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A Rush to Judgment: The Unfair Trial of Louis Riel
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Did Louis Riel have a fair trial?

The trial and conviction of Louis Riel for treason in the summer of 1885 and his execution on November 16, 1885, have been the subject of historical comment and criticism for over one hundred years. A Rush to Judgment challenges the view held by some historians that Riel received a fair trial.

Roger E. Salhany argues that the judge allowed the prosecutors to control the proceedings, was biased in his charge to the jury, and failed to properly explain to the jury how they were to consider the evidence of legal insanity. He also argues that the government was anxious to ensure the execution of Riel, notwithstanding the recommendation of the jury for clemency, because of concerns that if Riel was sent to a mental hospital or prison, he would eventually be released and cause further trouble.

Additional Information
352 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 13 b&w illustrations, index, bibliography, notes.

Authentic Canadian Content
$24.99

Coming Soon
Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun: Portraits of Everyday Life in Eight Indigenous Communities
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;

A revelatory portrait of eight Indigenous communities from across North America, shown through never-before-published archival photographs--a gorgeous extension of Paul Seesequasis's popular social media project.

In 2015, writer and journalist Paul Seesequasis found himself grappling with the devastating findings of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on the residential school system. He sought understanding and inspiration in the stories of his mother, herself a residential school survivor. Gradually, Paul realized that another, mostly untold history existed alongside the official one: that of how Indigenous peoples and communities had held together during even the most difficult times. He embarked on a social media project to collect archival photos capturing everyday life in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities from the 1920s through the 1970s. As he scoured archives and libraries, Paul uncovered a trove of candid images and began to post these on social media, where they sparked an extraordinary reaction. Friends and relatives of the individuals in the photographs commented online, and through this dialogue, rich histories came to light for the first time.

Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun collects some of the most arresting images and stories from Paul's project. While many of the photographs live in public archives, most have never been shown to the people in the communities they represent. As such, Blanket Toss is not only an invaluable historical record, it is a meaningful act of reclamation, showing the ongoing resilience of Indigenous communities, past, present--and future.
 
Reviews
“A revelatory work of astonishing grace, Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun encapsulates an invisible generation brought to glorious life. So many times, the subject could have been my auntie, cousin or grandmother. When people ask why I live on the rez, I’ll point them to this book, this stunning reclamation of narrative, which so movingly shows the love of place, community and self.” —Eden Robinson

“Paul Seesequasis's Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun is a wonderful collection of found photographs and recovered histories that link us to a past as old as the land and as precious as breath.” —Thomas King, author of The Inconvenient Indian

Additional Information
192 pages | 7.08" x 9.03" | Colour photos throughout


Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$32.95

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Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Over the past fifty years, Canada's Indigenous Affairs department (now two departments with more than 30 federal co-delivery partners) has mushroomed into a "super-province" delivering birth-to-death programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. This vast entity has jurisdictional reach over 90-percent of Canada's landscape, and an annual budget of some $20-billion. Yet Indigenous people have no means to hold this "super-province" accountable to them. Not a single person in this entity has been elected by Indigenous people to represent their interests. Not one. When it comes to federal Indigenous policy, ordinary Indigenous people in Canada are voiceless and powerless.

In Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation, author and journalist Sheilla Jones raises an important question: are the well-documented social inequities in Indigenous communities--high levels of poverty, suicide, incarceration, children in care, family violence--the symptoms of this long-standing, institutionalized powerlessness? If so, the solution lies in empowerment. And the means of empowerment is already embedded in the historic treaties. Jones argues that there can be meaningful reconciliation only when ordinary Indigenous Canadians are finally empowered to make their voices heard, and ordinary non-Indigenous Canadians can join with them to advance a shared future.

Educator Information
Includes a foreword from Sheila North. Sheila is from the Bunibonibee Cree Nation and is the former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), and former Chief Communications Officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. She is a former Gemini-nominated CBC journalist, former CTV journalist and documentarist.

Additional Information
256 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
$22.95

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Remembering My Métis Past: Reminisces of Edwin St. Pierre
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

In this memoir, Ed St. Pierre brings the reader back in time, showcasing how life was lived by the Métis in the road allowance community of Crescent Lake in the 1940s. He shares his stories of his early life, including hunting with his father, searching for mudhen eggs, and the games that he played as a youngster. He also describes how the Métis lived with stories about grease lamps, rubaboo, chokecherries, and much more.

This book includes select Michif translations by Harriet Oaks St. Pierre.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$8.95

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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.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$25.00

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Lac Pelletier: My Métis Home
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Gabriel Dumont Institute Press is honoured to publish Cecile Blanke’s Lac Pelletier: My Métis Home. A prominent Métis Elder living in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, but with deep roots in nearby Lac Pelletier, Cecile has been a tireless presence on the Métis and larger cultural scene in southwest Saskatchewan for many years. The history of the southwest Saskatchewan Métis is not widely known, and this book contributes significantly to our knowledge of this community. With her vivid memories of Lac Pelletier’s local families and traditions, we are left with an enduring portrait of a caring Métis community which maintained close family ties and lived in harmony with Lac Pelletier’s flora and fauna. Cecile also chronicles the racism that the local Métis often faced and discussed how colonization made her and others question their Métis identity. With time and perspective, she overcame this self-hatred and became proud of her Métis heritage, becoming its biggest promoter in her region of Saskatchewan.

Educator Information
Recommended by Gabriel Dumont Institute for these grade levels: Secondary/Post-Secondary/Adult

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$20.00

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Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

While cities like Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Saskatoon, Rapid City, Edmonton, Missoula, Regina, and Tulsa are places where Indigenous marginalization has been most acute, they have also long been sites of Indigenous placemaking and resistance to settler colonialism.

Although such cities have been denigrated as “ordinary” or banal in the broader urban literature, they are exceptional sites to study Indigenous resurgence. T​he urban centres of the continental plains have featured Indigenous housing and food co-operatives, social service agencies, and schools. The American Indian Movement initially developed in Minneapolis in 1968, and Idle No More emerged in Saskatoon in 2013.

The editors and authors of Settler City Limits, both Indigenous and settler, address urban struggles involving Anishinaabek, Cree, Creek, Dakota, Flathead, Lakota, and Métis peoples. Collectively, these studies showcase how Indigenous people in the city resist ongoing processes of colonial dispossession and create spaces for themselves and their families.

Working at intersections of Indigenous studies, settler colonial studies, urban studies, geography, and sociology, this book examines how the historical and political conditions of settler colonialism have shaped urban development in the Canadian Prairies and American Plains. Settler City Limits frames cities as Indigenous spaces and places, both in terms of the historical geographies of the regions in which they are embedded, and with respect to ongoing struggles for land, life, and self-determination.

Contributors: Chris Andersen, Nicholas Brown, Elizabeth Comack, Heather Dorries, Nick Estes, Adam Gaudry, Robert Henry, David Hugill, Sharmeen Khan, Corey Laberge, Brenda Macdougall, Tyler McCreary, Lindsey Claire Smith, Michelle Stewart, Zoe Todd, Julie Tomiak

Reviews
Settler City Limits breaks ground, shattering the powerful authoritative structures of racism that have dichotomized rural and urban space, and Indigenous peoples’ relation to these as a central force sustaining and fortifying settler colonialism.” – Heather A. Howard-Bobiwash, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Michigan State University, and Affiliated Faculty Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto

Educator Information
Table of Contents

Introduction

Part 1 Land and Politics

Part 2 Contestation, Resistance, Solidarities

Part 3 Policing and Social Control

Part 4 Life and Death

Additional Information
368 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authenticity Note: Contains contributions from both Indigenous peoples and settlers.

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$27.95

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Métis Politics and Governance in Canada
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

At a time when the Métis are becoming increasingly visible on Canada’s political scene, Métis Politics and Governance in Canada offers a novel and practical guide to understand who the Métis are, how they govern themselves, and the challenges they face on the path to self-government.

The Métis have always been a political people. With the culmination of the North-West Resistance in 1885 and the hanging of their spiritual and political leader, Louis Riel, the Métis continued to take political action to give life to Riel’s vision of a self-governing Métis Nation in Canada.

Drawing on interviews with elders, leaders, and community members, Kelly Saunders and Janique Dubois reveal how the Métis have adapted their governance structures in accordance with their way of life as a distinct, rights-bearing Indigenous people. They look to the Métis language – Michif – to identify Métis principles of governance that emerged during the fur trade and that continue to shape Métis governance structures. Both then and now, the Métis continue to negotiate their place alongside federal and provincial partners in Confederation.

As Canada engages in nation-to-nation relationships to advance reconciliation, this book provides timely insight into the Métis Nation’s ongoing struggle to remain a free and self-governing Indigenous people.

This book will appeal to anyone interested in the Métis Nation and Indigenous self-government, including scholars in Political Science, Indigenous Studies, and Public Policy as well as government officials and the general public.

Reviews
"Métis Politics and Governance in Canada explores an aspect of Métis existence in Canada that has been neglected for far too long: the workings of contemporary Métis political organizations at the provincial and national levels. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Métis political organizing, leadership, representation, and the values inherent in Métis political activity." - Joe Sawchuk, co-author of From New Peoples to New Nations: Aspects of Metis History and Identity from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries

"Unlike other academic works that simply look at the Métis Nation’s self-government as frozen in time and tied to 1869/70 or 1885, this book compellingly tells the “rest of the story” up to the present day. Uniquely, it also looks to the Métis Nation’s own language – Michif – to identify and understand key principles of Métis governance that continue to today. This book is essential reading for those who want to better understand the current state of Métis Nation self-government in Canada." - Jason Madden, co-managing partner of Pape Salter Teillet LLP

Additional Information
220 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
$32.95

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The North-West Is Our Mother: The Story of Louis Riel's People, the Métis Nation
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

There is a missing chapter in the narrative of Canada’s Indigenous peoples—the story of the Métis Nation, a new Indigenous people descended from both First Nations and Europeans.

Their story begins in the last decade of the eighteenth century in the Canadian North-West. Within twenty years the Métis proclaimed themselves a nation and won their first battle. Within forty years they were famous throughout North America for their military skills, their nomadic life and their buffalo hunts.

The Métis Nation didn’t just drift slowly into the Canadian consciousness in the early 1800s; it burst onto the scene fully formed. The Métis were flamboyant, defiant, loud and definitely not noble savages. They were nomads with a very different way of being in the world—always on the move, very much in the moment, passionate and fierce. They were romantics and visionaries with big dreams. They battled continuously—for recognition, for their lands and for their rights and freedoms. In 1870 and 1885, led by the iconic Louis Riel, they fought back when Canada took their lands. These acts of resistance became defining moments in Canadian history, with implications that reverberate to this day: Western alienation, Indigenous rights and the French/English divide.

After being defeated at the Battle of Batoche in 1885, the Métis lived in hiding for twenty years. But early in the twentieth century, they determined to hide no more and began a long, successful fight back into the Canadian consciousness. The Métis people are now recognized in Canada as a distinct Indigenous nation. Written by the great-grandniece of Louis Riel, this popular and engaging history of “forgotten people” tells the story up to the present era of national reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Additional Information
576 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$36.99

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nîtisânak
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

Lindsay Nixon's nîtisânak honours blood and chosen kin with equal care. A groundbreaking memoir spanning nations, prairie punk scenes, and queer love stories, it is woven around grief over the loss of their mother. It also explores despair and healing through community and family, and being torn apart by the same. Using cyclical narrative techniques and drawing on their Cree, Saulteaux, and Métis ancestral teachings, this work offers a compelling perspective on the connections that must be broken and the ones that heal.

Awards

  • 2019 Indigenous Voices Award short-listed
  • 2019 The Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers

Reviews
"A tremendous gift... unlike any other reading experience I've had" - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson 

Additional Information
200 pages | 5.25" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

In Re-Print
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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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 Metis peoples.

Additional Information
236 pages | 10.03" x 10.03"

Authentic Canadian Content
$29.95

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Thunder Through My Veins: A Memoir
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Gregory Scofield's Thunder Through My Veins is the heartbreakingly beautiful memoir of one man's journey toward self-discovery, acceptance, and the healing power of art.

Few people can justify a memoir at the age of thirty-three. Gregory Scofield is the exception, a young man who has inhabited several lives in the time most of us can manage only one. Born into a Métis family of Cree, Scottish, English and French descent but never told of his heritage, Gregory knew he was different. His father disappeared after he was born, and at five he was separated from his mother and sent to live with strangers and extended family. There began a childhood marked by constant loss, poverty, violence and self-hatred. Only his love for his sensitive but battered mother and his Aunty Georgina, a neighbor who befriended him, kept him alive.

It wasn't until he set out to search for his roots and began to chronicle his life in evocative, award-winning poetry, that he found himself released from the burdens of the past and able to draw upon the wisdom of those who went before him. Thunder Through My Veins is Gregory's traumatic, tender and hopeful story of his fight to rediscover and accept himself in the face of a heritage with diametrically opposed backgrounds.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.18" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Empire of Wild
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

From the author of the YA-crossover hit The Marrow Thieves, a propulsive, stunning and sensuous novel inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou--a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities. A messed-up, grown-up, Little Red Riding Hood.

Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year--ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One terrible, hungover morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher named Eugene Wolff. By the time she staggers into the tent, the service is over. But as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice.

She turns, and there Victor is. The same face, the same eyes, the same hands. But his hair is short and he's wearing a suit and he doesn't recognize her at all. No, he insists, she's the one suffering a delusion: he's the Reverend Wolff and his only mission is to bring his people to Jesus. Except that, as Joan soon discovers, that's not all the enigmatic Wolff is doing.

With only the help of Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with a knowledge of the old ways, and her odd, Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan has to find a way to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor. Her life, and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon it.

Reviews
Empire of Wild will not let you go. Mix werewolves unlike you’ve ever read before with the mythos-expanding struggles of American Gods and blend with Cherie Dimaline’s newest heroine, the complex and wonderful Joan of Arcand, and the result is inventive, engrossing, poetic and thrilling. Empire is Dimaline’s most accomplished book yet.” —Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach and the Trickster trilogy

“Cherie Dimaline has written a wondrous and deeply felt novel about hypocrisy, power imbalance and the strange, dangerous space between reality and belief. Dimaline is one of the most honest and fearless writers of her generation, and Empire of Wild is an honest and fearless book.” —Omar El Akkad, author of American War

“A magical, electric novel that merges our modern urban world with the mythology of an uncolonized landscape. Dimaline’s descriptions are vivid and sordid and so, so alive. She creates a whole world of hope and hatred in the figure of a hot man in a ’79 Impala, and then takes you into the woods where a wolf dressed in a fine suit threatens to swallow you whole in disturbingly erudite language. The wonders of Indigenous values and their struggle to survive against insidious Western ideology and culture are framed in a wild adventure that cements Dimaline’s talents as a magical realist provocatrice.” —Heather O’Neill, author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel

Empire of Wild is doing everything I love in a contemporary novel and more. It is tough, funny, beautiful, honest and propulsive—all the while telling a story that needs to be told by a person who needs to be telling it. The book feels like now, and we need more stories from Native communities to feel that way. She knows this community and this community will know she knows it when they read her, but it will resonate with so many more. Cherie Dimaline is a voice that feels both inevitable and necessary.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There

Additional Information
312 pages | 5.62" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$29.95

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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"


Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.99

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Metis Pioneers: Marie Rose Delorme Smith and Isabella Clark Hardisty Lougheed
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

In Metis Pioneers, Doris Jeanne MacKinnon compares the survival strategies of two Metis women born during the fur trade—one from the French-speaking free trade tradition and one from the English-speaking Hudson’s Bay Company tradition—who settled in southern Alberta as the Canadian West transitioned to a sedentary agricultural and industrial economy. MacKinnon provides rare insight into their lives, demonstrating the contributions Metis women made to the building of the Prairie West. This is a compelling tale of two women’s acts of quiet resistance in the final days of the British Empire.

Reviews
"[These two women's] individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Metis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economy. Marie Rose’s family was French-speaking Metis and a few served as Louis Riel’s soldiers. Isabella was from the English-speaking Metis stock. Both were born in 1861 and both married non-Indigenous men in unions that were influenced, or arranged outright, by their families. Both families had a strong history in the fur trade; Marie Rose’s were free traders and Isabella as part of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Both were community builders who later relied on their influence and circle of acquaintances for support after they became widows and fell on hard times. And the stories of both women showed how the Metis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery...." — Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald

"MacKinnon's book offers readers an in-depth look at the contributions each of the two women made to the growth of Canada's west, but more than that, it is a book about courage, resilience, determination and strength of character. The book was written to tell the truth..." — John Copley, Alberta Native News

"Whether or not the two women were ever in the same room together, their individual paths provide interesting parallel stories about Metis women who survived and thrived as the Canadian west transitioned from the fur trade to a more sedentary agricultural economy…And the stories of both women showed how the Metis people continued to make significant contributions to the Canadian west even after the fur trade ended, an area of historical study that MacKinnon thinks is rife for discovery."— Eric Volmers, Strength and Resilience

"This book deals with the lives of two frontier women - Isabella Lougheed and Marie Rose Smith. They both were Metis but their histories were miles apart. ... The author has found a rich source of history in these two women and offers them in a detailed account of their lives."  — Alberta History

Additional Information
584 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
$45.00

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creole métisse of french canada, me
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

One Métis woman’s experience in Canada; true stories from the inside out.

Sharron's poems and writings in creole métisse of french canada, me include insights into her experiences as a child, a student and beyond; inviting the reader to understand her life, Métis experience in Canada, the true stories from the inside out.

creole métisse of french canada, me is poetry written in a unique, prose-like fashion, without capitalized words. Sharron's personal stories enable the reader to see the bigger picture: the ongoing effects of colonialism, the historic treatment of Indigenous people, and the experience of being a woman, Métis, and two-spirited in Canada.

"if I could believe that, then maybe I could believe my own childhood pictures and words all neatly drawn and gridded and hidden inside dust devils on clean white paper, like cartoons in a comic book. I learned a cartoon can be a stand-alone drawing on strong, large paper. so I changed up the form. a cartoon. life size. bright crayon scribbles painted over with black india ink. but willow stick scratches on the surface revealed a new story underneath. clear, living sundog colour blink-blinking out and into the room. I wrote a new story that way. already I believed in the power of writing. already I knew how words could pull you in, their power unyielding. binding." - Excerpt from creole metisse of french canada, me

Reviews
"This text revolves around itself, weaves a lineage into its own lining, retells and untells stories from before and after. This text is a reach into the breach, a simultaneous digesting and retching that fetches the wretched of the earth and beads it into balance. This text allows the vitriol of history to surface but not surpass the story of songlines, breaths of care that filter into alveoli, sustaining and disclaiming all at once. This text is a single word writ worldly on our skin." - Ashok Mathur, Ph.D. Head, Department of Creative Studies, University of British Columbia, Okanagan.

"Readers of Sharron’s earlier books will be moved to hear more of her poetic storytelling, while readers new to her work have in this book an open doorway through which to visit with a woman of knowledge, energy, challenge, and wit, an important métisse/Métis writer." - Joanne Arnott, author of Halfling Spring

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80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Confronting the truths of Canada’s Indian Residential School system has been likened to waking a sleeping giant. In this book, David B. MacDonald uses genocide as an analytical tool to better understand Canada’s past and present relationships between settlers and Indigenous peoples. Starting with a discussion of how genocide is defined in domestic and international law, the book applies the concept to the forced transfer of Indigenous children to residential schools and the "Sixties Scoop," in which Indigenous children were taken from their communities and placed in foster homes or adopted.

Based on archival research and extensive interviews with residential school survivors, officials at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and others, The Sleeping Giant Awakens offers a unique and timely perspective on the prospects for conciliation after genocide, exploring how moving forward together is difficult in a context where many settlers know little of the residential schools and the ongoing legacies of colonization, and need to have a better conception of Indigenous rights. It offers a detailed analysis of how the TRC approached genocide in its deliberations and in the Final Report.

Crucially, MacDonald engages critics who argue that the term genocide impedes understanding of the IRS system and imperils prospects for conciliation. By contrast, this book sees genocide recognition as an important basis for meaningful discussions of how to engage Indigenous-settler relations in respectful and proactive ways.

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224 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Inuit; Métis;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

Indigenous Relations: Your Guide to Working Effectively with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit.

A timely sequel to the bestselling 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act - and an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to work more effectively with Indigenous Peoples.

We are all treaty people. But what are the everyday impacts of treaties, and how can we effectively work toward reconciliation if we're worried our words and actions will unintentionally cause harm?

Hereditary chief and leading Indigenous relations trainer Bob Joseph is your guide to respecting cultural differences and improving your personal relationships and business interactions with Indigenous Peoples. Practical and inclusive, Indigenous Relations interprets the difference between hereditary and elected leadership, and why it matters; explains the intricacies of Aboriginal Rights and Title, and the treaty process; and demonstrates the lasting impact of the Indian Act, including the barriers that Indigenous communities face and the truth behind common myths and stereotypes perpetuated since Confederation.

Indigenous Relations equips you with the necessary knowledge to respectfully avoid missteps in your work and daily life, and offers an eight-part process to help business and government work more effectively with Indigenous Peoples - benefitting workplace culture as well as the bottom line. Indigenous Relations is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to improve their cultural competency and undo the legacy of the Indian Act

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200 pages | 8.00" x 5.00"

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Stars
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Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In this second installation of the Overhead Series, Lucy Haché once again transports the reader with intimate revelations on identity by exploring both her personal and ancestral relationship to the sky and stars. Hache's prose is extraordinary in its combination of self-awareness yet unselfconscious honesty and skillful restraint, creating a sense of connection under the vastness of the stars above. Masterfully illustrated by artist Michael Joyal, his evocative astronomic drawings contribute to the overall sensory and transcendent experience.

Reviews
"[Hache] uses the stars to remember not only the tribulations of the past - Residential Schools and the loss of her traditional village - but also to remember the happiness of her grandmothers and to remember her language. Her poetic prose if full of imagery so rich that the reader can feel swept away with the power of the language." - Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2018-2019

"Indigenous People have always had a strong relationship with the sky. Here, Joyal's stark, beautiful illustrations combine perfectly with Haché's voice as she sings a story of loss, and ultimately, reclamation." --David A. Robertson, author of When We Were Alone (winner 2017 Governor General's Literary Award) and Strangers

Educator & Series Information
Recommended resource for Grades 8-12 for these subject areas: English Language Arts. 

A Kwak'wala language glossary is found at the back of the book.

This book is part of the Overhead Series.

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80 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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Little Athapapuskow: A Metis Love Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Little Athapapuskow is collection of poems named after a lake Guy Freedman grew up on near Flin Flon, Manitoba. They represent his efforts to challenge Catholicism and its complicity with the Confederation project, which dismantled the New Nation developing in the Canadian Northwest. The poems are organized into three parts—past, present, and future—and they address the inter-generational impacts of the Church on his family in relation to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This book is his love song to his home and to his country.

Educator Information
Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Contains poems about the history of the Metis people, family, love, celebration of culture, colonialism, religion, violence.

Caution: Some poems contain strong language and mature subject matter, such as discussions of violence, alcoholism, and sexuality.

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86 pages | 7.25" x 5.75 " 

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Indian Act: Residential School Plays
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Indian Act is a tribute and thank you to those who survived the Indian Residential School system so that future generations could be free to pursue their lives unhindered by educationally enforced lowered expectations and institutionalized abuse. Plays by contemporary First Nations and Metis playwrights cover the broad scope of residential school experiences, all kinds of characters, and no stereotypes, giving voice to those who could not be heard.

Includes the plays:
Bunk #7 by Larry Guno
God and the Indian by Drew Hayden Taylor
They Know Not What They Do by Tara Began
A Very Polite Genocide or The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Melanie J. Murray
Kihew by Curtis Peeteetuce
Dear Mr. Buchwald by Yvette Nolan

Educator Information
Recommended resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts, Drama, and Acting.  

Caution: Some plays contain mature subject matters and cover themes of substance abuse, sexual and physical violence, etc.  Some plays are not appropriate for high school use and may be better suited for college-level courses. 

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392 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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Hiraeth
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Hiraeth is about women supporting and lending strength and clarity to other women so they know that moving forward is always possible-- and always necessary. It documents a journey of struggle that pertains to a dark point in Canadian history that few talk about and of which even fewer seem aware. Poems speak to the 1960's "scoop up" of children and how this affected the lives of (one or thousands) of First Nations and Métis girls-- girls who later grew to be women with questions, women with wounds, women who felt like they had no place to call home. That is, until they allowed themselves to be open to the courage others have lived and shared. "Hiraeth" is a word that is Celtic in origin and it means looking for a place to belong that never existed. But this place does exist -- in the heart.

Educator Information
The 2018-2019 Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 9-12 for English Language Arts and Social Studies.

Caution: some poems contain depictions of violence and racism and use strong language.

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112 pages | 7.50" x 6.00"

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The Pemmican Eaters
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A picture of the Riel Resistance from one of Canada’s preeminent Métis poets.

With a title derived from John A. Macdonald’s moniker for the Métis, The Pemmican Eaters explores Marilyn Dumont’s sense of history as the dynamic present. Combining free verse and metered poems, her latest collection aims to recreate a palpable sense of the Riel Resistance period and evoke the geographical, linguistic/cultural, and political situation of Batoche during this time through the eyes of those who experienced the battles, as well as through the eyes of Gabriel and Madeleine Dumont and Louis Riel. 

Included in this collection are poems about the bison, seed beadwork, and the Red River Cart, and some poems employ elements of the Michif language, which, along with French and Cree, was spoken by Dumont’s ancestors. In Dumont’s The Pemmican Eaters, a multiplicity of identities is a strengthening rather than a weakening or diluting force in culture.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2016 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry 

Reviews
“A rollicking poem about the fiddle ('the first high call of the fiddle bids us dance/baits with its first pluck and saw of the bow/reels us, feet flick — fins to its lure and line') becomes a statement of cultural pride and defiance — much like The Pemmican Eaters as a whole.” — Toronto Star 

“Dumont’s work is visual and evocative, highlighting recurring symbols and images of a natural world that will be familiar to any dweller of the Prairies . . . The Pemmican Eaters builds off the poet’s earlier work and highlights a writer who has mastered both craft and voice.” — Quill & Quire 

“Dumont honours Métis traditions in music and beadwork in a number of lyrically driven poems. The Pemmican Eaters is a statement of cultural pride and defiance, much like Marilyn herself.” — CBC News Online 

“Marilyn Dumont uses both rhythmic and free verse to provide a brilliant and insightful look at Métis and Cree people.” — Scene Magazine

Educator Information
This book would be useful for grades 9 - 12 in courses such as creative writing, English language arts, and social studies.  Also recommended for students a college/university level.

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96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

 

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A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

“It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer… The officials have arrived and the children must go.”

So began the school experience of many Indigenous children in Canada for more than a hundred years, and so begins the history of residential schools prepared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

Between 2008 and 2015, the TRC provided opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to share their experiences of residential schools and released several reports based on 7,000 Survivor statements and 5 million documents from government, churches, and schools, as well as a solid grounding in secondary sources.

A Knock on the Door, published in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), gathers material from the TRC reports to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools and inform the journey to reconciliation that Canadians are now embarked upon. An afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the NCTR, home to the archive of recordings and documents collected by the TRC.

Survivor and former National Chief of the Assembly First Nations, Phil Fontaine, provides a Foreword, and an Afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, home to the archive of recordings, and documents collected by the TRC.

As Aimée Craft writes in the Afterword, knowing the historical backdrop of residential schooling and its legacy is essential to the work of reconciliation. In the past, agents of the Canadian state knocked on the doors of Indigenous families to take the children to school. Now, the Survivors have shared their truths and knocked back. It is time for Canadians to open the door to mutual understanding, respect, and reconciliation.

Reviews
“The attempt to transform us failed. The true legacy of the survivors, then, will be the transformation of Canada.” – Phil Fontaine, from the Foreword

A Knock on the Door is a book that I hope every Canadian will read, and read deeply. The transformation of this country begins with acknowledging what happened after that knock on the door. Acknowledging, understanding the implications, and then resolving to do something for positive change. It’s right that the TRC Calls to Action are included, for we are all called to action.” – Shelagh Rogers, O.C., TRC Honorary Witness

"Seven volumes from a nationwide inquiry into the legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools have been condensed into a compelling book that is both accessible and well-documented. The central conclusion—that the schools were part of a deliberate cultural genocide policy aimed at the continent’s first peoples, spearheaded by the Canadian government with the support of mainline churches —is clearly supported by historical references, gut-wrenching personal stories, and a thorough analysis of a system that forcibly removed indigenous children from their families.” – Publishers Weekly 

Educator Information
This book is recommended for grade 11 and 12 students for courses in social studies and social justice (also useful for college/university students in courses of a similar nature).  This book is also a useful teacher resource.

Caution: physical and sexual abuse is discussed in this book.

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Edited and Abridged | 296 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 11 b&w photographs | maps | bibliography

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Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Metis Community, 1901–1961
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Melonville. Smokey Hollow. Bannock Town. Fort Tuyau. Little Chicago. Mud Flats. Pumpville. Tintown. La Coulee. These were some of the names given to Métis communities at the edges of urban areas in Manitoba. Rooster Town, which was on the outskirts of southwest Winnipeg, endured from 1901 to 1961.

Those years in Winnipeg were characterized by the twin pressures of depression and inflation, chronic housing shortages, and a spotty social support network. At the city’s edge, Rooster Town grew without city services as rural Métis arrived to participate in the urban economy and build their own houses while keeping Métis culture and community as a central part of their lives.

In other growing settler cities, the Indigenous experience was largely characterized by removal and confinement. But the continuing presence of Métis living and working in the city, and the establishment of Rooster Town itself, made the Winnipeg experience unique.

Rooster Town documents the story of a community rooted in kinship, culture, and historical circumstance, whose residents existed unofficially in the cracks of municipal bureaucracy, while navigating the legacy of settler colonialism and the demands of modernity and urbanization.

 
Reviews
"Rooster Town challenges the lingering mainstream belief that Indigenous people and their culture are incompatible with urban life and opens the door to a broader conversation about the insidious nature of racial stereotypes ubiquitous among the broader Canadian polity.— Brenda Macdougall

"Places like Rooster Town are known and talked about within the contemporary Métis world-everybody knows somebody whose parents or grandparents came from these types of invisible and often marginalized communities-but there has been no acknowledgment of their existence within Canadian historical, geographic, sociological, or political scholarship."— Brenda Macdougall

"Very little is written about Indigenous urban histories. They are typically hidden, or erased, from the histories of Prairie cities, and Canadian cities generally. Rooster Town is an authoritative correction to that colonial erasure in the written record."— Ryan Walker
 
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248 pages | 6.00" x 9.00" | 33 b&w tables, 14 maps
 
Contents
Ch.1—Settler Colonialism and the Dispossession of the Manitoba Métis
Ch.2—The Establishment and Consolidation of Rooster Town, 1901-1911
Ch.3—Devising New Economic and Housing Strategies: Rooster Town during the First World War and After, 1916-1926
Ch.4—Persistence and Community: Rooster Town During and After the Great Depression, 1931-1946
Ch.5—Stereotyping, Dissolution, and Dispersal: Rooster Town, 1951-1961
Conclusion
 
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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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Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Louis Riel, prophet of the new world and founder of the Canadian province of Manitoba, has challenged Canadian politics, history and religion since the early years of Confederation. In Canada's most important and controversial state trial, Riel was found guilty of "high treason," sentenced to hang and executed on November 16, 1885. With 2017 being Canada's sesquicentennial of the initial Confederation of four British colonies, and with the question of reconciliation on the minds of many, the celebrations must recognize that the brutal execution of Louis Riel remains Canada's "great divide." Was the 1885 execution of Riel the hanging of a traitor? Or the legal murder of a patriot and statesman? Tried in a territorial court, Riel called out for justice, for an "inquiry into his career." To date, no such inquiry has been called. The spiritual and political father of the Métis nation and Western Canada remains branded a traitor to Canada.

In this imaginative re-enactment of his trial, Riel is finally given the opportunity to respond to his conviction for treason, offering his side of the story at Batoche and Red River.

Reviews
“In this era of reconciliation, Louis Riel: Let Justice Be Done is a tour de force. Exposing the combined pillars of racism and colonialism, Doyle assists in the decolonization of Canadian history during her sesquicentennial commemorations and celebrations.” — Venerable Dr. John A. (Ian) MacKenzie

“David Doyle’s advocacy, both in his writings and presentations, appropriates nothing from the Métis or their culture, rather it supplements it both for them and for all Canadians.” — George & Terry Goulet, authors of The Trial of Louis Riel

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200 pages | 9.00" x 6.00" | 16 b&w photos

This book is creative nonfiction, a genre of writing that presents factually accurate narratives using literary style and technique (creativity).

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You Will Wear a White Shirt
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

The compelling autobiography of Nick Sibbeston, residential school survivor and one of the North’s most influential leaders.

Growing up in a remote Northern community, Nick Sibbeston had little reason to believe he would one day fulfill his mother’s ambition of holding a career where he would “wear a white shirt.” Torn away from his family and placed in residential school at the age of five, Sibbeston endured loneliness, callous treatment and sexual assault by an older boy, but discovered a love of learning that would compel him to complete a law degree and pursue a career in politics.

As a young, firebrand politician, Sibbeston played an instrumental role during a critical moment in Northwest Territories politics, advocating tirelessly to support the economic and political development of First Nations people in the North, and participating in early discussions of the separation of Nunavut. Sibbeston’s career advanced in great strides, first as an MLA, then one of Canada’s first Aboriginal lawyers, then as a cabinet minister and eventually premier of the Northwest Territories. Finally, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada, where he continues to represent the people of Canada’s North, not least in advocating for the generations affected by residential school policies.

Although his years at residential school compelled Sibbeston to fight tirelessly for the rights of Aboriginal northerners, they also left a mark on his mental health, fuelling continual battles with anxiety, depression and addiction. It was only in later life that healing began to take place, as he battled his demons openly, supported not just by the medical community but also by his strong faith and the love of his wife and family.

Nick Sibbeston is a lawyer, distinguished member of the Northwest Territories (NWT) Legislative Assembly and a former premier. In 1970, Mr. Sibbeston was elected to a four-year term on the North West Territorial Council. And from 1979–91, he was elected to the NWT Legislative Assembly. Sibbeston has worked for the Government of NWT as Justice Specialist and as a Public Administrator for Deh Cho Health & Social Services and served four years on the Canadian Human Rights Panel/Tribunal. He is a current member of the Senate committees on Aboriginal Peoples, and Energy, Environment and Natural Resources. Mr. Sibbeston and his wife, Karen, live in Fort Simpson, NWT.

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I am a Métis
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Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Gerry St. Germain's story begins in "Petit Canada" on the shores of the Assiniboine, growing up with his two younger sisters, his mother and his father--a shy Metis trapper and construction worker who sometimes struggled to put food on the table. St. Germain was initially troubled in school, scrapping with classmates and often skipping out to shoot pool, but an aunt and uncle with some extra cash paid his tuition to Catholic school, where a nun recognized his aptitude for math and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. He would go on to become an air force pilot, undercover policeman and West Coast chicken farmer. Business gave way to politics, and in 1988 he became one of a tiny number of Aboriginal Canadians named to a federal cabinet. That milestone was just one of many for a man who played a critical role in Canada's Conservative movement for a generation.


From the Brian Mulroney era to the roller-coaster leadership of Kim Campbell, then to the collapse of the Progressive Conservative party in 1993 and the subsequent rebuilding of the movement under Stephen Harper, St. Germain remained a trusted confidant of prime ministers and a crucial and often daring behind-the-scenes broker in bringing warring factions together. But he is most proud of his efforts during his later years in the Senate, when he was a quiet hero to Canada's Aboriginal community. He spearheaded major Senate reports on key issues like land claims and on-reserve education during the Harper era, when there were few friendly faces for First Nations leaders on Parliament Hill. That role reflected St. Germain's profound determination to help people who are still dealing today the brutal legacy of residential schools and the paternalistic Indian Act. Memories of his humble beginnings, and the shame he once felt over his Metis heritage, bubbled to the surface in his final address to Canada's Parliament in 2012, when he said in a voice quaking with emotion: "I am a Metis."

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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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Page As Bone Ink As Blood
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Death, desire, and divination are the threads running through Jonina Kirton's debut collection of poems and lyric prose. Delicate and dark, the pieces are like whispers in the night - a haunted, quiet telling of truths the mind has locked away but the body remembers. Loosely autobiographical, these are the weavings of a wagon-goddess who ventures into the double-world existence as a mixed-race woman. In her struggle for footing in this in-between space, she moves from the disco days oftrance dance to contemplations in her dream kitchen as a mother and wife.

With this collection, Kirton adds her voice to the call for the kind of fierce honesty referred to by Muriel Rukeyser when she asked, What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. Kirton tells her truth with gentleness and patience, splitting the world open one line at a time.

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Maria Campbell: Essays on Her Works
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

This essay collection gathers together writings on the works of Maria Campbell, feminist, activist, visionary, artist, mother, grandmother, and Métis elder. The book talks truthfully of Maria's journey as a writer, how her writing was infected with her experiences with marginalization and discrimination. And how she emerged on the other side having affirmed her identity.

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On the Goose: A Labrador Metis Woman Remembers
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Josie Penny's life as part of a loving Métis family in an isolated corner of Labrador changed dramatically when she was taken away to a residential school. Abused by the students, Josie became increasingly angry and isolated from her family and community as she grew into her teens. At seventeen she left for Goose Bay to make her fortune and start her own life.

On the Goose is the story of how Josie came to terms with her feelings of helplessness and isolation as she began to understand why she could not feel or express love. Josie Penny's memoir is an inspiring true story of how love and hard work helped one woman triumph over adversity.

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Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Metis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;

Why don’t more Métis people go to traditional ceremonies? How does going to ceremonies impact Métis identity? In Rekindling the Sacred Fire, Chantal Fiola investigates the relationship between Red River Métis ancestry, Anishinaabe spirituality, and identity, bringing into focus the ongoing historical impacts of colonization upon Métis relationships with spirituality on the Canadian prairies. Using a methodology rooted in Anishinaabe knowledge and principles along with select Euro-Canadian research practices and tools, Fiola’s work is a model for indigenized research.

Fiola’s interviews of people with Métis ancestry, or an historic familial connection to the Red River Métis, who participate in Anishinaabe ceremonies, shares stories about family history, self-identification, and their relationships with Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian cultures and spiritualities. This study seeks to understand the historical suppression of Anishinaabe spirituality among the Métis and its more recent reconnection that breaks down the colonial divisions between their cultures.

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Remembering Will Have To Do: The Life and Times of Louise (Trottier) Moine
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Deftly merging pioneer history with Aboriginal autobiography, Louise Moine wrote about her childhood spent on the ranching frontier of southwest Saskatchewan in the early 1900s and about her time in an Indian residential school in two published books and various articles in the 1970s and early ‘80s. A long-time resident of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, she also wrote candid vignettes of her many family members and friends living in southwest Saskatchewan and northern Montana.

Remembering Will Have to Do: The Life and Times of Louise (Trottier) Moine collects her various writings, including her previously-published books and essays, as well as unpublished stories, photographs, and appendices. Having lived almost 102 years, Louise Moine witnessed the changing Prairie West as Euro-Canadian and European settlers moved in and overwhelmed the region’s Aboriginal residents. Although much of this text was written decades ago, it is still retains its relevance and carries an authenticity of somebody who personally witnessed the rise of southwest Saskatchewan’s ranching culture, the end of the Métis’ nomadic lifestyle, the growth of the dysfunctional Indian residential school system, and the impact of colonization on the region’s Aboriginal peoples.

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Metis Soldiers of Saskatchewan: 1914-1953
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Métis Soldiers of Saskatchewan greatly contributes to our knowledge of the role played by Saskatchewan’s Métis during Canada’s war efforts. This important commemorative book contains hundreds of photographs as well as a detailed list of more than 1,700 Métis soldiers from Saskatchewan who fought in two World Wars and the Korean war.

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$35.00

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Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights: In Defense of Indigenous Struggles
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Aboriginal rights do not belong to the broader category of universal human rights because they are grounded in the particular practices of aboriginal people. So argues Peter Kulchyski in this provocative book from the front lines of indigenous people’s struggles to defend their culture from the ongoing conquest of their traditional lands. Kulchyski shows that some differences are more different than others, and he draws a border between bush culture and mall culture, between indigenous people’s mode of production and the totalizing push of state-led capitalism.

Aboriginal Rights Are Not Human Rights provides much needed conceptual and historical analysis of aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada, and offers concrete suggestions to transform the current policy paradigm into one that supports and invigorates indigenous cultures in a contemporary context.

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$19.95

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Extraordinary Canadians: Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont:A Penguin Lives Biography
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Louis Riel is regarded by some as a hero and visionary, by others as a madman and misguided religious zealot. The Métis leader who fought for the rights of his people against an encroaching tide of white settlers helped establish the province of Manitoba before escaping to the United States. Gabriel Dumont was a successful hunter and Métis chief, a man tested by warfare, a pragmatist who differed from the devout Riel. Giller Prize—winning novelist Joseph Boyden argues that Dumont, part of a delegation that had sought out Riel in exile, may not have foreseen the impact on the Métis cause of bringing Riel home. While making rational demands of Sir John A. Macdonald's government, Riel seemed increasingly overtaken by a messianic mission. His execution in 1885 by the Canadian government still reverberates today. Boyden provides fresh, controversial insight into these two seminal Canadian figures and how they shaped the country.

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$22.00

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Love Medicine and One Song
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

In 'Love Medicine and One Song', Gregory Scofield steps out of the urban rez and enters the fields of love. Intertwining lush scenes from the natural world with images of the human body, the poems in 'Love Medicine and One Song' celebrate human relationships with the land, and with the bodies of ourselves and our lovers.

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$16.00

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Accounting for Genocide
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Accounting for Genocide is an original and controversial book that retells the history of the subjugation and ongoing economic marginalization of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Its authors demonstrate the ways in which successive Canadian governments have combined accounting techniques and economic rationalizations with bureaucratic mechanisms—soft technologies—to deprive Native peoples of their land and natural resources and to control the minutiae of their daily economic and social lives. Particularly shocking is the evidence that federal and provincial governments are today still prepared to use legislative and fiscal devices in order to facilitate the continuing exploitation and damage of Indigenous people’s lands.

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$29.95

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Healing Wounded Hearts
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Healing Wounded Hearts brings together stories, poems and artwork that illustrate the struggles and strengths that Fyre Jean has, as a Métis Woman, living everyday in intersecting, parallel, sometimes colliding, socio-cultural realities. Baring her Heart and Soul, she shares personal, painful, spiritual discoveries of how life and worlds work, through Stories that have grown her into who she is. Through a blend of original research, reflective journals and creative use of dialogue, people, places, times, events, beings come alive. Simultaneously Traditional and Experimental, Factual and Fictional, her word choice and placement foreground questions of Authority, Power and Privilege. Fyre Jean is a wordsmith who bends and shapes languages, to make Truth, to Transform, to Move herself and her readers from one Place, Condition, Reality, to another. Healing Wounded Hearts is a process, a flow, a Journey. When you open this book, you open a Doorway to Healing. Be prepared to experience her worlds—personal and political, academic and artistic, humorous and tragic. You will be enlightened, inspired, moved, surprised into new ways of Seeing, Believing, Being. A must read for social activists, academics, artists, helpers and those on a Healing Journey.

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$27.95

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Just Pretending
Format: Paperback

From one of Canada's most exciting new Metis voices comes a book whose recurring themes include the complexities of identity, belonging/not belonging, Aboriginal adoption, loss and abandonment, regret and insecurity.

A deadbeat dad tries to reconnect with his daughter after 22 years away. A selfish poet has been scarred by an upbringing that leaves him emotionally distant from his children and spouse. A pot-smoking middle-aged man undertakes a modest quest for meaning following a brush with mortality. A fourteen-year-old girl struggles to come to terms with her feelings of abandonment.

The characters are often fragile, sometimes unlikeable, but ultimately can be identified or sympathized with. At the centre of the stories are notions of identity and belonging, and the complex relationships between children and parents, both those who are real and those who are just pretending.

Reviews
"In Just Pretending, Saskatchewan-based Métis writer Lisa Bird-Wilson offers 24 brisk tales featuring characters asking this question. The title character in “Billy Bird” visits his Mooshum (grandfather in Cree), who is dying slowly in a rehab centre. While he is there, he reflects on his place in a never-ending circle. “His whole family is there sharing the circle with him, people he looks like, people he’s connected to, people whose traits he shares, people whose history is his own, grannies and grampas, Nehiyaw and Métis, all connected by the silky red thread.” Billy has a powerful ache to belong, to know himself through others." - Yutaka Dirks, briarpatch

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$18.95

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Plain Speaking: Essays on Aboriginal Peoples and the Prairie
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Métis;

For thousands of years the First Nations and Métis peoples have forged social, economic, historical and artistic relationships with the prairie ecosystem. These relationships, though much influenced by tradition, are not strictly bound by the past: rather, contemporary encounters and interpretations of these relationships between people and prairie are important aspects of living, contemporary cultures.

This collection of essays reflects a desire to hear and share these contemporary stories, as well as new interpretations of past encounters. It represents an attempt to express Aboriginal ties to the land, be they rooted in the spirit, the intellect, the imagination, or simply the day-to-day lifestyle.

Authenticity Note: This work contains works and substantial contributions from Indigenous contributors, such as Neal McLeod and Blair Stonechild. Therefore, it has received the Authentic Indigenous Text label.

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Authentic Indigenous Text
$29.95

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Fingerweaving Basics
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American;

Fingerweaving has been practiced by Native Americans for centuries. It requires no sophisticated loom, only the nimble hands of the weaver. Each technique is presented in detail. The instructions are simple and clearly written, and each step is illustrated with color drawings that make the different threads easy to identify. Includes a color photo of each finished weaving. The approach used here makes this craft much more accessible to amateurs who may have wanted to try it but may have been turned off by the complexity of other books on the subject. Several variations are given for chevron stitch, lightning pattern, arrowhead pattern, bead accents, and fringe.

$31.95

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The Identities of Marie Rose Delorme Smith: Portrait of a Metis Woman, 1861-1960
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

This book relates the history and self-identifying process of a Métis woman who lived on the western plains of Canada during the transitional period from fur trade to sedentary agricultural economy.
Marie Rose Delorme Smith was a woman of French-Métis ancestry who was born during the fur trade era and who spent her adult years as a pioneer rancher in the Pincher Creek district of southern Alberta. Sold by her mother at the age of sixteen to a robe and whiskey trader several years older than her, Marie Rose went on to raise seventeen children, establish a boarding house, take a homestead, serve as medicine woman and midwife, and to publish several articles in the early prairie ranch periodical, Canadian Cattlemen. The author relies on close readings of these articles, as well as the diaries, manuscripts, and fictional writing of Marie Rose Delorme Smith, along with personal interviews with her descendants. These sources allow a close examination of the self-identifying process for Marie Rose as she negotiated the changing environment of the western plains during the late 1800s and early 1900s when large numbers of Anglo-speaking immigrants settled in the area.
Clearly proud of her Métis identity, Marie Rose was a member of an extended family who served as Louis Riel’s soldiers, and she presented that identity tentatively in her own writings. Roles which Marie Rose assumed with pride were those of author, historian, mother, and historical character, and these roles serve as themes from which to examine her life.

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$39.95

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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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The Metis Memorable Events
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

The Metis Memorable Events and Memorable Personalities (3rd Printing)

An insightful picture into the history, heritage and culture of the Metis people.
Memorable events include constitutional recognition and memorable personalities include Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont.

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$18.95

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My Children are My Reward: The Life of Elsie Spence
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Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

Through the story of Elsie Spence, Harpelle describes in vivid terms the traditional ways of the Metis in Manitoba in the mid-20th Century, and shows the strong matriarchal role.

$12.95

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L' espace de Louis Goulet
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

When the personal papers of Louis Goulet (1859-1936) were discovered in 1973 researchers found a wealth of observations from a prairie Metis who saw his culture on the verge of change. More than a collection of memoirs, Vanishing Spaces is a plainspoken account of a nation in transition. The title is also available in its original French version, L'Espace de Louis Goulet.

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$10.95

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