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Indigenous Cultural Practices

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Aboriginal Oral Traditions
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;

Oral traditions are a distinct way of knowing and the means by which knowledge is reproduced, preserved and transferred from generation to generation. The conference from which these essays were selected created an opportunity for people to come together and exchange information and experiences over three days. The scholarship may be grouped into three broad areas: oral traditions and knowledge of the environment, economy, education and/or health of communities; oral traditions and continuance of language and culture; and the effects of intellectual property rights, electronic media and public discourse on oral traditions.

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Beau Dick: Devoured by Consumerism
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Accompanying an exhibition of Beau Dick’s work, this beautifully illustrated volume distills his powerful argument against our unsustainable way of living.

"With this body of work, Beau intended to launch his most overt critique of a system that he knew was unsustainable, in favour of a return to the cultural values of his people, and his profound generosity compelled him to share these values as widely as possible." - LaTiesha Fazakas

Beau Dick (1955 - 2017) was celebrated far beyond his hometown of Alert Bay, B.C., for both his political activism and his creation of striking, larger-than-life carved masks inspired by the traditional stories of the Kwakwaka'wakw. Dick's multi-faceted engagement with Kwakwaka'wakw culture included carving (which he learned from Northwest Coast artists such as Henry Hunt, Doug Cranmer, and Bill Reid), storytelling, and dancing.

As a high-ranking member of Hamat'sa, the prestigious Kwakwaka'wakw secret society centred on the story of a ravenous, man-eating spirit, Dick drew on all these art forms to create regalia for and participate in elaborate ceremonies that enacted Kwakwaka'wakw cosmology. Devoured by Consumerism shares nearly two dozen of these masks: vivid, unforgettable creations, made with traditional and contemporary methods and materials, depicting figures like Cannibal Raven, Nu-Tla-Ma (Fool Dancer), and Bookwus (Wild Man of the Woods).

Texts by LaTiesha Fazakas, John Cussans, and Candice Hopkins outline the stories that the masks depict, consider the inescapable parallels between Hamat'sa and the consumerism of capitalist society, and grapple with the philosophy that animates Hamat'sa - one that seeks to confront and, ultimately, master the voracious appetites inside us all.

Educator Information
A useful book for the study of art and culture.

Devoured by Consumerism is Beau Dick's aesthetic response to Western capitalist values and an overt critique of the unchecked commercialism of capitalist society. The intention with this hardcover publication is to contrast the Kwakwaka'wakw economic and legal system of potlatching, which also functions as a way of maintaining and preserving oral history, again Western society's system of capitalism. The book references the Hamat'sa ceremony during potlatch, wherein the Hamat'sa cannibals' insatiable hunger and consumption is 'tamed' ritually through the dance. The power to control one's hunger is considered much greater than the power of hunger itself. This book works to critique the West's ravenous need to devour and consumer by presenting works that highlight this Kwakwaka'wakw worldview. 

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96 pages | 8.00" x 9.00" 

 

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Dancing with the Wheel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;

The Native American philosophy behind the vision of the Medicine Wheel is that all things and beings on the earth are related and, therefore, must be in harmony for the earth to be balanced. Dancing with the Wheel teaches you how to apply this philosophy to your daily life through many practical exercises and ceremonies. These exercises will help you gain energy from the spirits, which can heal both humans and the earth.

Through Dancing with the Wheel, the second book specifically devoted to the Medicine Wheel, those familiar with this vision will gain an increased understanding of the wheel and its developments over the last ten years. Those new to the Medicine Wheel will be ushered into the teachings and technique of what has come to be a source of comfort and direction for thousands of people around the world. Whether you are in the middle of the wilderness or the middle of a city, this book and its exercises will help you center yourself and establish peace with the earth and other beings.

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$33.00

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Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;
Grade Levels: 5;

Dreamcatcher and the Seven Deceivers, the sequel to the Seven Sacred Teachings, warns of voices we can expect to hear in our dream time – 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.

Rooted in humility and honesty, the creators have tried to respect the cultures and traditions of all peoples. It is our hope that this telling will unite and thus heal divisions. Prophecies tell that this is the time for One Heart, One Mind and One Drum. We, readers and authors alike, are the ones we have been waiting for. There is nobody else who can revitalize our culture and values except ourselves.

It is our hope that this telling might move readers toward greater courage and wisdom and ultimately toward achieving and understanding what is true in life’s journey.

The Seven Sacred Teachings are a link that ties all Native, Inuit and Métis communities together.

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35 pages

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Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

Essential Song: Three Decades of Northern Cree Music, a study of subarctic Cree hunting songs, is the first detailed ethnomusicology of the northern Cree of Quebec and Manitoba. The result of more than two decades spent in the North learning from the Cree, Lynn Whidden’s account discusses the tradition of the hunting songs, their meanings and origins, and their importance to the hunt. She also examines women’s songs, and traces the impact of social change—including the introduction of hymns, Gospel tunes, and country music—on the song traditions of these communities.

The book also explores the introduction of powwow song into the subarctic and the Crees struggle to maintain their Aboriginal heritage—to find a kind of song that, like the hunting songs, can serve as a spiritual guide and force.

Including profiles of the hunters and their songs and accompanied (online) by original audio tracks of more than fifty Cree hunting songs, Essential Song makes an important contribution to ethnomusicology, social history, and Aboriginal studies.

Awards

  • ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award, Bronze Pize, Music Category

Educator Information
Audio files available on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-276681310/sets/essential-song-three-decades

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192 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$39.99

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Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
Format: Paperback

For many American Indians, food is more than sustenance--it is also of vital cultural significance. Salmon, buffalo, berries, acorns, quinoa, wild rice, tomatoes, chocolate, and especially corn--where these indigenous staples flourish, they have become a central part of Native American ceremonies and creation stories.

This illuminating book, produced in association with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, celebrates the amazing diversity of the original foods of North, Central, and South America. Winner of a 2005 James Beard Award, Foods of the Americas highlights indigenous ingredients, traditional recipes, and contemporary recipes with ancient roots. Written by chef Fernando Divina and his wife, Marlene Divina (who is of Chippewa, Cree, and Assiniboine heritage), Foods of the Americas includes 140 modern recipes representing tribes and communities from all regions of the Americas.

Some of the specialties are:
Fry Bread
Turkey with Oaxacan Black Mole
Wild Rice and Corn Fritters
Venison with Juniper and Wild Huckleberry Sauce
Chilean-Style Avocado and Shrimp Salad

To complement the recipes, Foods of the Americas also features nine illustrated short essays by American Indian writers who offer personal insights into a variety of indigenous food traditions. With enticing food photography and images from the museum’s collection, Foods of the Americas is not only an innovative tribute to the foods of the Western Hemisphere but also a gorgeous testament to the Native contribution to American cuisine.

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$34.00

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Ilagiinniq: Interviews on Inuit Family Values
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

Through interviews with elders from three regions of Nunavut, Ilagiinniq: Interviews on Inuit Family Values provides a wealth of information on traditional family values. Covering relationships between siblings, elders and grandchildren, uncles and aunts, husbands and wives, and in-laws, this book is an indispensable resource of information on how Inuit families traditionally lived, and how traditional ways can be implemented in the modern world.

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

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

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

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

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

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 13+.

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

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322 pages | 10.50" x 12.87"

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Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;

Traditionally, Inuit do not call each other by their given names. Instead, they refer to each other using a system of kinship and family terms, known as tuqurausiit (turk-thlo-raw-seet). Calling each other by kinship terms is a way to show respect and foster closeness within families. Children were named after their elders and ancestors, ensuring a long and healthy life.

As more and more Inuit refer to each other by their English first names, rather than their traditional kinship terms, the tradition of tuqurausiit is slowly disappearing. This book presents interviews with four Inuit elders from Baffin Region, Nunavut, about how names were chosen, the importance of using kinship terms, and how the practice of tuqurausiit has changed over the years. Inuit Kinship and Naming Customs helps to preserve the knowledge of this tradition for younger generations, both Inuit and non-Inuit.

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Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth: Gender, Shamanism, and the Third Sex
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: University/College;

The small island of Igloolik lies between the Melville Peninsula and Baffin Island at the northern end of Hudson Bay north of the Arctic Circle. It has fascinated many in the Western world since 1824, when a London publisher printed the narratives by William Parry and his second-in-command, George Lyon, about their two years spent looking for the mythical Northwest Passage.

Nearly a hundred and fifty years later, Bernard Saladin d’Anglure arrived in Igloolik, hoping to complete the study he had been conducting for nearly six months in Arctic Quebec (present-day Nunavik). He was supposed to spend a month on Igloolik, but on his first morning there, Saladin d’Anglure met the elders Ujarak and Iqallijuq. He learned that they had been informants for Knud Rasmussen in 1922. Moreover, they had spent most of their lives in the camps and fully remembered the pre-Christian period.

Ujarak and Iqallijuq soon became Saladin d’Anglure’s friends and initiated him into the symbolism, myths, beliefs, and ancestral rules of the local Inuit. With them and their families, Saladin d’Anglure would work for thirty years, gathering the oral traditions of their people.

First published in French in 2006, Inuit Stories of Being and Rebirth contains an in-depth, paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of stories on womb memories, birth, namesaking, and reincarnation. This new English edition introduces this material to a broader audience and contains a new afterword by Saladin d’Anglure.

Contents

Ch. 1—Savviurtalik is Reincarnated
Ch. 2—Inuit Genesis and the Desire for Children
Ch. 3—‘Big Belly’
Ch. 4—Incestuous Moon Brother chases Sun Sister
Ch. 5—A Headstrong Daughter
Ch. 6—A Cheated Husband
Ch. 7—Girls Should not Play at Marriage
Ch. 8—A Battered Wife
Ch. 9—Walrus Skin, a Mistreated Orphan, Rescued by the Moon Man
Ch. 10—The Danger of Being Impregnated by a Spirit
Ch. 11—The First Woman Healer
Ch. 12—The Strange Man and His Whale
Ch. 13—Atanaarjuat, The Fast Runner, a Mythical Hero
Ch. 14—Aaguttaaluk, the Cannibal Forebear
Ch. 15—Qisaruatsiaq, Back to Her Mother’s Womb

 
Reviews
“The real strength of the book are the dialogues between d’Anglure, Iqallijuq, and Ujarak that provide insights into many of the stories provided by Kupaaq … providing one of the first Inuit commentaries on their own texts.” – Chris Trott, Etudes/Inuit/Studies
 
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400 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
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Let Me See Your Fancy Steps: Story of a Métis Dance Caller
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

“The Gabriel Dumont Institute Press is pleased to be able to preserve and share Jeanne Pelletier’s work and life story through Let Me See Your Fancy Steps—Story of a Métis Dance Caller. The Story of Jeanne Pelletier as told to Sylvie Sara Roy and Wilfred Burton. Jeanne’s achievement as the first female Métis dance caller is, of course, about Métis dance, but it is also about the determination of a young Métis girl who achieves her dream to become a dance caller during a time when this was only done by men.”

This resource includes dance calls for 16 dances and is accompanied by the instructional DVD All My Relations which features dance company V’ni Dansi which is led by renowned dancer and artistic director, Yvonne Chartrand.

Reviews
"The recounting of Jeanne’s work is supplemented throughout the book by testimonials of her former dance students and community members, all of whom praise the dance caller for the substantial impact that she’s had both on their personal lives, as well as the academic and social climates of the Métis community in Saskatchewan. As a Métis myself, I feel lost at times, as if my culture is fuzzy or foreign to me. Reading the life experiences, knowledge, and not to mention the wealth of Métis Jig steps found in this book gave me an overwhelming sense of peace to see research of this caliber and this level of care being invested in my culture. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Métis culture and the significance that the jig has to the culture. Anyone who has seen the Métis Jig performed live knows that it is a beautiful and awe-inspiring dance, but after reading Jeanne’s explanations of the cultural significance of the dances, I will now appreciate the dance that much more as a story and celebration of my culture. It is also worth mentioning that entire dance sequences are written out to follow with Jeanne’s notes, and the book includes an instructional DVD." - Ben Charles for SaskBook Reviews

Educator Information
Recommended by Gabriel Dumont Institute for Secondary/Post Secondary/Adult.

Includes a DVD.

Recommended in the Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2019-2020 resource list as being useful for grades 5-12 with regard to these subjects: English Language Arts, Physical Education, Social Studies, Teacher Resource.

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Life Stages and Native Women
Format: Paperback

A rare and inspiring guide to the health and well-being of Aboriginal women and their communities.

The process of "digging up medicines" - of rediscovering the stories of the past - serves as a powerful healing force in the decolonization and recovery of Aboriginal communities. In Life Stages and Native Women, Kim Anderson shares the teachings of fourteen elders from the Canadian prairies and Ontario to illustrate how different life stages were experienced by Métis, Cree, and Anishinaabe girls and women during the mid-twentieth century. These elders relate stories about their own lives, the experiences of girls and women of their childhood communities, and customs related to pregnancy, birth, post-natal care, infant and child care, puberty rites, gender and age-specific work roles, the distinct roles of post-menopausal women, and women's roles in managing death. Through these teachings, we learn how evolving responsibilities from infancy to adulthood shaped women's identities and place within Indigenous society, and were integral to the health and well-being of their communities. By understanding how healthy communities were created in the past, Anderson explains how this traditional knowledge can be applied toward rebuilding healthy Indigenous communities today.

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Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: University/College;

Traditionally and through custom, nêhiyaw (Cree) laws are shared and passed down through the generations in the oral tradition, utilizing stories, songs, ceremonies, lands, waters, animals, land markings and other sacred rites. The loss of the languages, customs, and traditions of Indigenous peoples as a direct result of colonization has necessitated this departure from the oral tradition to record the physical laws of the nêhiyaw, for the spiritual laws can never be written down. As a result, this book is the first of its kind.

McAdam, a co-founder of the international movement Idle No More, shares nêhiyaw laws so that future generations, both nêhiyaw and non-Indigenous people, may understand and live by them to revitalize Indigenous nationhood. Nationhood is about land, language, and culture. Understanding and gaining an awareness of Indigenous laws will provide insight into the thoughts and worldview of Indigenous people before and during the numbered Treaty making process, and help create a harmonious society for all. Hopefully, then, the pain of the poverty, incarceration, suicide, death after death, without hope for the future, of nêhiyaw will become a distant memory.

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Ojibway Ceremonies
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

Johnston focuses on a young member of the tribe and his development through participation in the many rituals so important to the Ojibway way of life, from the Naming Ceremony and the Vision Quest to the War Path, and from the Marriage Ceremony to the Ritual of the Dead.

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One Drum: Stories and Ceremonies for a Planet
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

“The most profound truth in the universe is this: that we are all one drum and we need each other.” —Richard Wagamese, One Drum

A posthumous volume of stories and ceremonies -- and a fitting tribute to Richard Wagamese's spiritual and literacy legacy. 

Fans of Richard Wagamese’s writing will be heartened by the news that the bestselling author left behind a manuscript he’d been working on until shortly before his death in 2017. One Drum welcomes readers to unite in ceremony to heal themselves and bring harmony to their lives and communities.

In One Drum, Wagamese wrote, “I am not a shaman. Nor am I an elder, a pipe carrier, or a celebrated traditionalist. I am merely one who has trudged the same path many of this human family has—the path of the seeker, called forward by a yearning I have not always understood.”

One Drum draws from the foundational teachings of Ojibway tradition, the Grandfather Teachings. Focusing specifically on the lessons of humility, respect and courage, the volume contains simple ceremonies that anyone anywhere can do, alone or in a group, to foster harmony and connection. Wagamese believed that there is a shaman in each of us, and we are all teachers and in the world of the spirit there is no right way or wrong way.

Writing of neglect, abuse and loss of identity, Wagamese recalled living on the street, going to jail, drinking too much, feeling rootless and afraid, and then the feeling of hope he gained from connecting with the spiritual ways of his people. He expressed the belief that ceremony has the power to unify and to heal for people of all backgrounds. “When that happens,” he wrote, “we truly become one song and one drum beating together in a common purpose—and we are on the path to being healed.”

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160 pages | 5.50" x 8.00"

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