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Dene

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Chilcotin Chronicles
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

A compilation of stories that meld both culture and bloodlines, Chilcotin Chronicles by Sage Birchwater is set in the wild and untamed country of central British Columbia’s Chilcotin Plateau. West of the Fraser River, this high country is contained by an arc of impenetrable mountain ranges that separates it from the Pacific Coast. The first inhabitants of this region were fiercely independent, molded by the land itself. Those who came later were drawn to this landscape with its mysterious aura of freedom, where time stood still and where a person could find solace in the wilderness and never be found.

Birchwater reaches back to first European contact in British Columbia when the indigenous population spoke forty of Canada’s fifty-four languages and seventy of Canada’s one hundred dialects. The land known today as the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast was already an entity when Alexander Mackenzie arrived in 1793. Bonds of friendship, mutual support and family ties had long been established between the Dakelh, Tsilhqot’in and Nuxalk, giving cohesiveness to the region. Chilcotin Chronicles is about the men and women caught in the interface of cultures and the changing landscape. Indigenous inhabitants and white newcomers brought together by the fur brigades, then later by the gold rush, forged a path together, uncharted and unpredictable. Birchwater discovers that their stories, seemingly disconnected, are intrinsically linked together to create a human ecosystem with very deep roots. The lives of these early inhabitants give substance to the landscape. They give meaning to the people who live there today.

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$26.95

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Chiwid
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Chiwid was a Tsilhqot'in woman, said to have shamanistic powers, who spent most of her adult life "living out" in the hills and forests around Williams Lake, BC. Chiwid is the story of this remarkable woman told in the vibrant voices of Chilcotin oldtimers, both native and non-native.

Reviews
"Chiwid was a Chilcotin woman who lived outside, self-sufficiently for most of her life and moving camps with the seasons. Chiwid is a collection of oral histories about the woman, her family and what life was like in the Chilcotin area of British Columbia in the early to mid-1900s." - The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

Additional Information
128 pages | 8.00" x 9.00" 

Authenticity Note: This book's author is not Indigenous; however, the book has the Authentic Indigenous Text label because it contains stories collected by the author from Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It is up to readers to determine if this book will work as an authentic text for their purposes.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.00

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End-of-Earth People: The Arctic Sahtu Dene
Authors:
Format: Paperback

Bern Will Brown, noted northern author, artist, photographer, and respected community leader living in Colville Lake, Northwest Territories, provides new insights and perspectives on the Sahtu Dene, the people referred to as the "Hareskin" in Alexander Mackenzie's 1793 journal. Having lived among them for over sixty years and as a speaker of their dialect, Brown is well positioned to provide an adventure in history and culture rooted in the Hareskin traditional way of life.

End-of-Earth People, his latest contribution and a valuable record of the North, is a portrait of a people Brown has come to know in ways that anthropologists and ethnologists can only envy.

Authentic Canadian Content
$35.00

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Fireweed
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Fireweed is a collection of poetry that explores the rawness, trauma, and realities of adolescence compounded with the experience of being a young, Indigenous, and two-spirit intergenerational residential school survivor. Rooted in the symbolism and growth of fireweed, a flower native to the northwest of Canada, this collection takes readers through the hurt, healing, love, and spreading that encompassed the first 23 years of the author's attempt to find truth, safety and connection. Grounded in the simplicity of words and the illustration of the north, this book is a powerful window into the process of finding oneself while reclaiming culture and identity.

Educator Information
Fireweed is dedicated to Indigenous youth, Indigenous women, and two-spirit people who are quite literally dying to not only have relevant content and support available to them but also content and support that is healing and hopeful. In a time of openness and discussion around colonialism, identity, and reconciliation, non-Indigenous Canadians are now, more than ever, engaging with Indigenous and two-spirit content in order to better understand the context of Indigenous youth, people, and culture. This book is an important part of that conversation.

Recommended for ages 16+

Additional Information
190 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.00

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From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In this poetic, poignant memoir, Dene artist and social activist Antoine Mountain paints an unforgettable picture of his journey from residential school to art school—and his path to healing.

In 1949, Antoine Mountain was born on the land near Radelie Koe, Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. At the tender age of seven, he was stolen away from his home and sent to a residential school—run by the Roman Catholic Church in collusion with the Government of Canada—three hundred kilometres away. Over the next twelve years, the three residential schools Mountain was forced to attend systematically worked to erase his language and culture, the very roots of his identity.

While reconnecting to that which had been taken from him, he had a disturbing and painful revelation of the bitter depths of colonialism and its legacy of cultural genocide. Canada has its own holocaust, Mountain argues.

As a celebrated artist and social activist today, Mountain shares this moving, personal story of healing and the reclamation of his Dene identity.

Educator Information
Recommended in the Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2019-2020 resource list as being useful for grades 9 to 12 in the following subject areas: English Language Arts, Social Studies.

Included in this story are personal stories of residential school and addiction.

Additional Information
272 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$30.00

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From Lishamie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

With astonishing detail, Albert Canadien fondly recounts his boyhood years in Lishamie, a traditional Dene camp north of the Mackenzie River, and reflects on the devastating and long-lasting impact residential schooling had on him, his family and his people. Separated at a young age from his parents and forced to attend a strict Catholic boarding school, the author, and many like him, was robbed of his language, community and traditional way of living. From Lishamie is a candid memoir of loss and of the journey back.

Reviews
"From Lishamie focuses on the loss of language, culture, exposure to the land, and brings a stark contrast of life pre- and post-residential schools. This rich and lasting book portrays the fullness of life on the land, the seasons, travelling with the food sources, and community." - Joyce Atcheson

Additional Information
284 pages | 5.50" x 8.49"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.95

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In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: University/College;

Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.

With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit.

Reviews
"A beautiful rendering of how recovery for our peoples is inevitably about reconnecting with Indigenous identities, lands, cultural and healing practices." —Kim Anderson, author of Reconstructing Native Womenhood

"In My Own Moccasins never flinches. The story goes dark, and then darker. We live in an era where Indigenous women routinely go missing, our youth are killed and disposed of like trash, and the road to justice doesn’t seem to run through the rez. Knott’s journey is familiar, filled with the fallout of residential school, racial injustice, alcoholism, drugs, and despair. But she skillfully draws us along and opens up her life, her family, and her communities to show us a way forward. It’s the best kind of memoir: clear-eyed, generous, and glorious….Bear witness to the emergence of one of the most powerful voices of her generation." —Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach (from the foreword)

“Helen Knott speaks truth to the experience of Indigenous women living through the violence of colonized spaces and she does so with grace, beauty and a ferocity that makes me feel so proud.” —Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost

“Helen writes beautifully and painfully, about her own life and the lives of many of our sisters. A strong, gentle voice removing the colonial blanket and exposing truth.” —Maria Campbell, author of Halfbreed

“An incredible debut that documents how trauma and addiction can be turned into healing and love. I am in awe of Helen Knott and her courage. I am a fan for life. Wow.” —Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed

“Heartfelt, heartbreaking, triumphant and raw, In My Own Moccasinsis a must-read for anyone who's ever felt lost in their life… Actually, it's a must-read for anyone who appreciates stories of struggle, redemption and healing. Knott’s writing is confident, clear, powerful and inspiring.”—Jowita Bydlowska, author of Guy: A Novel and Drunk Mom

Additional Information
366 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Night Spirits: The Story of the Relocation of the Sayisi Dene
Format: Paperback

For over 1500 years, the Sayisi Dene, ‘The Dene from the East’, led an independent life, following the caribou herds and having little contact with white society. In 1956, an arbitrary government decision to relocate them catapulted the Sayisi Dene into the 20th century. It replaced their traditional nomadic life of hunting and fishing with a slum settlement on the outskirts of Churchill, Manitoba. Inadequately housed, without jobs, unfamiliar with the language or the culture, their independence and self-determination deteriorated into a tragic cycle of discrimination, poverty, alcoholism and violent death.

By the early 1970s, the band realized they had to take their future into their own hands again. After searching for a suitable location, they set up a new community at Tadoule Lake, 250 miles north of Churchill. Today they run their own health, education and community programs. But the scars of the relocation will take years to heal, and Tadoule Lake is grappling with the problems of a people whose ties to the land, and to one another, have been tragically severed.

In Night Spirits, the survivors, including those who were children at the time of the move, as well as the few remaining elders, recount their stories. They offer a stark and brutally honest account of the near-destruction of the Sayisi Dene, and their struggle to reclaim their lives. It is a dark story, told in hope.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$18.95

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Northern Wildflower: A Memoir
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

This is the story of how a young northern girl picked herself up out of the rough and polished herself off like the diamond that she is in the land of the midnight sun. 

Northern Wildflower is the beautifully written and powerful memoir of Catherine Lafferty. With startling honesty and a distinct voice, Lafferty tells her story of being a Dene woman growing up in Canada’s North and her struggles with intergenerational trauma, discrimination, poverty, addiction, love, and loss. Focusing on the importance of family ties, education, spiritualism, cultural identity, health, happiness, and the courage to speak the truth, Lafferty’s words bring cultural awareness and relativity to Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers alike, giving insight into the real issues many Indigenous women face and dispelling misconceptions about what life in the North is like.

Reviews
"Catherine Lafferty’s life story as a daughter and mother wanting more for her family and for herself is so completely inspiring. Northern Wildflower is a celebration of soul, grace and dignity.  I am floored with the talent, courage and heart inside this wonderful debut." — Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed

Additional Information
158 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$20.00

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People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich'in Elders / Googwandak Nakhwach'anjoo Van Tat Gwich'in
Format: Paperback

Many people have a mental picture of the Canadian north that juxtaposes beauty with harshness. For the Van Tat Gwich'in, the northern Yukon is home, with a living history passed on from elders to youth. This book consists of oral accounts that the Elders have been recording for 50 years, representing more than 150 years of their history, all meticulously translated from Gwich'in. Yet this is more than a gathering of history; collaborator Shirleen Smith provides context for the stories, whether they are focused on an individual or international politics. Anthropologists, folklorists, ethnohistorians, political scientists, economists, members of First Nations, and readers interested in Canada's northernmost regions will find much to fascinate them.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$34.95

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Portraits of the North
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

This gorgeous book offers an incomparable glimpse into the experiences and history of more than one hundred First Nations and Métis elders from Canada’s North —“the last generation born on the land.” These stunning graphite pencil portraits are rendered with love, respect, and painstaking detail, along with gripping intimate profiles assembled from oral accounts and anecdotes. Their poignant facial features, lines, and creases, weathered by the harsh outdoors and a lifetime of challenges, are like badges of their remarkable achievements, sustained resolve, inspired patience, and deep-set defiance to the hardships their people have endured for generations. The masterful realism of Kuehl’s work helps uncover the tales of these seasoned individuals—their many triumphs and trials revealing in turn a greater portrait of life in the communities of Northern Canada, a compelling homage, and an enduring historical legacy. The portraits capture images of Cree, Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Dene and Métis peoples.

Additional Information
236 pages | 10.03" x 10.03"

Authentic Canadian Content
$29.95

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Potlatch at Gitsegukla: William Beynon's 1945 Field Notebooks
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

William Beynon was born in 1888 in Victoria to a Welsh father and a Tsimshian mother. He was an accomplished ethnographer and had a long career documenting the traditions of the Tsimshian, Nisga'a, and Gitksan. In 1945 he attended and actively participated in five days of potlatches and totem pole raisings at Gitksan village of Gitsegukla. There he compiled four notebooks containing detailed and often verbatim information about the events he witnessed. For over 50 years these notebooks have seen limited circulation among specialists, who have long recognized them as the most perceptive and complete account of potlatching ever recorded. In Potlatch at Gitsegukla the almost 200 pages of the notebooks are published for the first time. Sketches and a selection of photographs taken by Beynon are also included (augmented by photographs taken by Wilson Duff in 1952). In addition to meticulously transcribing and annotating the text of the notebooks, Margaret Anderson and Marjorie Halpin provide a comprehensive introduction that puts Beynon's account into a Gitskan cultural perspective, as well as extensive appendices listing names, places, and Gitskan terms in the notebooks. There is also an excellent timeline of key events in Gitskan history by James McDonald and Jennifer Joseph. William Beynon's notebooks are among the most significant written records of Northwest coast potlatching and are an unsurpassed resource documenting these activities among the Gitskan. This rare, first-hand, ethnographic account of a potlatch reveals the wonderful complexities of the events that took place in Gitsegukla in 1945.

Authentic Canadian Content
$39.95

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Song of the Earth: The Life of Alfred Joseph
Authors:
Grade Levels: University/College;

When your culture is banned and your land and resources stolen, it takes a special individual not only to survive but to thrive. Grounded in the wisdom of his elders, Gisdewe Alfred Joseph wove respect, kindness and courage into his years of service to the Witsuwit’en people of northwest British Columbia. As artist, teacher, chief band councilor, house chief and a lead plaintiff in Delgamuukw-Gisdewe – one of the most important Aboriginal title cases in Canada – Alfred relied on the lessons he learned as a boy to deal with a pervasive colonial reality. In Song of the Earth, Ross Hoffman opens the feast hall doors, throwing light on what the Witsuwit’en have lost and what they have preserved since settlers came to their lands.

Written in collaboration with Alfred Joseph, Song of the Earth brings us inside the heart and mind of a man who grew up in the heart of Witsuwit’en culture and lived to see it transformed. But he was no passive observer; he initiated and participated in legal battles that have reshaped how Canada addresses its colonial past and struggles to find ways to reconcile with Indigenous nations. In the face of current Witsuwit’en attempts to block pipeline construction across their territories in northwestern BC, this book provides insight into the people standing up for the rights that Canadian courts have affirmed.

Additional Information
200 pages | 5.50" x 7.50"

Authenticity Note: Because this work is a collaboration between the author and Alfred Joseph, it has received the Authentic Indigenous Text label.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$21.95

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The Man Who Lived with a Giant: Stories from Johnny Neyelle, Dene Elder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Our parents always taught us well. They told us to look on the good side of life and to accept what has to happen. 

The Man Who Lived with a Giant presents traditional and personal stories told by Johnny Neyelle, a respected Dene storyteller and Elder from Déline, Northwest Territories. Johnny Neyelle used storytelling to teach Dene youth and others to understand and celebrate Dene traditions and identities. Johnny’s entertaining voice makes his stories accessible to readers young and old, and his wisdom reinforces the right way to live: in harmony with people and places. Storytelling forms the core of Dene knowledge-keeping. A volume dedicated to making Dene culture strong, The Man Who Lived with a Giant is a vital book for Dene readers, researchers working with Indigenous cultures and oral histories, and scholars preserving Elders’ stories. Even more, it is a book for the Dene people of today and tomorrow.

Additional Information
152 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.99

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Tse-loh-ne (The People at the End of the Rocks): Journey Down the Davie Trail
Authors:
Format: Paperback

The Tse-loh-ne from the Sekani First Nation were known as "The People at the End of the Rocks." This small band of people lived and thrived in one of BC's most challenging and remote areas, 1600 kilometres north of Prince George in the Rocky Mountain Trench. They were isolated and nomadic, and survived by following the seasons, walking hundreds of kilometres each year, hunting and harvesting food as they travelled.

In 1988, Keith Billington, a former outpost nurse in the Northwest Territories, worked as the band manager for the isolated Sekani Indian Band at Fort Ware. In addition to his role as an administrator, he performed dental work, sutured victims of violence, delivered babies that wouldn't wait and prepared deceased persons for burial. Several years into his new job, Billington was invited on a traditional Sekani trek. The travellers would follow the Aatse Davie Trail using pack dogs, traversing 460 kilometres in some of BC's roughest terrain. Like the Tse-loh-ne before them, they carried little food, relying instead on what they could hunt or gather.

Throughout the twenty-five days it took the party to hike from Lower Post to Fort Ware, Keith and his companions suffered cold, starvation and injury. They faced grizzly bears, swollen rivers and the incessant rain so typical of northern BC. Their adventures offer a poignant glimpse into the hardships and rigours of the Sekani people, who have one foot in their past and the other in their future--a people who reluctantly try to adapt to today's values knowing that change is inevitable.

Authentic Canadian Content
$22.95

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