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Indigenous History

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My First M├ętis Lobstick
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; M├ętis;
Grade Levels: 4;

Leah Marie Dorion’s My First Métis Lobstick takes young readers back to Canada’s fur trade era by focusing on a Métis family’s preparations for a lobstick celebration and feast in the boreal forest. Through the eyes of a young boy, we see how important lobstick making and ceremony was to the Métis community. From the Great Lakes to the present-day Northwest Territories, lobstick poles—important cultural and geographical markers, which merged Cree, Ojibway, and French-Canadian traditions—dotted the landscape of our great northern boreal forest. This little-known aspect of Métis history vividly comes to life through Leah Marie Dorion’s crisp prose and stunning gallery-quality artwork.

Educator Information
This is a dual-language picture book delivered in English and Michif.  It includes a CD.

Additional Information 
72 pages | 10.98" x 8.54" | Michif translation by Normal Fleury

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

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Nutaui's Cap
Authors:
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

Without warning, a deafening boom drove us to the ground, even Nutaui. I heard my heart pound hard against my chest. Seconds later another earsplitting blast struck us.

A moving story of protest and determination, Nutaui's Cap tells of a young Innu girl, Nanas. The low-level flying of NATO supersonic jets disrupts her family's traditional way of life, and endangers both them and the wildlife they depend upon, so Nanas' father and the other members of the Sheshatshiu community decide to protest by occupying the military's runways. Nanas is proud and eager to join in the social action, but then her father is arrested. Nanas has little to comfort her except his well-worn ball cap, and the promise of the land itself that the resilience, wisdom, and strength of the Innu people will one day triumph.

This true account of one small moment in the years-long struggle of the Innu people against NATO and the Canadian government brings to light the on-going fight for Innu rights on their own unceded land. Author Bob Bartel, an activist and volunteer, participated in the efforts to stop those NATO practice flights; he learned Nanas's story from her aunt and has Nanas's permission to tell the story. Bartel writes with care, simplicity, and deep awareness; he portrays with both power and subtlety the struggle as seen from a child's perspective.

Illustrations by acclaimed Innu artist Mary Ann Penashue capture the gentle relationship between Nanas and her father, and highlight the beauty and dignity of her people's culture. Her blending of traditional imagery with modern technique offers a visually rich and compelling accompaniment to Bartel's text.

Educator Information
Compelling story about Innu protests as seen from the perspective of child.

Author Bob Bartel, an activist and volunteer, participated in the efforts to stop those NATO practice flights; he learned Nanas's story from her aunt and has Nanas's permission to tell the story.

Nutaui's Cap has been translated into two dialects of Innu-aimun, both of which appear alongside the English. Some Innu-aimun words are also integrated into the English text; a glossary is provided. A map of the locations and a historical afterword, offering further context, are included as well.

Translated by Stella Rich, Sebastian Piwas, and Mani Katinen Nuna, with Laurel Anne Hasler, Penash Rich, and Marguerite MacKenzie

This book is a co-publication with Mamu Tshishkutamashutau Innu Education.

Recommended for ages 6 to 12.

Additional Information
68 pages | 9.00" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$22.95

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Phyllis's Orange Shirt
Artists:
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

When Phyllis was a little girl she was excited to go to residential school for the first time. Her Granny bought her a bright orange shirt that she loved and she wore it to school for her first day. When she arrived at school her bright orange shirt was taken away. This is both Phyllis Webstad's true story and the story behind Orange Shirt Day which is a day for us all to reflect upon the treatment of First Nations people and the message that 'Every Child Matters'.

Educator Information
Phyllis's Orange Shirt is an adaptation of The Orange Shirt Story which was the best selling children's book in Canada for several weeks in September 2018. This true story also inspired the movement of Orange Shirt Day which could become a federal statutory holiday.  A page of information about this day is included at the end of the book.

Adapted for ages 4-6.

Additional Information
30 pages | 9.00" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$11.95

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Secret Path
Authors:
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11;

Secret Path is a ten song album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire that tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago.

Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to return home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, like so many kids—more than anyone will be able to imagine—he tried.

Chanie’s story is Canada’s story. We are not the country we thought we were. History will be re-written. We are all accountable. Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history—the long-suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system—with the hope of starting our country on a road to reconciliation. Every year as we remember Chanie Wenjack, the hope for Secret Path is that it educates all Canadians young and old on this omitted part of our history, urging our entire nation to play an active role in the preservation of Indigenous lives and culture in Canada.

The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him—as we find out about ourselves, about all of us—but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, “Canada.”

Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation via The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at The University of Manitoba.

Educator Information
Recommended resource for English First Peoples grades 10-11 for units on Childhood through the Eyes of Indigenous Writers and First Steps - Exploring Residential School and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.

Note: This resource is not considered an authentic First Peoples resource.

Additional Information
96 pages | 12.00" x 12.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
$26.99

In Re-Print
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

Canada's relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$29.95

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Spirit Bear and Children Make History: Based on a True Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

"Hello! My name is Sus Zul in the Carrier language. In English, people call me Spirit Bear. I am a proud member of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. I am on my way to Ottawa, Ontario, to witness a very important human rights case. Would you join me on this journey?"

When Spirit Bear's mom tells him about an important human rights case happening in Ottawa, Ontario, he makes the LONG trip (by train, his favourite way to travel) to go and watch, and to stand up for First Nations kids.

And he isn't the only one! Lots of children come too — to listen, and to show they care. Spirit Bear knows that children can change the world because he's there to see it happen.

This is the story of how kids — kids just like you — made a difference ... with a bit of help from some bears and other animals along the way!"

Educator Information
Spirit Bear and Children Make History tells the story of a landmark human rights case for First Nations children at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Nine years after the case was filed, the Tribunal ruled that the government of Canada was racially discriminating against 165,000 First Nations children by underfunding child welfare and failing to provide equitable public services. The book contributes to the Indigenization of curriculum by centering the agency, histories and realities of First Nations children and communities. The story supports an Indigenous pedagogical approach by encouraging critical and independent thought. In keeping with Indigenous pedagogy, Spirit Bear teaches readers about Indigenous worldviews and values not through direct instruction, but through the modelling of ethical and respectful behaviour and action.

Spirit Bear and Children Make History addresses a gap in reconciliation education. There are few Canadian books for children linking reconciliation with social justice. Meaningful reconciliation in Canada requires the active engagement of children and youth. It also requires a critical and social justice approach that links the residential school system to contemporary inequities and discrimination. Educating children and families about contemporary inequities creates a foundation for change and challenges the myth that colonialism is a thing of the past.

Spirit Bear and Children Make History was written to engage a younger audience in learning about the child welfare case, and to demonstrate and affirm the powerful role of young people in the reconciliation movement. Inspired by the voices of children, and in keeping with to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, the story highlights the power of people of all ages and backgrounds to make a difference for First Nations children and families.

Recommended Grades: K-6

Additional Information
54 pages | 8.25" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

Quantity:
Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams: Based on a True Story
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;

Spirit Bear is off on another adventure! Follow him as he learns about traditional knowledge and Residential Schools from his Uncle Huckleberry and his friend, Lak'insxw, before heading to Algonquin territory, where children teach him about Shannen's Dream.

Spirit Bear and his new friends won't stop until Shannen's Dream of "safe and comfy schools" comes true for every First Nations student.

Dear Uncle Huckleberry,

Look up at the stars tonight. If you look closely, you'll see Shannen Koostachin lighting the way.

Shannen knew that school should be a time for dreams and that every child deserves to have a safe and comfy school, a proper education, and to feel proud of who they are. Every child is sacred.

Did you know that many First Nations schools get less money from the government than other schools? Shannen knew this was wrong. And so do I.

And like my mom, Mary the Bear, always says, when we see something wrong, we need to help make things right!

Did you know that Lak'insxw means "grizzly bear" in Gitxsan language?

Additional Information
52 pages | 216 x 216 mm

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$15.00

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The Boy Who Walked Backwards
Authors:
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

The Boy Who Walked Backwards is a moving story about a young Ojibway boy, Leo, and his family in Serpent River First Nation. Leo’s life turns to darkness when forced to attend residential school. Back home for Christmas, Leo uses inspiration from an Ojibway childhood game to deal with his struggles.

Educator Information
Recommended for grades 3 and under.

This book is based on a true story about the father of one of Ben Sure's friends. Ben was entrusted to write this story by his friend.

 

Authentic Canadian Content
$12.95

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The Voyageurs: Forefathers of the M├ętis Nation
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; M├ętis;
Grade Levels: 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10;

The Voyageurs: Forefathers of the Métis Nation tells an old story—integral to both the birth of the Métis Nation and to the development of Canada—in a new and engaging format. Zoey Roy has eloquently transformed the history of the voyageurs into a spoken-word performance poem which she has shared live at numerous events over the last several years. In this innovative resource, Zoey masterfully informs the reader and listener of the voyageurs’ history, background, and lifeways in a format popular with today’s youth. To fully appreciate Zoey’s masterful delivery, a DVD to accompany this book was essential. Combined with Jerry Thistle’s evocative illustrations and Norman Fleury’s Michif narration, this resource becomes a teaching tool, a work of art, and the impetus for further research all in one.

Educator Information
Grade Level: The publisher of this book recommends it for all ages.

Dual-language: English and Michif.

Includes a DVD.

Recommended in the Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2019-2020 resource list as being useful for grades 5-10 with regard to these subjects: English Language Arts, Art, Social Studies.

Additional Information
45 pages | 10.98" x 8.42"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$20.00

Quantity:
What the Eagle Sees: Indigenous Stories of Rebellion and Renewal
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 6; 7; 8;

"There is no death. Only a change of worlds.”  —Chief Seattle [Seatlh], Suquamish Chief

What do people do when their civilization is invaded? Indigenous people have been faced with disease, war, broken promises, and forced assimilation. Despite crushing losses and insurmountable challenges, they formed new nations from the remnants of old ones, they adopted new ideas and built on them, they fought back, and they kept their cultures alive.

When the only possible “victory” was survival, they survived.

In this brilliant follow up to Turtle Island, esteemed academic Eldon Yellowhorn and award-winning author Kathy Lowinger team up again, this time to tell the stories of what Indigenous people did when invaders arrived on their homelands. What the Eagle Sees shares accounts of the people, places, and events that have mattered in Indigenous history from a vastly under-represented perspective—an Indigenous viewpoint.

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 11+.

Additional Information
132 pages | 7.50" x 9.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

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When I Was Eight
Artists:
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 10; 11;

Nothing will stop a strong-minded young Inuit girl from learning how to read.

Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. She must travel to the outsiders' school to learn, ignoring her father's warning of what will happen there.

The nuns at the school take her Inuit name and call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do chores. She has only one thing left -- a book about a girl named Alice, who falls down a rabbit hole.

Margaret's tenacious character draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But she is more determined than ever to read.

By the end, Margaret knows that, like Alice, she has traveled to a faraway land and stood against a tyrant, proving herself to be brave and clever.

Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by stunning illustrations, When I Was Eight makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to young children. Now they, too, can meet this remarkable girl who reminds us what power we hold when we can read.

Reviews
"A searing account of assimilation policies and a celebration of the human spirit In this picture-book memoir, an Inuit recollects how she begged her father to attend the church-run Indian residential school so she could fulfill her cherished dream to learn to read... What she discovers is the school is draconian... Olemaun describes how a nun cuts her braid, changes her name, and assigns an endless list of chores... Even as she labors, Olemaun finds strength in memories of her father's love and uses every opportunity to study the alphabet and sound out words. Effective shadow-ridden illustrations capture the pervasive atmosphere of abuse, but the final picture speaks volumes about Olemaun's determination and triumph: her face appears as large and shining as the sun emerging from darkness, because she has taught herself to read... A searing account of assimilation policies and a celebration of the human spirit." — Jeanne McDermott, Booklist, April 2013

"Pokiak-Fenton's true story of her experiences at residential school, was originally told in Fatty Legs.... When I Was Eight is an even more powerful read due to its emphasis on concise, affective text coupled with Gabrielle Grimard's quietly unpretentious artwork." — Canlit for Little Canadians

"When I Was Eight is a powerful story based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton... It is a story of a young Inuit girl who goes to a residential school and suffers terrible abuse from the nuns at the school... Through all these trials, she perseveres in trying to learn to read. One day in class she is finally able to stand up to the teacher and show her own strength by reading aloud. It is a moment of victory! Although this story may be intended for younger students who are studying the Inuit, it could also be used in upper grades when discussing social justice issues. The story ties in with anti-bullying themes as well... Highly recommended." — Lori Austin, Resource Links, Vol. 18, No. 5, May 2013

"This excellent picture book, written as a companion to the longer version of it called Fatty Legs, is a powerful way to introduce the residential school experience to younger readers." — Sally Bender, Sal's Fiction Addiction, February 2014

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 6-9.

Authentic First Peoples Resource K-9.

Grades 10-11 English First Peoples resource for the unit First Steps - Exploring Residential School and Reconciliation through Children's Literature.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 9.00" | Colour illustrations throughout.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

Quantity:
When We Had Sled Dogs: A Story from the Trapline - ─ücimowin ohci wanihik─źskan─ühk
Artists:
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

When We Had Sled Dogs: A Story from the Trapline - ─ücimowin ohci wanihik─źskan─ühk takes readers young and old on a journey into the past when dog teams were part of the traditional way of life in Northern Saskatchewan. Inspired by Elder Ida Tremblay’s childhood memories, and told in English with Woodland Cree words and phrases, the story follows the seasonal cycle of trapline life.

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 5 - 10.

Delivered in English with Woodland Cree words and phrases.

Additional Information

32 pages | 9.00" x 9.00"
Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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