Indigenous Cultural Practises

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I Am Raven: A Story of Discovery
Author: David Bouchard
Traditional Territory: Métis
Format: Hardcover
  • David Bouchard dives into his own life and identity in this beautifully illustrated book.

    Personal totems are often described as animal spirit guardians. Totems are passed down through family lines. The beautiful prose describes an amazing personal journey of discovery, finally, inviting the reader to do the same.


Jason's New Dugout Canoe
Format: Hardcover
  • The long-awaited sequel to BC children's classic Jason and the Sea Otter.

    This delightful story of a Nuu-chah-nulth boy explores First Nations traditions and values through the making of a canoe. Jason's first canoe is crushed during a storm, and he must replace it. Through Uncle Silas, he learns the traditional methods of canoe building - plus scores of stories and legends about his heritage. In an entertaining way, Jason's New Dugout Canoe also teaches the important lesson of patience, plus respect and reverence for nature and all its creatures.

    The story is packed with stunning, full-colour illustrations by Paul Montpellier, which one reviewer has described as "wonderfully clear and detailed, capturing both closeness to nature and a sense of continuity of Native tradition."


Powwow Counting in Cree
Author: Penny M. Thomas
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Hardcover
  • A unique book for young children that teaches counting from one to ten in the Cree language. Both words and pictures reflect the rich culture and tradition of the Cree people.


Powwow's Coming
Author: Linda Boyden
Format: Hardcover
  • This is a celebration of the contemporary powwow, which provides a rhyming verse to attract young children to the fun one can enjoy at a powwow. Boyden skillfully takes the main points of a powwow and creates anticipation in the charming verse. Ages 4-9


Seven Sacred Teachings
Format: Hardcover
  • The Seven Sacred Teachings is a message of
    traditional values and hope for the future.
    The Teachings are universal to most First
    Nation peoples. These Teachings are seen in
    school communities from coast to coast across
    North America. They are a link that ties all Native, Inuit and Metis communities together.


Talking With Mother Earth
Author: Jorge Argueta
Format: Hardcover
  • Raw, honest and powerful, these moving bilingual poems by noted Salvadoran poet Jorge Argueta explore a young native boy's connection to Mother Earth and how he is healed from the terrible wounds of racism he has endured. Tetl has learned from his grandmother about the spirituality of his ancestors, about how they viewed the earth as alive with sacred meaning. This helps him move from doubt and fear, created by the taunts of other children, to self-acceptance and a discovery of his love for nature.

    Mountains, wind, corn and stones all speak to Tetl, almost seeming to vibrate with life. He feels deep roots in them and, through them, he learns to speak and sing. They reveal his Nahuatl self and he realizes that he is special, beautiful and sacred.

    These gripping poems have something to teach us all, perhaps especially those who have been either intentionally or casually cruel or racist, as well as those who have been the victims of racism.

    Crudos, honestos e impactantes, estos conmovedores poemas bilingües por el aclamado salvadoreño Jorge Argueta exploran la relación de un joven nativo con la Madre Tierra y de como fue curado de las terribles heridas causadas por el racismo que ha tenido que aguantar. Tetl ha aprendido de su abuela sobre la espiritualidad de sus ancestros, sobre como ellos veían la tierra como un ser vivo con un sentido sagrado. Esto lo ayuda a pasar de la duda y el miedo, creado por las burlas de los otros niños, a la aceptación de sí mismo y al descubrimiento de su amor por la naturaleza.

    La montañas, el viento, el maíz y las piedras le hablan a Tetl, parece casi que vibran de vida. El siente profundas raíces en ellos, a través de ellos, y aprende a hablar y cantar. Ellos le revelan su parte Náhuatl y él se da cuenta de que es especial, bello y sagrado.

    Estos poemas apasionantes tienen algo que enseñarnos a todos, quizás especialmente a aquellos que intencionalmente o sin quererlo han sido crueles o racistas, como también a aquellos que a su vez han sido víctimas del racismo.


The Drum Calls Softly
Format: Hardcover
  • Canadian Children''s Book Centre Our Choice, 2009

    BolognaRagazzi Award Mention book, 2010

    What the Bologna jury said:
    "The joyful yet complex style of Jim Poitras is the vehicle for an enjoyable lesson in cultural anthropology. The clear contours of the foreground figures dialogue effortlessly with the landscapes in the background whose colourful, complex and material quality is rendered almost tangible. This novel illustration technique is particularly suited as a book for children since it highlights to great effect how man's customs, lifestyles and traditions take on significance only when seen against the backdrop of the skies, hills, rivers and natural world that gave rise to them.

    Translation and music by Northern Cree
    Have you danced the round dance yet?
    Of course you have-you're in my dream.
    You've danced in circles next to me
    You now know things aren't as they seem.

    Beloved children''s author David Bouchard has teamed up with emerging writer Shelly Willier to create a heart-warming tale in his newest book, The Drum Calls Softly. Discover the beauty of the traditional Round Dance through the lush descriptive verse of Bouchard and Willier that leads you through the cycles and seasons of life, the forming of new friendships and the understanding of values.

    Illustrations by internationally acclaimed painter Jim Poitras colorfully grace the pages, bringing the words alive through the intricate movements of the Round Dancers.

    And Northern Cree teams up once again with David Bouchard, providing the translation from English to Cree and the haunting drum music on a bound-in book CD.

    Also available in French and in Cree, and accompanied by a CD.


In Re-Print
The First Flute
Author: David Bouchard
Format: Hardcover
  • Names should be respected. They should be valued. They should be honoured.
    When a name is given to an adult, it is often given based on the life that person has lived. The name is a statement about the person he or she has become.
    When a name is given to a child, it foretells what kind of a person that child will become. If a child is given the name He Who is Kind to Strangers, that child is destined to live a life of kindness. I know this to be true because I once knew a kind man who as a child was given that name.
    In The First Flute, David Bouchard tells the story of a young man given the name Dancing Raven. He was a dancer - the best from all the nations. But the other men and boys in his village don't appreciate Dancing Raven's talent - hunting, fishing and tracking are the truly important talents. Dancing Raven must prove to his village the importance of his song.


The Ghost Dance
Format: Hardcover
  • When the bountiful world of their ancestors was no more, the Paiute prophets had visions of a dance that would restore it. The ghost dance movement began in hope as native peoples came together to to dance for their shared dream. The dream failed and they tried again. Again the dream failed tragically. But the vision and the dream still call out to all people. It is a story that has not yet ended.


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