Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools 8 - 12 2016-2017

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#IdleNoMore: And the Remaking of Canada
Authors:
Ken Coates
Format: Paperback
Idle No More bewildered many Canadians. Launched by four women in Saskatchewan in reaction to a federal omnibus budget bill, the protest became the most powerful demonstration of Aboriginal identity in Canadian history. Thousands of aboriginal people and their supporters took to the streets, shopping malls, and other venues, drumming, dancing, and singing in a collective voice.

It was a protest against generations of injustice, a rallying cry for cultural survival, and a reassertion of Aboriginal identity.

Idle No More lasted for almost a year, and then the rallies dissipated. Many observers described it as a spent force. It was anything but. Idle No More was the most profound declaration of Indigenous identity and confidence in Canadian history, sparked by Aboriginal women and their supporters, sustained by young Indigenous peoples, filled with pride and determination. When the drums slowed, a new and different Canada was left in its wake. Partially stunned by the peaceful celebrations, but perplexed by a movement that seemed to have no centre and no leaders, most Canadians missed the point.

Through Idle No More, Aboriginal people have declared that they are a vital and necessary part of Canada's future. The spirit of the drumming, singing and dancing lives on in empowered and confident young Aboriginal people who will shape the future of this country for decades to come.
Authentic Canadian Content
$27.95

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100 Days of Cree
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Information
325 pages | 5.50" x 7.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Bearskin Diary
Authors:
Carol Daniels
Format: Paperback
In 2017-2018, Bearskin Diary was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

Raw and honest, Bearskin Diary gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced, at a time when movements like Idle No More call for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Carol Daniels adds an important perspective to the Canadian literary landscape.

Taken from the arms of her mother as soon as she was born, Sandy was only one of over twenty thousand Aboriginal children scooped up by the federal government between the 1960s and 1980s. Sandy was adopted by a Ukrainian family and grew up as the only First Nations child in a town of white people. Ostracized by everyone around her and tired of being different, at the early age of five she tried to scrub the brown off her skin. But she was never sent back into the foster system, and for that she considers herself lucky.

From this tragic period in her personal life and in Canadian history, Sandy does not emerge unscathed, but she emerges strong--finding her way by embracing the First Nations culture that the Sixties Scoop had tried to deny. Those very roots allow Sandy to overcome the discriminations that she suffers every day from her co-workers, from strangers and sometimes even from herself.
$21.95

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Burning in this Midnight Dream
Authors:
Louise Bernice Halfe
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
Burning in the Midnight Dream is the latest collection of poems by Louise Bernice Halfe. Many were written in response to the grim tide of emotions, memories, dreams and nightmares that arose in her as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded.

In heart-wrenching detail, Halfe recalls the damage done to her parents, her family, herself. With fearlessly wrought verse, Halfe describes how the experience of the residential schools continues to haunt those who survive, and how the effects pass like a virus from one generation to the next. She asks us to consider the damage done to children taken from their families, to families mourning their children; damage done to entire communities and to ancient cultures.

Halfe's poetic voice soars in this incredibly moving collection as she digs deep to discover the root of her pain. Her images, created from the natural world, reveal the spiritual strength of her culture.
$16.95

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Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada's Lost Promise and One Girl's Dream
Authors:
Charlie Angus
Format: Paperback
Children of the Broken Treaty exposes a system of apartheid in Canada that led to the largest youth-driven human rights movement in the country’s history. The movement was inspired by Shannen Koostachin, a young Cree woman whom George Stroumboulopoulos named as one of “five teenage girls who kicked ass in history.”

All Shannen wanted was a decent education. She found an ally in Charlie Angus, who had no idea she was going to change his life and inspire others to change the country.

Based on extensive documentation assembled from Freedom of Information requests, Angus establishes a dark, unbroken line that extends from the policies of John A. Macdonald to the government of today. He provides chilling insight into how Canada--through breaches of treaties, broken promises, and callous neglect--deliberately denied First Nations children their basic human rights.
$27.95

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Deaf Heaven
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: First Nations; Secwepemc (Shuswap);
Poetry that takes us inside present-day First Nations reality to reveal the wounds of history and the possible healing to come.

As the title suggests, this new collection of poetry from Garry Gottfriedson of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation deals with the ways in which the world is deaf to the problems First Nations people face in Canada today.

Follow Garry Gottfriedson in this new collection of combative poems as he compels us and Heaven to listen to the challenges facing First Nation communities today. Employing many of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) images and stories, Gottfriedson takes us inside the rez and into the rooming houses in the city cores, but always drawing new strength from the land and the people who have moved upon it. He speaks of “the smell of grandmothers and grandfathers / breathing the stories into our blood” so as to “wrap our newborn in freshly made Star Quilts.”

Gottfriedson examines such issues as the Truth and Reconciliation movements as well as the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The poems focus not only on postcolonial issues but also on First Nations internal problems. Although the book speaks of age-old themes, it explores them through fresh modern eyes offering thought-provoking and engaging prespectives. Eloquent and witty, these poems are power-packed with imagery that uncovers the raw politics of race. There is nothing polite about them. While frequently offering a bleak view of present-day First Nation conditions, the poems also provide a sense of optimism: "the hope/that the coldest day in winter/will promise serenity in spring."

Reviews
“Gottfriedson’s poetry is built to endure and it will remain with you long after this book is closed.” – Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting, finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

“Garry Gottfriedson rides double, calling out the violence and corruption he’s seen, while reminding us that grounded strength comes from staying connected to grandmothers, grandfathers, horses, and the land.” – Rita Wong, author of Forage, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

“Gottfriedson writes us the sound of his blood, the splatter of ink on wood, and the dripping sweat and tears of prayer — all of it telling us who we are and chanting, as if in chorus, ‘survival is brilliant.’ Will we be wise or strong enough to listen?” – Shane Rhodes, author of X: Poems & Anti-Poems

Educator Information
This book of poetry would be useful for Indigenous Studies courses or literature courses such as Indigenous Literatures, Canadian Literature, and Creative Writing.

Additional Information
100 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
Authentic Canadian Content
$15.95

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In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation
Format: Paperback
What is real reconciliation? This collection of essays from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous contributors from across Canada welcomes readers into a timely, healing conversation—one we've longed for but, before now, have had a hard time approaching.

These reflective and personal pieces come from journalists, writers, academics, visual artists, filmmakers, city planners, and lawyers, all of whom share their personal light-bulb moments regarding when and how they grappled with the harsh reality of colonization in Canada, and its harmful legacy. Without flinching, they look deeply and honestly at their own experiences and assumptions about race and racial divides in Canada in hopes that the rest of the country will do the same.

Featuring a candid conversation between CBC radio host Shelagh Rogers and Chief Justice Sinclair, this book acts as a call for all Canadians to make reconciliation and decolonization a priority, and reminds us that once we know the history, we all have the responsibility—and ability—to make things better.

Product Details
224 pages | 5.75" x 8.50"
Edited by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail
$19.95

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Memory Serves and Oratories
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Coast Salish;
Memory Serves gathers together the oratories award-winning author Lee Maracle has delivered and performed over a twenty-year period. Revised for publication, the lectures hold the features and style of oratory intrinsic to the Salish people in general and the Sto: lo in particular. From her Coast Salish perspective and with great eloquence, Maracle shares her knowledge of Sto: lo history, memory, philosophy, law, spirituality, feminism and the colonial condition of her people. Powerful and inspiring, Memory Serves is an extremely timely book, not only because it is the first collection of oratories by one of the most important Indigenous authors in Canada, but also because it offers all Canadians, in Maracle's own words, "another way to be, to think, to know," a way that holds the promise of a "journey toward a common consciousness."Memory Serves: Oratories:"The topics she covers, the approaches she employs, and the strength of her language highlight the reasons the author has been a driving force in Canadian aboriginal culture for decades. Memory Serves adds to the vital canon of Canadian aboriginal literature."--Alexis Kienlen, Quill and Quire"Memory Serves is one of Maracle's greatest books. It is a read that imparts wisdom from a great writer and it will leave you feeling empowered knowing that the wisdom of Maracle's words are being shared with you."--Christine Smith (McFarlane)
$24.95

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Peace Dancer
Text Content Territories: Tsimshian (Ts'msyen);

The children of the Tsimshian village of Kitkatla love to play at being hunters, eager for their turn to join the grown-ups. But when they capture and mistreat a crow, the Chief of the Heavens, angered at their disrespect, brings down a powerful storm.

The rain floods the Earth and villagers have no choice but to abandon their homes and flee to their canoes. As the seas rise, the villagers tie themselves to the top of Anchor Mountain, where they pray for days on end and promise to teach their children to value all life. The storm stops and the waters recede. From that point on, the villagers appoint a chief to perform the Peace Dance at every potlatch and, with it, pass on the story of the flood and the importance of respect.

With eighteen new illustrations from Roy Henry Vickers and exceptional narrative, Peace Dancer will delight readers of all ages and add to the collection of global flood stories.

Reviews
"Parents and teachers will enjoy sharing Peace Dancer with children. Highly recommended." — Dr. Gregory Bryan, CM Magazine, October 2016 

 
Series Information
This book is part of the Northwest Coast Legends series.

Additional Information
40 pages | 12.00" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Chief: Mistahimaskwa
Artists:
Scott B. Henderson
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
On her way to school one day, Sarah is relieved to find the book she’d dropped the day before – shortly after an encounter with a bear. But when she opens it, the story within, about the Cree chief Mistahimaskwa, comes alive. It takes Sarah back to the Saskatchewan Plains of 1832, where the young boy who would become the great chief first learns the ways of his people, to the final days of his life.

The Chief is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique seven-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of seven great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills. The series also includes:

The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit, the last remaining member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland.

The Land of Os: John Ramsay, a Saulteaux man from the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, who, though dispossessed from his land, helped the Icelandic settlers who arrived in 1875 withstand the smallpox epidemic of the following year.

The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur, a young Dene woman enslaved by the Cree, who becomes a guide for the Hudson Bay Company. In 1715 she negotiated a peace between longstanding enemies, the Cree and Dene.

The Poet: Pauline Johnson, born on the Six Nations Reserve, who wrote and performed her work throughout North America, and was a pioneer of Canadian literature.

The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont, his role in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, and the Metis of Batoche.

The Scout: Tommy Prince, a decorated Aboriginal war hero, and his exploits on the European battlefields of the Second World War.

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.
$16.95

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Tales From the Big Spirit, The Land of Os: John Ramsay
Artists:
Wai Tien
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Saulteaux;
When Richard’s class from Big Spirit School takes a canoe trip, he and his classmates chance upon an elderly woman. She tells them the story of her grandfather, John Ramsay, of the Sandy Bar community on Lake Winnipeg. Ramsay’s land was taken by the government and given to the new settlers from Iceland who arrived there in 1875. Yet many owed their survival to Ramsay, who helped them through freezing winters, hunger, and a devastating smallpox epidemic.

The Land of Os is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills. The series also includes:

The Scout: Tommy Prince, a decorated Aboriginal war hero, and his exploits on the European battlefields of the Second World War.

The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur, a young Dene woman enslaved by the Cree, who becomes a guide for the Hudson Bay Company. In 1715 she negotiated a peace between longstanding enemies, the Cree and Dene.

The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont, his role in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, and the Metis of Batoche.

The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit, the last remaining member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland.

The Poet: Pauline Johnson, born on the Six Nations Reserve, who wrote and performed her work throughout North America, and was a pioneer of Canadian literature.

Tales from the Big Spirit Series Teacher's Guide -
Go to Adult Books>Educator Resources>Literacy

The teacher's guide is designed to help classroom teacher's use the graphic novel series, Tales From Big Spirit, by David Alexander Robertson. The guide provides detailed lessons that meet a wide range of language arts and social studies goals, integrate Indigenous perspectives, and make curricular content more accessible to diverse learners.
$16.95

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The Lesser Blessed
Format: Paperback
The Lesser Blessed is a powerful coming-of-age story - edgy, stark, and at times, darkly funny that centers around Larry, a Native teenager trying to cope with a painful past and find his place in a confusing and stressful modern world. Skinny as spaghetti, nervy, and self-deprecating, the 16-year-old is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His life has held many terrors: an abusive father, blackouts from sniffing gasoline, and an accident that killed several cousins. He has a quick tongue, hallucinations, an appreciation for Iron Maiden, and hot fantasies about Juliet Hope, the school tramp.Eventually, through his friendship with Johnny Beck, a Native from another Nation, Larry develops an expanded world consciousness and a stability that helps him face his dark memories - and create a brighter future.
$19.95

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These Are Our Legends
Authors:
Jan van Eijk
Artists:
Marie Abraham
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Lil'wat;

Like all First Nations languages, Lillooet (Lil'wat) is a repository for an abundantly rich oral literature. In These Are Our Legends, the fifth volume of the First Nations Language Readers series, the reader will discover seven traditional Lillooet sptakwlh (variously translated into English as "legends," "myths," or "bed-time stories.")

These texts are presented in a technical transcription that can be used by linguists, and also in a practical orthography that can be used by Lillooet speakers themselves. An English translation is also given. Basic information on the Lillooet language, its grammar, and a glossary are included in the volume.

With thanks to the Mount Currie Cultural Centre and the Tszil Publishing House.

Series Information
These Are Our Legends 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" | Narrated by Lillooet Elders | Transcribed and Translated by Jan van Eijk 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Various;
The majority of Natives in North America live "off the rez." How do they stay rooted to their culture? How do they connect with their community?

Urban Tribes offers unique insight into this growing and often misperceived group. This anthology profiles young urban Natives and how they connect with Native culture and values in their contemporary lives.

Their stories are as diverse as they are. From a young Dene woman pursuing an MBA at Stanford University to a Pima photographer in Phoenix to a Mohawk actress in New York City, these urban Natives share their unique insight to bridge the divide between their past and their future, their cultural home, and their adopted cities.

Unflinchingly honest and deeply moving, the contributors explore a wide range of topics: from the trials and tribulations of dating in the city to the alienating experience of leaving a remote reserve to attend high school in the city, from the mainstream success of the Electric Pow Wow music genre to the humiliation of racist school mascots.

Each of the personal perspectives helps to illuminate larger political issues. An innovative and highly visual design offers a dynamic reading experience.

Ages 11 - 18
$14.95

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White Eskimo
Authors:
Stephen R Brown
Format: Hardcover
Though less known today than contemporaries like Amundsen and Peary, Knud Rasmussen (18791933) was one of the most intriguing of the great early 20th century Arctic explorers. Born and raised in Greenland, and part Inuit on his mother's side, Rasmussen could shoot a gun and harness a team of sled dogs by the time he was eight. Nevertheless he was well versed in the civilized arts and came to exploration after failing to make a career as an opera singer in Europe. He was obviously more at home on the ice floes than the stage, and undertook some of the most astounding feats of endurance in the annals of polar exploration including his record-setting 18,000-mile "Great Sled Journey"the first to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled. More impressively, he travelled without the elaborate preparations and large support staffs employed by other explorers, surviving with only a few Inuit assistants and living off the land. He once explained his approach by saying, "[As a child] my playmates were native Greenlanders; from the earliest boyhood I played and worked with the hunters, so even the hardships of the most strenuous sledge-trips became pleasant routine for me."

Despite his extraordinary physical prowess, Rasmussen was one of the most intellectual of the great explorers, more interested in scientific study than glamorous feats, producing (among many other works) a ten-volume account documenting Inuit spirituality and culture, an accomplishment that earned him the title "the father of Eskimology."

In this first full-length biography, Stephen R. Bown brings Rasmussen's inspiring story to English readers in all its richness, giving White Eskimo the readability of a good novel.
$34.95

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