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Lightfinder
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Lightfinder is a Young Adult fantasy novel about Aisling, a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows.

They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own. The story follows the paths of Aisling and Eric, siblings unwittingly thrust into a millennia-old struggle for the future of life on earth. It deals with growing up, love and loss, and the choices life puts in our path. Love and confusion are in store, as are loss and pain. Things are not always what they seem and danger surrounds them at every turn. Will Raven's mysterious purposes prevail? With darkness closing in how will they find the light to guide them? Will Aisling find Eric in time?

Set in the Alberta landscape with references to real-world challenges faced by youth today, Lightfinder has proven to be a hit with young adults and adults alike. Lightfinder spent over 60 days in Amazon's Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels in 2014.

Awards

  • Winner of the 2015 Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature!

Reviews
"With an artist's eye and a storyteller's soaring imagination, Aaron Paquette has written a page-turner. I found myself rooting hard for Aisling, Eric and their beloved Kokum. This book is a hugely engaging cautionary tale: the stakes are high if we keep giving in to our appetites. But there is great light in Lightfinder. Congratulations, Aaron, on this strong debut." - Shelagh Rogers 

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 11-18

Additional Information
240 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$22.00

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#NotYourPrincess
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Native women demand to be heard in this stunning anthology.

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous girls and women across North America resound in this book. In the same visual style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, intergenerational trauma, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women demanding change and realizing their dreams. Sometimes outraged, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have had their history hidden and whose modern lives have been virtually invisible.

Reviews
“A stunning anthology of creative writing and art . . . All YA collections will want this."— Alicia Abdul, School Library Journal

Educator Information
Themes: First Nations; Native Peoples; Indigenous; girls and women; biography; multicultural; stereotyping; acceptance; community; prejudice; self-esteem; tolerance

Interest Age 14+ | Grade 9+

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 8-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Social Justice, Social Studies.

Additional Information
8.5 x 11 | 112 Pages

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21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.

Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo. Joseph explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance—and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around truth and reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act’s cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true reconciliation.

Reviews
"Increasing Canadians' knowledge about the terrible foundation this country has been built on is a critical part of reconciliation. Bob Joseph has highlighted some of the unbelievable provisions of the Indian Act and how they have impacted First Nations in Canada and gives a brief overview of what we may replace it with going forward. His book provides helpful context to the dialogue that needs to take place in Canada." — Kim Baird, O.C., O. B. C.; Owner, Kim Baird Strategic Consulting; Member of the Tsawwassen First Nation; Negotiator of the Tsawwassen First Nation Treaty

"From declaring cultural ceremonies illegal, to prohibiting pool hall owners from granting Indigenous people entrance, from forbidding the speaking of Indigenous languages, to the devastating policy that created residential schools, Bob Joseph reveals the hold this paternalistic act, with its roots in the 1800s, still has on the lives of Indigenous people in Canada in the 21st century. This straightforward book is an invaluable resource. There is much for non-Indigenous people to learn and to do. But equally important, there is much to unlearn and to undo. The time is right for this book. Thank you, Bob Joseph. Gilakasla." — Shelagh Rogers, O.C.; Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Honourary Witness

"Bob’s ability to navigate the complex history of the Indian Act is a wonder to behold. He provides depth and knowledge for Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars alike. Whether you are an Indigenous scholar or a neophyte, his articulate, insightful and comprehensive analysis on the history of the Indian Act provides a sound understanding on the present narrative of Indigenous peoples in Canada. By way of the Indian Act, this book provides an excellent analysis of the ongoing relationship and predicament between provincial and federal governments and Indigenous peoples in the 21st century." — JP Gladu, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Additional Information
160 pages | 5.22" x 8.05"

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

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

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

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7 Générations: Volume 1 (French)
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

La série 7 générations est une bande dessinée épique en deux parties et quatre histoires : Pierre, Cicatrices, Rupture et Pacte. Elle raconte la saga d’une famille autochtone sur trois siècles et sept générations.Pierre : Edwin fait face à un avenir incertain. En découvrant sa famille et son passé de guerres, d’épidémie de variole et de pensionnats, il pourra mieux affronter le présent et envisager l’avenir avec confiance.Cicatrices : L’histoire se déroule en 1870, au moment où la dernière grande épidémie de variole fait des ravages dans les Prairies. Après avoir été témoin de la mort de toute sa famille, Nuage blanc, jeune Cri-des-Plaines et ancêtre d’Edwin, trouve la force d’échapper à la terrible maladie et de partir à la recherche d’un nouveau chez-lui. En constatant à bravoure et la persévérance de Nuage blanc, Edwin s’arme de courage et entreprend d’affronter la principale source de son propre désespoir.

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72 pages | 7.00" x 10.00"

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7 Générations: Volume 2 (French)
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

L’enseignement de l’histoire des peuples autochtones dans notre pays n’est pas une tâche facile. Les bandes dessinées de Dave Robertson exploitent un moyen de communication important pour faire connaitre cette histoire aux jeunes Canadiens... L’histoire d’Edwin, de James et de Lauren, puissante et dérangeante, est racontée — et montrée — efficacement. Il s’agit d’un sujet important qui touche de nombreuses familles autochtones. Dave le traite bien, et les belles illustrations de Scott Henderson incitent le lecteur à prêter attention. Pacte fait ressortir un message important : la réconciliation repose sur le respect… et le point de départ est le respect de soi. Toute bonne histoire vaut la peine d’être racontée, et lorsqu’elle est bien racontée, d’être lue. Surtout celle-ci.LE JUGE MURRAY SINCLAIR, PRÉSIDENT, COMMISSION DE VÉRITÉ ET RÉCONCILIATION DU CANADA

La série 7 générations est une bande dessinée épique en deux volumes et quatre histoires : Pierre, Cicatrices, Rupture et Pacte. Elle raconte la saga d’une famille autochtone sur trois siècles et sept générations. Volume 2 :Rupture : En 1967, deux frères sont retirés du domicile de leurs dévoués et affectueux grands-parents et emportés dans un pensionnat indien loin de chez eux. Affecté à des travaux manuels extérieurs, James voit de moins en moins son jeune frère Thomas. Bientôt, James découvre l’angoisse dans laquelle vit Thomas, et il s’ensuit une tragédie. La douleur et le sentiment de culpabilité qui poursuivent James continuent d’avoir des répercussions négatives sur son fils Edwin, qui est en difficulté. Toutefois, une nouvelle relation semble se profiler entre le père et le fils… Pacte : Poursuivi, à l’âge adulte, par la douleur et le sentiment de perte découlant de ce qu’il a vécu au pensionnat, James voit sa vie échapper à son contrôle. Rongé par le remord, il est incapable d’entretenir une relation suivie avec Lauren et leurs fils Edwin. Sombrant dans sa propre douleur, Edwin essaie de surmonter la désolation dans laquelle l’a plongé l’absence de son père. Pendant que James tente de se guérir, il commence à se rendre compte qu’il pourrait sauver la vie de son fils en même temps que la sienne. En se rencontrant, le père et le fils arriveront-ils à réparer leur relation et se guérir, ou est-il trop tard ?

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72 pages | 7.00" x 10.00"

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A Girl Called Echo, Vol 1: Pemmican Wars
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Echo Desjardins, a 13-year-old Métis girl adjusting to a new home and school, is struggling with loneliness while separated from her mother. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee’s lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie—and back again to the present. In the following weeks, Echo slips back and forth in time. She visits a Métis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican Wars.

Educator & Series Information
Pemmican Wars is the first graphic novel in the A Girl Called Echo series.

The Canadian Indigenous Books for School list recommends this for Grades 5-12 for these subject areas: Arts Education, English Language Arts, Social Studies.

Additional Information
48 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

 

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A Girl Called Echo, Vol 2: Red River Resistance
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

Echo Desjardins is adjusting to her new home, finding friends, and learning about Métis history. She just can’t stop slipping back and forth in time. One ordinary afternoon in class, Echo finds herself transported to the banks of the Red River in the summer of 1869. All is not well in the territory as Canadian surveyors have arrived to change the face of territory, and Métis families, who have lived there for generations, are losing access to their land. As the Resistance takes hold, Echo fears for her friends and the future of her people in the Red River Valley.

Series Information
Red River Resistance is volume two in the graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo, by Katherena Vermette.

Additional Information
48 pages | 6.50" x 10.00"

 

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A Grain of Rice
Authors:
Nhung N Tran-Davies
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 6; 7; 8; 9;

Thirteen-year-old Yen and her family have survived a war, famine and persecution. When a flood ruins their village in rural Vietnam, they take the ultimate risk on a chance for a better life.

Reviews
"Tran-Davies does not shy away from the terrible realities of post-war Vietnam, including the poverty, corruption, and violence that affected its citizens. The events in this novel are based on history and will act as curriculum tie-in for middle school students. Yen is a well-written character, a strong young teen, struggling to understand the world around her. Ma speaks little, but much is learned by her actions. Much is included in this book including many secondary characters and the many political and social issues of the time.Highly Recommended."— CM Magazine

"A suspenseful action story. . . which gives insight into the events that still haunt Canada's Vietnamese population — and the struggles of refugees past and present".— Quill & Quire

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 11-14 (young adult fiction).

Additional Information
168 pages | 5.40" x 8.25"

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$12.95

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A Name Earned
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Choctaw;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11;

After overcoming years of trouble with his alcoholic father and surviving a near-death car accident, Bobby Byington - for the first time in his life - has a strong family. His parents are reunited, his father has turned away from the bottle, and he is a starter on the basketball team at his high school.

But the door to trouble never stays closed. Bobby's girlfriend, next-door-neighbor Faye, suffers attacks from a bullying classmate, and some of Bobby's basketball teammates are dealing with family problems that are all too familiar to him. Maybe Bobby's old backyard hideout will need to be uncovered again and the door reopened.

Hoping to help his friends, Bobby shares the Choctaw legend of No Name that Coach Robison had told him back when Bobby needed to hide from his father. Who knew Coach's wisdom would become so meaningful to others?

As the playoffs near and the team plays to win, Coach delivers a message that extends well beyond the basketball court: "Your life is carved by the choices you make. You earn your name by your actions."

Educator Information
Reading Level: 2.5

Recommended Ages: 12-16

Series Information
This is the third book in the No Name series, which is part of the PathFinders series. The PathFinders series of Hi-Lo (high interest, low readability) novels offers the following features: 

• Indigenous teen protagonists
• Age appropriate plots
• 2.5 – 4.5 Reading Level
• Contemporary and historical fiction
• Indigenous authors

The PathFinders series is from an American publisher. Therefore, Indigenous terminology in the PathFinders books is not the same as Canadian Indigenous terminology. This prompts a useful teaching moment for educators in discussing appropriate terminology use in Canada.  The recommended ages for books in the PathFinders series are 12-16.

Additional Information
160 pages | 4.50" x 7.00"

 

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$12.95

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A Short History of Indians in Canada: Stories
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Acclaimed author Thomas King is in fabulous, fantastical form in this bestselling short story collection. From the surreal migrations of the title story to the misadventures of Coyote in the modern world and the chaos of a baby's unexpected arrival by airmail, King's tales are deft, hilarious and provocative. 

Reviews
"The stories in this volume cover a lot of ground. King touches on the history of displacement, racism and stereotyping, oppressive government policy, marriage and relationships, and Aboriginal-white relations, among other topics." - Dragonfly Consulting Services Canada

Educator Information
Grade 10/11 English First Peoples resource used in the unit The Trickster - A Recurring Presence.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.31" x 8.00"

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Algonquin Spring: An Algonquin Quest Novel
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10;

Years after a devastating battle, Mahingan and his tribe struggle to recover a lost loved one.

Six years earlier in the fourteenth century, Mahingan and his tribe fought the Battle of the Falls against the Haudenosaunee. There were many losses, and Mahingan thought he had lost his wife, Wàbananang (Morning Star). But after the battle, he learned she was still alive, taken captive by the Haudenosaunee. Now on a desperate quest to rescue her, Mahingan and his small family are wintering north of the Ottawa River near present-day Lachute, Quebec. If they are to have any hope of recovering Wàbananang, though, they must first survive until spring.

At the same time, over 2,000 kilometres away in present-day Newfoundland, events taking place will affect four Native tribes: Mahingan’s, a group of Mi’kmaq, a Beothuk group, and a band of Haudenosaunee warriors led by Mahingan’s old nemesis, Ò:nenhste Erhar (Corn Dog) — a fierce Mohawk War Chief and Wàbananang’s captor.

Along the way, Mahingan’s brother, Mitigomij, will reveal his true self and powers. Then, an influential Mi’kmaq legend puts a new, powerful twist on events, and threatens to send things spiraling out of Mahingan’s control.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Series Information
This novel is part of the Algonquin Quest Series, a series of young adult novels from Algonquin author Rick Revelle.

Additional Information
296 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

 

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Algonquin Sunset: An Algonquin Quest Novel
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10;

Anokì and his sister Pangì Mahingan have grown up, and now face a decision that will change their lives forever.

Twelve years after Mahingan was wounded battling for his life against the Haudenosaunee warrior known as Ö:nenhste Erhar (Corn Dog), we rejoin his family and learn what fate held for him.

Now, his children, Anokì and Pangì Mahingan, along with their twin cousins Makwa and Wàbek, are grown and have adult responsibilities. Still living with their Algonquin family, they have become a formidable fighting unit with the addition of three Mi´kmaq warriors, E´s, Jilte´g, and the fierce Elue´wiet Ga´qaquj.

However, there is danger in the land of the setting sun, and nothing is more dangerous than what the family is going to encounter from the fierce enemy of their new Anishinaabe allies: the Lakȟóta.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 12-15.

Series Information
This novel is part of the Algonquin Quest Series, a series of young adult novels from Algonquin author Rick Revelle.

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304 pages | 5.00" x 8.00"

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April Raintree
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

Very few of us have a proper understanding of the tragic and painful circumstances of native life in urban Canada. A truly black mark on the record of the Canadian government and Canadian society as a whole, these problems are dealt with by the astute and truthful writing of Beatrice Culleton. April Raintree is a work of autobiographical fiction that not only brings the reader into a genuine and difficult aspect of urban life, but also reveals Culleton`s significant talents.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 9-12.  This version of the novel was written specifically for students in grades 9-12 and does not contain the graphic scene that is contained in the original version, In Search of April Raintree.

Grades 10-12 English First Peoples resource.

Additional Information
196 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Novel
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;

From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.

The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school. She doesn't speak English but is punished for speaking her native language; most terrifying and bewildering, she is also "fed" to the school's attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.

Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue. The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children's Aid to Toronto. In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home.

Awards

  • 2013 Burt Award - Third Place Winner
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