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Indigenous Stories

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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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$18.95

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A Tale of Two Shamans: A Haida Manga
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; University/College;

The brilliant follow-up to War of Blink and RED: A Haida Manga — another stunningly inventive retelling of an ancient Haida tale.

Notes on a Tale of Two Shamans - ga Sraagaa sdang from the author: 

"The work that you are about to read is old, much older than any of us still living. It is probably older than anything one could even call Canadian. It precedes us all. Obviously I am not the primary creator of such a narrative, but as a Haida citizen, it is an ancestral experience. The strength of owning a thing is often expressed as a right to share it. In this retelling we the illustrators, editors, linguists, curators and indeed the community of living Haidas and friend invite you to join with us. Come as a respected guest. Sit at the table and be nourished by our living culture. This story is a blend of accounts recorded at the turn of the nineteenth century in three of the once numerous dialects of the Haida language. I have combined elements from these accounts into a newly constructed whole. Be cautioned that these images are interpretations informed by my own cultural composition and life experiences. This is a contemporary rendering of a worldview first expressed in different times and probably for different reasons. I am not stepping forward to join that dais filled with authorities claiming to represent those distant times. I am a Haida whose life experiences are probably very similar to [that of] your own. In many respects that greater distance between the first tellers of ga Sraagaa sdang and ourselves, makes us both readers. The first part of my telling of ga Sraagaa sdang comes from Sk’a.aaws. This is an ancient town site located along the eastern border of a forested region called Duu Guusd. Duu Guusd is part of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago still held until recently in its colonial embrace as the Queen Charlotte Islands. The other old source of telling is Skedans. This old town is located in the Gwaii Haanas Haida Heritage Site, an area also currently reserved as a Canadian National Park. I have restrained from writing an extensive opinion, instead limiting my retelling to a brief text and illustrations. This should suffice to give the engaged reader a hint of the mazing concepts which ripple through this shamanic tale and remain a substantial element of that dynamic living society of indigenous peoples called Haida." - Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Reviews
“This Haida manga intriguingly blends graphic storytelling with a fine art sensibility… Yahgulanaas communicates via an arresting series of images evoking the traditional visual arts of the Haida people.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 14+ 

May contain mature content.

Additional Information
72 pages | 7.00" x 8.50" 

 

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$24.95

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Aaniiih/Gros Ventre Stories
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 10; 11; 12; University/College;

The first-ever collection of Anniiih/Gros Ventre narratives to be published in the Aaniiih/Gros Ventre language, this book contains traditional trickster tales and war stories. Some of these stories were collected by Alfred Kroeber in 1901, while others are contemporary, oral stories, told in the past few years. 

As with the previous titles in the First Nations Language Readers series, Aaniiih/Gros Ventre Stories comes with a complete glossary and provides some grammar usage. Delightfully illustrated, each story is accompanied by an introduction to guide the reader through the material.

The Aaniiih/Gros Ventre people lived in the Saskatchewan area in the 1700s, before being driven south during the 1800s to the Milk River area in Montana, along the USA/Canada border.

Educator Information
This book is published in the Aaniiih/Gros Ventre language. An English glossary is provided at the back of the book. 

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Indigenous Language Studies, Language Studies.

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

Additional Information
120 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Compiled and Edited by Terry Brockie and Andrew Cowell
 

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$24.95

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Akaitsinikssiistsi: Blackfoot Stories of Old
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

This collection of eight stories represents an introduction to Niits'powahsini, the Blackfoot language, and includes a pronunciation guide and Blackfoot-to-English glossary.

In these stories Ikkinainihki, "Gentle Singer," recalls events from childhood and tells of her Elders, the cold weather of the Plains, a crying spirit, rattlesnakes, and more. This collection opens with a prayer and a small essay on the importance of preserving Niitsi'powahsini.

Blackfoot Stories of Old will be of great value to native speakers, new learners, linguists, and those looking for insights into the Blackfoot people, who live in present-day Alberta and Montana.

Educator Information
The third volume in the First Nations Language Readers series--meant for language learners and language users--this collection presents eight Blackfoot stories told by Lena Russell, a fluent speaker of Blackfoot from the Kainai (Blood) reserve in southern Alberta.

In contract with other Algonquian languages, such as Cree and Saulteaux (Ojibwe), Blackfoot is not usually written in syllabics, so these stories are presented in the Blackfoot language using the Roman alphabet, together with the English translation. The spelling system is based on the conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and should be transparent for native speakers of Blackfoot as well as for linguists. The Reader includes a Blackfoot-to-English glossary containing all the nouns, verbs, adjuncts, etc., found in the texts, as well as stress or pitch accents over the vowel or vowels which bear the accent.

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

Additional Information
96 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

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$24.95

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Birdie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

Birdie is a darkly comic and moving first novel about the universal experience of recovering from wounds of the past, informed by the lore and knowledge of Cree traditions. Bernice Meetoos, a Cree woman, leaves her home in Northern Alberta following tragedy and travels to Gibsons, BC. She is on something of a vision quest, seeking to understand the messages from The Frugal Gourmet (one of the only television shows available on CBC North) that come to her in her dreams. She is also driven by the leftover teenaged desire to meet Pat Johns, who played Jesse on The Beachcombers, because he is, as she says, a working, healthy Indian man. Bernice heads for Molly’s Reach to find answers but they are not the ones she expected.

With the arrival in Gibsons of her Auntie Val and her cousin Skinny Freda, Bernice finds the strength to face the past and draw the lessons from her dreams that she was never fully taught in life. Part road trip, dream quest and travelogue, the novel touches on the universality of women's experience, regardless of culture or race.

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Born With a Tooth
Authors:
Joseph Boyden
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 10; 11;

Almost a decade after its original publication, award winner and Governor General Literary Award nominee Joseph Boyden's classic book of short stories is finally being reissued. Born With A Tooth, Boyden's debut work of fiction, is a collection of thirteen beautifully written stories about aboriginal life in Ontario. They are stories of love, unexpected triumph, and a passionate belief in dreams. They are also stories of anger and longing, of struggling to adapt, of searching but remaining unfulfilled. The collection includes 'Bearwalker', a story that introduces a character who appears again in Boyden's novel Three Day Road. By taking on a new voice in each story, Joseph Boyden explores aboriginal stereotypes and traditions in a most unexpected way. Whether told by a woman trying to forget her past or by a drunken man trying to preserve his culture, each story paints an unforgettable and varied image of modern aboriginal culture in Ontario. An extraordinary first book, Born With A Tooth reveals why Joseph Boyden is a writer worth reading.

Educator Information
Recommended Grades: 10-11

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$22.00

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Chief Lightning Bolt
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Mi'kmaq;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Here is a contemporary Mi’kmaq legend of the life of a great man, who becomes chief, the embodiment of Mi’kmaq values of humility, courage, honour, service and sacrifice of personal gain for the sake of others. He lived a long and storied life, hundreds of years ago, before the arrival of the European scouts and, later, their warships. He was a renowned warrior but, more so, a peacemaker. His people followed him to the point of devotion, yet he was uncannily modest, even embarrassed by his own achievements. He suffered great loss, yet his understanding of his place, his role in a great society, a greater natural world and an inestimable metaphysical world, guided him through his pain.

Mi’kmaq readers may recognize these time-honoured themes based on traditional tales passing values generation to generation. Others will gain a new appreciation for what was lost under colonialism and the attempted genocide of this vibrant, sophisticated and successful culture and society.

With We Were Not the Savages, Daniel Paul changed the way the world understood the history of Eastern Canada and the fully developed civilization that existed before the arrival of the European explorers and settlers, and the nature of the subsequent violent attack on that culture. With Chief Lightning Bolt, Paul shows us exactly what was lost, the beauty of the Mi’kma’ki that once existed, the culture that survived and is only now beginning to recover.

Reviews
“Being with Chief Lightning Bolt from his beginning to the end, is a great way to learn the history of our ancestors. A unique way of teaching about the past. Wela’lin.”  — Theresa Muise, author of L’nu’k: The People

“It is incredibly entertaining while gently enlightening modern-day readers about the humane, balanced, honourable, trustworthy, civil and democratic nature of pre-contact Mi’kmaq society.” — Randolph Bowers, author of Sacred Teachings from the Medicine Lodge

Additional Information
288 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

 

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$21.00

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Clouds
Artists:
Michael Joyal
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In this brave first book, Lucy Haché transports the reader with intimate revelations on self-awareness and identity by exploring both her personal and ancestral relationship to the sea, forest and sky. Through skilled restraint and beautifully astute description, Haché's prose reaches past her own contemplation to connect us all. Masterfully illustrated by artist Michael Joyal, his stunning and meteorologically accurate cloud drawings contribute to the overall sensory and transcendent experience.

Reviews
“Lucy Haché pulls universal truths from her very personal observations that will resonate long after the reader has put aside this jewel of a book. I loved each word, and every one of Michael Joyal’s perfect illustrations.” —Charles de Lint, author of Moonheart and The Onion Girl

Series Information
This book is part of the Overhead Series.

Additional Information
62 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 20 illustrations | Fiction

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$24.95

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Daughters Are Forever
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Salish;
Grade Levels: 12; University/College;

This powerful novel about a woman's self-discovery reinforces Lee Maracle's stature as one of the most important First Nations writers in North America. The novel incorporates an innovative structure - one based on Salish Nation storytelling - to depict the transformation of Marilyn, a First Nations woman who is alienated from her culture, her family, and herself. By discovering her own culture's ways and listening to the natural world, Marilyn begins to heal her deep-rooted hurt and gradually becomes reconciled with her estranged daughters. Here is a moving work about First Nations people in the modern world, and the importance of courage, truth, and reconciliation.

Additional Information
206 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

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$19.95

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Folk-Tales of the Coast Salish
Editors:
Thelma Adamson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Salish; Coast Salish;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

First published in 1934, this collection of tales was recorded and edited by Thelma Adamson (1901–83), a student of Franz Boas and one of the first women to conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the Pacific Northwest. A major contribution to our knowledge of western Washington Salish oral traditions, Folk-Tales of the Coast Salish contains 190 texts from nineteen consultants—most collected in English or in English translation. The 155 stories represent Upper Chehalis and Cowlitz Salish narrative traditions, primarily myths and tales, and constitute the largest published body of oral literature for either of these groups. Adamson included as many as four variants of the same tale-type, and Adele Froehlich prepared a useful forty-three-page section of abstracts with comparative notes from eight regional text collections. Folk-Tales of the Coast Salish provides a rich data source for those interested in the content and comparative analysis of Native texts told in English. With few exceptions, the tales refer to the time “when all the animals were people.”

This new edition enhances Adamson’s seminal work with the inclusion of a biographical sketch of Adamson and of her friend and noted ethnomusicologist George Herzog, who produced the appended music transcriptions

Authenticity Note: Because of the contributions from various Coast Salish peoples, this work has been labeled as containing Authentic Indigenous Text.

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Funny Little Stories / wawiyatacimowinisa
Editors:
Arok Wolvengrey
Format: Paperback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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$12.95

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Glimpses of Oneida Life
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

Glimpses of Oneida Life is a remarkable compilation of modern stories of community life at the Oneida Nation of the Thames Settlement and the surrounding area. With topics ranging from work experiences and Oneida customs to pranks, humorous encounters, and ghost stories, these fifty-two unscripted narrations and conversations in Oneida represent a rare collection of first-hand Iroquoian reflections on aspects of daily life and culture not found in print elsewhere.

Each text is presented in Oneida with both an interlinear, word-by-word translation and a more colloquial translation in English. The book also contains a grammatical sketch of the Oneida language by Karin Michelson, co-author of the Oneida-English/English-Oneida Dictionary, that describes how words are structured and combined into larger linguistic structures, thus allowing Glimpses to be used as a teaching text as well.

The engrossing tales in Glimpses of Oneida Life will be a valuable resource for linguists and language learners, a useful source for those studying the history and culture of Iroquois people in the twentieth-century, and an entertaining read for anyone interested in everyday First Nations life in southern Ontario.

Additional Information
472 pages | 6.97" x 10.00"

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$49.95

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Grandmother's Stories How the Earth and Sky Began
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;

Daniel Auger's grandmother was the greatest storyteller he ever knew. In her soft voice, she spoke of heroes and giants, of evil deeds and mysterious spirits. Born on a Canadian reserve and educated at an Indian residential school, she was intensely curious about the old ways. In her quest to find out who we are and where we came from, she collected stories from her home community and from her journeys to powwows, sweats, potlatches and family events across Canada and the Northwest US. This collection of 38 Native myths is a timeless window onto a world when the People were first created:

* Mi'kmaq--The Sun created the Earth and the people on it, but when they began to kill one another, the Sun wept until the entire world drowned. Only one woman and an old man survived, who repopulated the Earth.

* Blackfoot--Water once covered the world, and the Creator sent Muskrat to the bottom of the Ocean to see what was there. Muskrat returned with a ball of mud, which the Creator transformed in the Earth and all living things on it.

* Huron-- In a world that existed before our own, people lived in great longhouses in the sky around a beautiful celestial tree. One day a man uprooted the tree, and when his wife looked into the hole she fell down below to the world we know today.

* Algonquin--In the very beginning of time there were two brothers, Gluskap and Malsum. Gluskap created humans, and the plants and animals they needed to survive. Jealous of his brother, Malsum tried to kill Gluskap, but Gluskap used his own magic to be reborn. He then struck down his evil brother into the earth, and Malsum was reborn as a wolf.

* Haida--The trickster Raven opened a giant clamshell he found washed upon the beach, and when he opened it, out popped tiny human beings.

* Siksika--Old Man came from the south and made the world as he walked along. One day he made a man and a woman out of clay, and Old Man taught them how to survive in the world he created.

Please Note: These are a set of uncensored, traditional stories.  The content is meant to provide traditional teachings. Some subject matter may not be suitable for some readers.

224 pages, suitable for adult readers only

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$18.95

In Re-Print
Green Grass, Running Water
Format: Paperback

Strong, sassy women and hard-luck, hard-headed men, all searching for the middle ground between Native American tradition and the modern world, perform an elaborate dance of approach and avoidance in this magical, rollicking tale by award-winning author Thomas King. Alberta, Eli, Lionel and others are coming to the Blackfoot reservation for the Sun Dance. There they will encounter four Indian elders and their companion, the trickster Coyote—and nothing in the small town of Blossom will be the same again...

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Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poetry
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: University/College;

This critical edition delivers a unique and comprehensive collection of the works of Ktunaxa-Secwepemc writer and educator Vera Manuel, daughter of prominent Indigenous leaders Marceline Paul and George Manuel. A vibrant force in the burgeoning Indigenous theatre scene, Vera was at the forefront of residential school writing and did groundbreaking work as a dramatherapist and healer. Long before mainstream Canada understood and discussed the impact and devastating legacy of Canada’s Indian residential schools, Vera Manuel wrote about it as part of her personal and community healing. She became a grassroots leader addressing the need to bring to light the stories of survivors, their journeys of healing, and the therapeutic value of writing and performing arts.

A collaboration by four Indigenous writers and scholars steeped in values of Indigenous ethics and editing practices, the volume features Manuel’s most famous play, "Strength of Indian Women"—first performed in 1992 and still one of the most important literary works to deal with the trauma of residential schools—along with an assemblage of plays, written between the late 1980s until Manuel’s untimely passing in 2010, that were performed but never before published. The volume also includes three previously unpublished short stories written in 1988, poetry written over three decades in a variety of venues, and a 1987 college essay that draws on family and community interviews on the effects of residential schools.

Reviews
“An invaluable contribution to our literature about residential school experiences and the effects of transgenerational trauma. With so many current projects focused on “reconciliation,” this republication of Vera Manuel’s works recalls the often forgotten side of the equation: the truth, unvarnished by politics or bureaucracy.”– Jesse Archibald-Barber, Associate Professor of Indigenous Literatures and Performance, First Nations University of Canada

“Layered with intergenerational wisdom, replete with lived experience, this collection deftly presents both the devastating legacy of residential schools and the complex systems of care that sustain Indigenous women and fuel Indigenous resurgence.”– Carleigh Baker, author of Bad Endings

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the First Voices, First Texts series.

Topics: Indigenous Studies, Literature, Performing Arts, Poetry.

Additional Information
416 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 13 b&w photographs | bibliography

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$24.95

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