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Cree (Nehiyawak)

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100 Days of Cree
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

As an Elder once said, "Learn one Cree word a day for 100 days, and emerge a different person."

In 100 Days of Cree, Neal McLeod offers us a portal into another way of understanding the universe--and our place within it--while demonstrating why this funny, vibrant, and sometimes salacious language is "the sexiest of them all" (according to Tomson Highway).

Based on a series of Facebook posts, the 100 short chapters or "days" in the book present a chain of related words, some dealing with the traditional--the buffalo hunt, the seasons--and others cheekily capturing the detritus of modern life--from Internet slang to Johnny Cash songs to Viagra.

The result is both an introduction to the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Canada and the opportunity to see the world, and ourselves, in another way.

Reviews
"The nonfiction book is divided into 100 themes and offers Cree words and English explanations for everything from traditional subjects such as powwows and medicine to modern subjects such as Facebook and Star Wars. It also includes a guide to pronunciation written by Arok Wolvengrey, a linguist and the author of a Cree-English dictionary. 'When we think about indigenous languages, there’s a part of us that thinks they’re dying languages, ' URP publisher Bruce Walsh said. 'And then this manuscript comes in that demonstrates a living, vital language.' McLeod said that he and Wolvengrey worked to keep a balance between traditional usage and modern adaptations. 'To revitalize our languages, we have to do two things: we have to document the classical terminology, because within that terminology are all of our metaphors and idioms; but we also have to think of how to put old words together, to coin words, to describe the contemporary world.'" — Laura Godfrey, Publishers Weekly

Additional Information
325 pages | 5.50" x 7.00"

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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7 Generations Book 1: Stone
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

Stone introduces Edwin, a young man who must discover his family's past if he is to have any future. Edwin learns of his ancestor Stone, a young Plains Cree man, who came of age in the early 19th century. Following a vision quest, Stone aspires to be like his older brother, Bear, a member of the Warrior Society. But when Bear is tragically killed during a Blackfoot raid, Stone, the best shot and rider in his encampment, must overcome his grief and avenge his brother's death. Only then can he begin a new life with his bride, Nahoway. It is Stone's story that drives Edwin to embark on his own quest.

Stone is the first book in the graphic novel series, 7 Generations. Forthcoming books in this series are:
Book 2: Scars, the story of the orphan White Cloud, set against the smallpox epidemic of 1870-1871.
Book 3: Ends/Begins, the story of Edwin's father, and the residential school saga.
Book 4: The Pact, a story of redemption, as father and his son reconcile their past and begin a new journey.

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$13.95

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7 Generations Book 2: Scars
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

The year is 1870, and the last great smallpox epidemic is sweeping the prairies. After witnessing the death of his entire family, White Cloud, a young Plains Cree boy, summons the strength to deliver himself from the terrible disease and journey to a new home. Readers also reconnect with Edwin, a lost young man on his own quest who must summon his own courage and travel to confront the main source of his own despair. Scars is Book 2 in the graphic-novel series 7 Generations, which follows the story of one Aboriginal family from the early 19th century to the present day.

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$13.95

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7 Generations Book 3: Ends/Begins
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

In 1964, two brothers are taken from the warm and loving care of their grandparents, and spirited away to a residential school, miles from home. James, assigned to manual work on the grounds, sees less and less of his younger brother, Thomas. James soon discovers the anguish that Thomas is living under, which leads to unspeakable tragedy. The pain and guilt that dogs James continues to affect his troubled son, Edwin (introduced in book 1). But a new understanding is dawning between them... Ends/Begins is book 3 in the graphic novel series 7 Generations. Other books in this series: Book 1: Stone tells the story of a young Plains Cree man in the early 19th century, who fulfills his destiny as a warrior as he avenges his brother's death.

Book 2: Scars, the story of the orphan White Cloud, set against the smallpox epidemic of 1870-1871.
Book 4: The Pact (forthcoming), a story of redemption, as James and his son, Edwin, reconcile their past and begin a new journey.

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$13.95

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7 Generations Book 4: The Pact
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

As the pain and loss of James's residential school experiences follow him into adulthood, his life spirals out of control. Haunted by guilt, he is unable to maintain a relationship with Lauren and their son Edwin. Edwin, mired in his own pain, tries to navigate past the desolation of his fatherless childhood. As James tries to heal himself he begins to realize that, somehow, he may save his son's life – as well as his own. When father and son finally meet, can they heal their shattered relationship, and themselves, or will it be too late?

The Pact is the final book in the 7 Generations series. Other books in the series include:

Book 1: Stone introduces Edwin, who learns of his ancestor Stone, a young Plains Cree man.

Book 2: Scars, the story of the orphan White Cloud, set against the smallpox epidemic of 1870-1871.

Book 3: Ends/Begins, the story of Edwin’s father, and the residential school saga.

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$13.95

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7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

The 7 Generations series is available in one book, and the illustrations are in vivid colour. 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga includes the four graphic novels: Stone, Scars, Ends/Begins, and The Pact.

Edwin is facing an uncertain future. Only by learning about his family's past—as warriors, survivors of a smallpox epidemic, casualties of a residential school—will he be able to face the present and embrace the future.

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$34.00

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Adam's Tree
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Adam's Tree is a fictional account of life on the Cowesses First Nation in Saskatchewan during the 1940's and 50's. This period in history finds forces like regulatory policy, World War II, systemic racism, and the long reach of the depression defining reserve life and rural relationships. These short stories are told from the perspective of various characters on the reserve: an Indigenous teenage girl named Sophie, men who return to Cowesses after the war, struggling with untreated and unacknowledged PTSD, settlers like the local school teacher and the "Indian agent".

This book contributes to the dialogue on reconciliation, freeing Indigenous voices during a period of time that is rarely written about. It encourages readers to examine the sources and meaning of today's inheritance of complex relations.

Additional Information
220 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$22.00

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Blackbird Song
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

An exquisite series of meditations on memory, evanescence and the land. Randy Lundy draws deeply from his Cree heritage and equally from European and Asian traditions. Readers will be reminded by turns of Simon Ortiz, P?r Lagerkvist, and Jane Hirshfield. This is the mind of prayer, a seeing and re-seeing of the immense cyclic beauty of the earth.

Reviews
“Lundy has entered the place where the masters reside. His poems join the shades that walk among them. There aren’t many people who get to that place and sometimes it can feel very lonely there, but the masters are saved by the brilliant and humble work they have done, their poems the crevices in our lives where the light shines through." – Patrick Lane, author of Washita

“Randy Lundy’s poems bring forward the spirit of his Cree ancestry, and place our species humbly among the creatures of Earth—who are all observed with deep reverence and perceptive care.” – Don McKay, author of Strike/Slip

“This is the book of poems I’ve been waiting for … His poems burn us, feed us, and make us feel beloved even if we have been broken. Language, as he uses it, holds us and leads us to a place where we can mourn and pray and wonder.” – Lorna Crozier, author of What the Soul Doesn’t Want

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

Caution: Some poems contain content that may cause trigger reactions for readers. Pre-read poems before using them with students.

Additional Information
96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$19.95

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From the Ashes: My Story of Being Metis, Homeless, and Finding My Way
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.

If I can just make it to the next minute... then I might have a chance to live; I might have a chance to be something more than just a struggling crackhead.

From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.

Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, but their tough-love attitudes meant conflicts became commonplace. And the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. One day, he finally realized he would die unless he turned his life around.

In this heartwarming and heartbreaking memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful experiences with abuse, uncovering the truth about his parents, and how he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family through education.

An eloquent exploration of what it means to live in a world surrounded by prejudice and racism and to be cast adrift, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help one find happiness despite the odds.

Reviews
From the Ashes hits you like a punch in the gut. It’s an unflinching, heartrending and beautifully written story of survival against seemingly impossible odds. But it’s also a book that should make you furious. Thistle paints a vivid portrait of a country seemingly incapable of doing right by Indigenous youth or by those struggling with homelessness, addiction and intergenerational trauma. That he survived to tell this story is truly a miracle. Still, one question haunts me after finishing this powerful and devastating book: How do we ensure that the next generation isn’t forced to navigate a broken system that takes their lives for granted and fails them at every turn? My greatest hope, then, is that From the Ashes will be the wakeup call Canada needs.” — IAN MOSBY, historian and author of Food Will Win the War

Educator Information
Caution: Deals with mature subject matter.

Additional Information
368 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"


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$24.99

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Funny Little Stories / wawiyatacimowinisa
Editors:
Format: Paperback

This is the first in a series of readers in the First Nations languages of the prairie provinces meant for language learners and language users. The stories in this volume come from a variety of sources, all being narrated or written by fluent speakers of Cree, whether students or instructors of the Cree language or Elders. Funny Little Stories is a collection of nine stories representing the Plains Cree, Woods Cree, and Swampy Cree dialects, with a pronunciation guide and a Cree-to-English glossary.

Students and Elders come together in this volume to offer samples of three distinct genres of Cree storytelling: word play, humorous accounts of life experiences, and traditional stories about Wisahkecahk, the trickster-hero.

Each story is illustrated and is presented in both Standard Roman Orthography and syllabics, with English translation.

Series Information
Funny Little Stories is part of the First Nations Language Readers series. With a mix of traditional and new stories, each First Nations Language Reader introduces an Indigenous language and demonstrates how each language is used today. The University of Regina Press’s long-term goal is to publish all 60+ Indigenous languages of Canada.

Additional Information
110 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Narrated by Cree-speaking students, instructors, and Elders | Transcribed and Translated by Cree Linguistics Students | Edited and with a glossary and syllabics by Arok Wolvengrey

Authenticity Note: Because of the contribution of Indigenous Peoples, such as Cree-speaking Elders, to this work on Cree storytelling, it has received the Authentic Indigenous Text label.

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$12.95

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George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within
Format: Hardcover
Reading Level: N/A

George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within is a stunning retrospective of a career that has spanned nearly four decades. Featuring more than 150 of the Plains Cree artist's mixed-media works, this sumptuous collection showcases the bold swaths of colour and subtle textures of Littlechild's work. Littlechild has never shied away from political or social themes. His paintings blaze with strong emotions ranging from anger to compassion, humour to spiritualism. Fully embracing his Plains Cree heritage, he combines traditional Cree elements like horses and transformative or iconic creatures with his own family and personal symbols in a unique approach. George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within shows the evolution of an artist from his earliest works to the present day, including hints of future directions and themes.

An insightful foreword by artist and curator Ryan Rice, a Mohawk from the Kahnawake First Nation in Quebec, and Littlechild's reflections on each piece build a broad understanding of Littlechild's work, his life and his views on the role of art within all cultures.

Reviews
”Littlechild’s magical colour, thought-provoking images and commentary provide insight into his personal symbolism, which somehow transforms his story into everyone’s story.” —Sherry Farrell Racette, Artist, Timiskaming First Nation

“Like the ceremonial unwrapping of a sacred medicine bundle, this salient retrospective of masterworks is clearly George Littlechild’s master narrative . . . a rare autobiographical gaze into the artist’s private and public space.” —Barry Ace, Artist, Michigiwadinong First Nation

“George Littlechild paints with light and butterfly medicine. This retrospective showcases the brilliance, beauty and grace of his work.” —Richard Van Camp, author of A Man Called Raven

Additional Information
176 pages | 11.50" x 10.87"

 
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Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$59.95

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Goodbye Buffalo Bay
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

Drama and humour combine in Goodbye Buffalo Bay by award-winning Cree author Larry Loyie. The sequel to the award-winning book As Long as the Rivers Flow. Goodbye Buffalo Bay is set during the author's teenaged years. In his last year in residential school, Lawrence learns the power of friendship and finds the courage to stand up for his beliefs. He returns home to find the traditional First Nations life he loved is over. He feels like a stranger to his family until his grandfather's gentle guidance helps him find his way. New adventures arise; Lawrence fights a terrifying forest fire, makes his first non-Native friends, stands up for himself in the harsh conditions of a sawmill, meets his first sweetheart and fulfills his dream of living in the mountains. Wearing new ice skates bought with his hard-won wages, Lawrence discovers a sense of freedom and self-esteem. Goodbye Buffalo Bay explores the themes of self-discovery, the importance of friendship, the difference between anger and assertiveness and the realization of youthful dreams.

Additional Information
160 pages | 4.90" x 7.36"

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$16.95

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He Who Dreams
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

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

Reviews
"Florence effortlessly creates a very real and loving biracial family for her thoroughly modern protagonist. John's fast-paced tale twines universal teen concerns with specific cultural issues. This novel allows young readers to embrace their own heritages and realize they stand on the shoulders of all their ancestors." — Kirkus Reviews, December 2016

"The author...reinforces that she is capable of writing engaging stories about Indigenous subjects in any genre...John is an appealing character...Scenes between him and his parents and energetic younger sister, Jen, are especially well drawn...He Who Dreams offers readers a fast-paced story with realistic Indigenous content connecting the book to contemporary discussions about Indigenous issues in Canada." — Quill & Quire, January 2017

"Through realistic dialogue and concise, yet entertaining, chapters, He Who Dreams takes readers from a soccer field to the Grand Entry of a powwow with ease…Powerful and smart, He Who Dreams brims with valuable lessons, allowing young readers to access important issues in a highly engaging way. " — Canadian Children's Book News, April 2017

Additional Information
144 pages | 4.75" x 7.25"

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$9.95

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Kiss of the Fur Queen
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Born into a magical Cree world in snowy northern Manitoba, Champion and Ooneemeetoo Okimasis are all too soon torn from their family and thrust into the hostile world of a Catholic residential school. Their language is forbidden, their names are changed to Jeremiah and Gabriel, and both boys are abused by priests.

As young men, estranged from their own people and alienated from the culture imposed upon them, the Okimasis brothers fight to survive. Wherever they go, the Fur Queen--a wily, shape-shifting trickster--watches over them with a protective eye. For Jeremiah and Gabriel are destined to be artists. Through music and dance they soar.

Educator Information
Grade 11/12 English First Peoples resource for the unit Further Steps toward Reconciliation - Understanding Residential Schools through Text.

Note: This novel contains mature and challenging material (profanity, coarse language, depictions of sex, sexual abuse, violence, etc.). 

Additional Information
320 pages | 5.20" x 8.00"

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$22.00

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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 Metis, 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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$27.95

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