and enthralled the world with music it had never heard before, a fierce, tender, heartbreaking story unlike anything you've ever read.

Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them.

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents' love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us.

When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this.

Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals, and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.

Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine readers will never forget.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Awards for Published Prose in English.
  • Winner of the 2018 Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design – Prose Fiction

Reviews
“Tagaq’s surreal meld of poetry and prose transmutes the Arctic’s boundless beauty, intensity, and desolation into a wrenching contemporary mythology.” –The New Yorker

“Though the protagonist’s coming-of-age story, generously and lovingly documented by Tagaq, is the anchor, Split Tooth is not a book that can be fully absorbed in one sitting. It’s possible to sink deeper and deeper into the narrative with each successive reading. Like a smirking teenager, Split Tooth blithely gives typical literary expectations the finger, daring us to see and experience narrative as chaotic, emotional, and deeply instinctive. And it succeeds.” –Quill and Quire

“Tanya’s book is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever read. It’s deeply profound, emotional and personal, and furthers her artistic experimentation and genius into a new realm. I love her even more after reading it, and I’m once again awed by her talent.” –Jesse Wente, CBC Broadcaster

"[A] forceful coming-of-age tale.” –Toronto Life magazine

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304 pages | 5.18" x 8.00"
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The Break
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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.

Curriculum Connections: English, Indigenous Studies, Anthropology

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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The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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.

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105 pages | 4.25" x 6.50"

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The Homing Place: Indigenous and Settler Literary Legacies of the Atlantic
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Can literary criticism help transform entrenched Settler Canadian understandings of history and place? How are nationalist historiographies, insular regionalisms, established knowledge systems, state borders, and narrow definitions continuing to hinder the transfer of information across epistemological divides in the twenty-first century? What might nation-to-nation literary relations look like? Through readings of a wide range of northeastern texts – including Puritan captivity narratives, Wabanaki wampum belts, and contemporary Innu poetry – Rachel Bryant explores how colonized and Indigenous environments occupy the same given geographical coordinates even while existing in distinct epistemological worlds. Her analyses call for a vital and unprecedented process of listening to the stories that Indigenous peoples have been telling about this continent for centuries. At the same time, she performs this process herself, creating a model for listening and for incorporating those stories throughout.

This commitment to listening is analogous to homing – the sophisticated skill that turtles, insects, lobsters, birds, and countless other beings use to return to sites of familiarity. Bryant adopts the homing process as a reading strategy that continuously seeks to transcend the distortions and distractions that were intentionally built into Settler Canadian culture across centuries.

Reviews
"The Homing Place enacts and advocates for a paradigm shift in ‘literary relations’ in North America, revealing the ’invisible wall ’ in colonial perceptions that may at first seem as impermeable as the nation-state borders that divide the continent. Yet just as Indigenous people and homelands have always traversed those borders, so may our readings transcend that wall. Rachel Bryant foregrounds and leads us to acknowledge the active ways our embodied minds evade or engage Indigenous contexts and communities, producing greater awareness of the impacts of our activities as readers and writers, Native people and settlers, those who make policy, and those who are most impacted by it.”—  Lisa Brooks

“Bryant’s excavation of US and Canadian exceptionalisms could not be timelier. She shows how Anglo-Atlantic writing has built a ‘system of self-protection’ that has sought to contain Indigenous geographies and indeed Indigenous agency. At the same time, she shows how First Nations have always effectively written back against this system. This book shines new light on settler colonialism and Indigenous resurgence, historic and contemporary, through sharp analyses of some influential but lesser-discussed writers. It belongs on the shelf of every scholar in Indigenous Studies, Canadian Studies, American Studies, Atlantic and Maritime Studies, Material Culture Studies, Cultural Geography, and Literary Criticism, for it creates fresh new dialogues among all of these fields and interests.”— Siobhan Senier

"If you are interested in Indigenous affairs, the history of how the eastern tribes came to be in such dire straits today, and how literature has reflected these changes – and even attempts to embrace and effect change for the better – then The Homing Place will certainly appeal to you."— The Miramichi Reader

Awards

  • 2017 Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction winner
  • 2018 AUP Book Jacket and Journal Show Selected Entry joint winner

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256 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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The Inconvenient Indian
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;

Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King's critical and personal meditation on what it means to be "Indian" in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.
This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope--a sometimes inconvenient but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Second Place Winner
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The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee: Stories of Diabetes and the James Bay Cree
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In this groundbreaking collection, Ruth DyckFehderau and twenty-seven storytellers offer a rich and timely accounting of contemporary life in Eeyou Istchee, the territory of the James Bay Cree of Northern Quebec. The stories are connected by diabetes, but they are not records of illness as much as they are deeply personal accounts of life in the North: the fine, swaying balances of living both in town and on the land, of family and work and studies, of healing from relocations and residential school histories while building communities of safety and challenge and joy, of hunting and hockey, and much more.

Sweet Bloods is essential reading for anyone who knows anyone with diabetes, and for anyone interested in a contemporary rendering of one of Canada’s vibrant, thriving, and highly adaptive Indigenous communities.

This book is published by Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay and distributed by WLU Press.

Awards

  • 2018 International Book Awards winner

Reviews
"The stories contained in The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee are incredible. They are life lessons, they are tales of warning, they are songs of resilience, they are prayers for a healthier life. Each one is its own entity, and each storyteller bravely and beautifully speaks out so that we all may begin our own healing journey. This is a must-read book. I've not seen something quite like it before." — Joseph Boyden

"This is an important book. In its time, when our Cree communities and other Indigenous groups are facing down a brutal and pervasive diabetes epidemic, Sweet Bloods offers a Talking Circle in print: frank, funny, and emotional stories of James Bay Cree people living with the disease. What makes this book special is that we know these storytellers, and their stories are our stories. We recognize the effects of colonization in bodies, families, and communities -- and we see that the insights and love and laughter of these storytellers are stronger. We thank them for the courage to say what most of us will not say. Once you start this book, you'll want to read to the end."  Bella M. Petawabano

Educator Information
Table of Contents
Some Notes about This Book
The Story of Rose Swallow of Chisasibi
The Story of Maggie Happyjack and Simon Etapp of Waswanipi
The Story of Annette Spencer of Whapmagoostui
The Story of Varley Mianscum of Oujé-Bougoumou
The Story of Sandra Judith Bulluck of Whapmagoostui
The Story of Mary Niquanicappo of Whapmagoostui
The Story of Victor Gilpin of Eastmain
The Story of Kimberly Coon of Mistissini
The Story of James Jonah of Waskaganish
The Story of Martha Sheshamush of Whapmagoostui
The Story of Emily Wesley of Oujé-Bougoumou
The Story of Leonard House of Chisasibi
The Story of Elizabeth Bell Tayler of Wemindji
The Story of Jennifer Gloria Lowpez of Waswanipi
The Story of Christopher Merriman of Eastmain
The Story of Jennifer Susan Annistin of Waskaganish
The Story of Raquel Emmeline Welsch of Wemindji
The Story of Jack Otter of Waswanipi
The Story of Lillian Martinhunter of Chisasibi
The Story of Caroline Neeposh of Chisasibi
The Story of Jonathan Linton of Mistissini
The Story of Anja Diamond of Nemaska
The Story of Angela Etapp of Waskaganish
The Story of Joey Blacksmith of Waswanipi
The Story of Coco Simone Chanelle of Mistissini
The Story of Freddie Wapachee of Nemaska
Glossary
Conversations and Reflections on Diabetes and Colonization
Acknowledgements

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280 pages | 7.00" x 9.00"

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Format: Paperback

Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only-not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family-from substance abuse to suicide attempts-and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. 'Number One' comes at a time of recognition-by governments and society at large-that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Third Place Winner

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit Place-Conscious Learning - Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

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256 pages | 5.67" x 8.20"

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This Wound is a World
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to “cut a hole in the sky to world inside.” Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where “everyone is at least a little gay.”

Awards

  • 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize
  • 2018 Indigenous Voices Award - Most Significant Work of Poetry in English

Reviews
"In This Wound is a World, love answers heartbreak, “history lays itself bare” (42) and a world glimmering with decolonial love and queer, Indigenous possibilities is split open. This is poetry at its brightest. It is electric, profound, necessary work. Belcourt bends genre, challenging the cage of colonialism through a poetics of intimacy. It is a collection unafraid to ask questions, exploring grief, desire, queer sexuality and Indigeneity with tender honesty. Belcourt asks us to consider the ways Indigenous bodies can be simultaneously unbound and “rendered again,” (40) how worlds can be made and unmade. These are poems to be returned to again and again with reverence." - PRISM International

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64 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Tilly has always known she’s part Lakota on her dad’s side. She’s grown up with the traditional teachings of her grandma, relishing the life lessons of her beloved mentor. But it isn’t until an angry man shouts something on the street that Tilly realizes her mom is Aboriginal, too—a Cree woman taken from her own parents as a baby.

Tilly feels her mother’s pain deeply. She’s always had trouble fitting in at school, and when her grandma dies unexpectedly, her anchor is gone. Then Abby, a grade seven classmate, invites her home for lunch and offers her “something special” to drink. Nothing has prepared Tilly for the tingling in her legs, the buzz in her head and the awesome feeling that she can do anything. From then on, partying seems to offer an escape from her insecurities. But after one dangerously drunken evening, Tilly knows she has to change. Summoning her courage, she begins the long journey to finding pride in herself and her heritage. Just when she needs it most, a mysterious stranger offers some wise counsel: “Never question who you are or who your people are. It’s in your eyes. I know it’s in your heart.”

Loosely based on author Monique Gray Smith’s own life, this revealing, important work of creative non-fiction tells the story of a young Indigenous woman coming of age in Canada in the 1980s. With compassion, insight and humour, Gray Smith illuminates the 20th-century history of Canada’s First Peoples—forced displacement, residen­tial schools, tuberculosis hospitals, the Sixties Scoop. In a spirit of hope, this unique story captures the irrepressible resilience of Tilly, and of Indigenous peoples everywhere.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Winner

Reviews
“What a gorgeous read! Reminiscent of Lee Maracle’s Will’s Garden and Ruby Slipperjack’s Little Voice, Tilly will bring strength, comfort and peace to all who read it. Let it discover and inspire you, too. Wow! I've been waiting for a book like this for years. Mahsi cho, Monique Gray Smith, for digging so deep to create something so loving and nurturing for the world.” —Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed and The Moon of Letting Go

"Gray Smith intricately pieces together stories, traditional teachings and hard-earned personal wisdom, creating a hand-stitched quilt you can’t help but wrap yourself in—a quilt filled with optimism and the assurance that no matter how lost we are, hope, love and guidance surround us at every turn. Delicate with the handling of mature details, but fiercely candid with emotion, Tilly is an ideal resource not only for youth, but also for those who are easily triggered, while its universality will be appreciated by a wider audience. A brave new voice ready to take her place among the great contemporary storytellers, Gray Smith breaks her own trails as she explores what it means to be Indigenous in a modern world." —Christy Jordan-Fenton, author of Fatty Legs, A Stranger at Home and When I Was Eight

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 15-18.

Grades 10-12 English First Peoples resource for units on Childhood through the Eyes of Indigenous Writers and Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

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208 pages | Ages 14+

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Why Indigenous Literatures Matter
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Part survey of the field of Indigenous literary studies, part cultural history, and part literary polemic, Why Indigenous Literatures Matter asserts the vital significance of literary expression to the political, creative, and intellectual efforts of Indigenous peoples today. In considering the connections between literature and lived experience, this book contemplates four key questions at the heart of Indigenous kinship traditions: How do we learn to be human? How do we become good relatives? How do we become good ancestors? How do we learn to live together? Blending personal narrative and broader historical and cultural analysis with close readings of key creative and critical texts, Justice argues that Indigenous writers engage with these questions in part to challenge settler-colonial policies and practices that have targeted Indigenous connections to land, history, family, and self. More importantly, Indigenous writers imaginatively engage the many ways that communities and individuals have sought to nurture these relationships and project them into the future.

This provocative volume challenges readers to critically consider and rethink their assumptions about Indigenous literature, history, and politics while never forgetting the emotional connections of our shared humanity and the power of story to effect personal and social change. Written with a generalist reader firmly in mind, but addressing issues of interest to specialists in the field, this book welcomes new audiences to Indigenous literary studies while offering more seasoned readers a renewed appreciation for these transformative literary traditions.

Awards

  • 2019 PROSE Award for Literature
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Working with Wool
Authors:
Format: Hardcover

Cowichan sweaters are a lot like the Coast Salish women who knit them: hardy, practical, and enduringly beautiful. An artistic fusion of indigenous and European handwork, the Cowichan sweater became a Canadian icon. Award-winning author, knitter, and Cowichan-sweater expert Sylvia Olsen recounts one of Vancouver Island’s most compelling stories in Working With Wool, a stunning, fully illustrated account of innovation, hard work and cultural strength.

Awards

  • Lieutenant-Governor's Medal for Historical Writing
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you are enough: love poems for the end of the world
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In his debut poetry collection you are enough: love poems for the end of the world, Smokii Sumac has curated a selection of works from two years of a near daily poetry practice. What began as a sort of daily online poetry journal using the hashtag #haikuaday, has since transformed into a brilliant collection of storytelling drawing upon Indigenous literary practice, and inspired by works like Billy Ray Belcourt's This Wound is a World, and Tenille Campbell's #IndianLovePoems.

The poems follow the haiku format, often stringing together three lines to tell a story. With sections dealing with recovery from addiction and depression, coming home through ceremony, and of course, as the title suggests, on falling in and out of love, Sumac brings the reader through two years of life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person. This collection will move you as Sumac addresses the grief of being an Indigenous person in Canada, shares timely (and sometimes hilarious) musings on consent, sex, and gender, introduces readers to people and places he has loved and learned from, and through it all, helps us all come to know that we are enough, just as we are.

Awards

  • 2019 Indigenous Voices Awards Winner for Published Poetry in English

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108 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

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