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Indigenous Literacy

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A Walk on the Tundra
Artists:
Qin Leng
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

A Walk on the Tundra follows Inuujaq, a little girl who travels with her grandmother onto the tundra. There, Inuujaq learns that these tough little plants are much more important to Inuit than she originally believed.

In addition to an informative storyline that teaches the importance of Arctic plants, this book includes a field guide with photographs and scientific information about a wide array of plants found throughout the Arctic.

Reviews
This volume is a cross between a picture book, a story and a field guide to edible plants.... Authors, Rebecca Hainnu and Anna Ziegler, have worked on several educational publications. That background is apparent in this book.  There are eighteen Inuktitut words, including 6 plant names, introduced in the text.  They are explained and italicized when they are first introduced, for example “Nirilikkit – eat them”. The next time the word is used, it is assumed that the reader knows what it means.... [A]s a tool for building vocabulary, or as a storybook for students who have some familiarity with Inuktitut, this work would be excellent."  – Sandy Campbell, The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature

Additional Information
40 pages | 8.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$10.95

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Alego
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Inuit;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

Alego is a beautifully simple story, written in Inuktitut and English, about a young Inuit girl who goes to the shore with her grandmother to collect clams for supper. Along the way she discovers tide pools brimming with life -- a bright orange starfish, a creepy-crawly thing with many legs called an ugjunnaq, a hornshaped sea snail and a sculpin.

Written and illustrated by Ningeokuluk Teevee, one of the most interesting young artists in Cape Dorset, home to the great tradition of Inuit art, this is an enchanting and utterly authentic introduction to the life of an Inuit child and her world.

Educator Information
Alego includes an illustrated glossary of sea creatures as well as a map of Baffin Island. Ages 4-7.

This book is delivered in a dual-language format, written in Inuktitut and English.

Curriculum Connections: Social Studies, Science, Visual Arts.

Additional Information
24 pages | 7.63" x 9.63"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$17.95

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An Aboriginal Carol
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis; Inuit; First Nations;
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5;

Before the angels stars grew dim 
And wondering hunters heard their hymn 
One mystic flute - one hundred drums 
One message clear, "A King has come!" 
Not one had ever seen the like 
By light of day or moon of night 
Before the angels stars grew dim 
And wondering hunters heard this hymn. . . 


An Aboriginal Carol is the ultimate Aboriginal collaboration: 

  • Poetry by Metis poet David Bouchard. 
  • Paintings by First Nations artist Moses Beaver.
  • Music by Inuit performer Susan Aglukark. 

Best-selling Canadian author David Bouchard reworks Canada's oldest and most well-known carol, The Huron Carol. The art of Moses Beaver, from the fly-in reserve of Summer Beaver, Ontario (Nikinamik), resonates and awakens an awareness that is at once exciting and empowering, a way for all people to understand the birth of Christ from an Aboriginal worldview. The pride of the north, Susan Aglukark, interprets, for the first time, the revered carol. 

Written in English and in Inuktituk, the language of Canada's Inuit people, the book is accompanied by a CD, which includes a reading in both languages and a performance by Susan. Also available in French and Inuktituk. An Aboriginal Carol is certain to become a classic.

Awards

  • Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$24.95

Quantity:
Caribou Song
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

Joe and Cody are young Cree brothers who follow the caribou all year long, tucked into their dog sled with their Mama and Papa. To entice the wandering herds, Joe plays the Kitoochigan, his accordion, and Cody dances, whirling like a young caribou. They are so busy playing and dancing, they don't hear the rumble of the caribou. Bursting from the forest, ten thousand animals fill the meadow like a lake. Joe is engulfed; he can barely see Cody a few yards away, perched like a doll on the caribou moss. Their parents seem to have disappeared.

And yet what should be a moment of terror turns into something mystical and magical, as the boys open their arms and their hearts to embrace the caribou spirit.

A tale that is perfectly simple and satisfying, yet infused with layers of wonder that will open both children's and adults' minds to the intriguing possibilities of independence, separation and the strength of the spirit, Caribou Song is the first in a three-book series about Joe and Cody.

Reviews
"Caribou Song is a story of family, tradition, spirit, and livelihood. Music weaves the elements together, making them soar just as Highway's words and Rombough's art beautifully and evocatively express a way of life that has slipped (or is slipping) away. Rombough's illustrations in Caribou Song are strongly influenced by the Woodland (or Anishinaabe) School, with its emphasis on dark outlines, vivid colours, and visionary imagery. Founding member Norval Morrisseau's iconic style lives on in Rombough's work, but where they diverge is in the almost effervescent quality of Rombough's paintings. Bubbling with circular imagery and spots of amethyst, sapphire and topaz, framed in black and laid over flat washes of colour, each scene is like a pane of stained glass; a mix of storytelling and spirituality that is simply magnificent." — 32pages.ca

"Tomson Highway's mastery creates an exciting, action-packed plot. Elements of suspense simultaneously entertain beauty, magic, and whimsy. Highway artfully crafts his scenes with the vivid river imagery capturing the full drama of the caribou's presence - the sound of their hooves beating on the earth like the pounding of drums. Caribou Song is an experience for the senses. — CM Magazine

Educator & Series Information
Written in English with Cree translations.

This is the first book in the Songs of the North Wind series.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.00" x 10.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$14.95

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Dragonfly Kites
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3;

Dragonfly Kites is the third book in Tomson Highway's magical Songs of the North Wind trilogy. Like Fox on the Ice and Caribou Song, it has a bilingual text, written in English and Cree. And once again Tomson Highway brilliantly evokes the very essence of childhood as he weaves a deceptively simple story about the power of the imagination.

Joe and Cody, two young Cree brothers, along with their parents and their little dog Ootsie, are spending the summer by one of the hundreds of lakes in northern Manitoba. Summer means a chance to explore the world and make friends with an array of creatures, But what Joe and Cody like doing best of all is flying dragonfly kites. They catch dragonflies and gently tie a length of thread around the middle of each dragonfly before letting it go. Off soar the dragonflies into the summer sky and off race the brothers and Ootsie too, chasing after their dragonfly kites through trees and meadows and down to the beach before watching them disappear into the night sky. But in their dreams, Joe and Cody soar through the skies with their kites until it's time to wake up.

Reviews
"Unlike most fiction, Dragonfly Kites does not follow a standard plot line. Like the dragonfly kites that the boys follow, the plot simply glides along until the boys wake up from their dream. This is appropriate due to the significance the illustrations play in this picture book, as well as the age of the intended audience. Readers are not overwhelmed by the storyline and are free to appreciate the accompanying illustrations. The illustrations in Dragonfly Kites act as an extension of the story. The pictures in the book are colourful, beautiful, and have an austere, stark quality. This is consistent with other works produced by award-winning illustrator Julie Flett. This style suits the story as, aside from the nature that surrounds around them, Joe and Cody are depicted as being by themselves. While they live with the parents, their adventures occur when their parents are fishing without them. The full-page illustrations demonstrate the vast space that surrounds the boys." — CM Magazine

"At once a celebration of heritage, the wilderness, and imagination, this book is a breath of fresh northern air." — Kirkus Reviews

Educator & Series Information
This is the third book in the Songs of the North Wind series, a dual-language (English and Cree) series about two young Cree boys.

Additional Information
32 pages | 9.26" x 10.70"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$14.95

Quantity:
How the Fox Got His Crossed Legs
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene; Tlicho (Dogrib);
Grade Levels: 2; 3; 4;

Fox is howling, crying, for he lost his leg to Bear, all the people wanted to help Fox, but didn't know what to do. Raven is called upon to help retrieve his leg. Will Raven succeed in the quest for Fox's leg?

This book includes an audio and interactive multimedia CD that you can play on a CD player, PC or Mac. Also included is a Dogrib Elder telling his version of this ancient legend in Dogrib. An orthography chart is included.

Educator Information
Delivered in a dual-language format of Dogrib and English.

English translation by Mary Siemens & Rosa Mantla.

Additional Information
32 pages | 10.24" x 8.30"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$22.95

Quantity:
I Help/Niwechihaw
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1;

Written and illustrated by members of the Tahltan and Cree nations, this sweet, simple story looks at a very special relationship. A young boy goes for a walk with his kohkom, or grandmother, listening, picking, praying, eating . . . just as she does. In doing so, he begins to learn the rich cultural traditions and values of his Cree heritage.

Caitlin Dale Nicholson’s acrylic-on-canvas illustrations portray the close relationship between the boy and his grandmother and the natural beauty of the bush. Her text has been translated into Cree by Leona Morin-Neilson, who was also the inspiration for the story.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 4-7

Delivered in a dual-language format of Cree (y-dialect) and English. 

Recommended for Grades K-1 for the following subject areas: English Language Arts, Indigenous Language Studies, Social Studies, Science and Nature, Visual Arts.

Additional Information
24 pages | 8.50" x 12.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$12.95

Quantity:
Living Stories: Godi Weghàà Ets' eèda
Artists:
Tessa Macintosh
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene; Tlicho (Dogrib);
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

The third title in "The Land is Our Storybook" series, by and about the people of the Northwest Territories, for readers at grade 4 - 7 level.

In Living Stories, Therese Zoe translates the stories and traditional wisdom of Tlicho Elders Philip Zoe and Elizabeth Chocolate.

Therese Zoe is a Tlicho woman from Gamèti in the Northwest Territories. She is a community health representative, a mother and grandmother, as well as a champion of ancestral skills and stories. In Living Stories, Therese shares her love for her community and translates the sacred stories and traditional wisdom of her brother-in-law, Philip Zoe, and his sister, Elizabeth Chocolate. As Therese writes, "You might look at our lands and think they are empty, but we do not go hungry. The land gives us our food and our shelter. It holds our stories and our histories. It gives us everything we need."

Join Tlicho young people, Shelinda, Forest, and Bradley, as they learn about making dry-fish, bows and arrows, and birch-bark baskets; the practices of old-time healers; as well as the sacred stories that tell the history of the Tlicho people. Some of the stories Philip relates in this book have never been written down before - his versions of sacred stories are a gift to young readers across Canada, to be used wisely. The Tlicho Nation was the first in the Northwest Territories to gain self-government. With Elders such as Philip and Elizabeth passing along their traditional wisdom to the young, as well as knowledge gained since the Tlicho first encountered European peoples, the Tlicho are showing how they are, "strong like two people."

Reviews
"Living Stories is a heartfelt tribute to the culture of the Tlicho or Dogrib nation. . . All of the information is presented in a very personal way so that young readers unfamiliar with the first nations culture in the north can realize this is a real way of life for some people, not something from 'long ago and far away'. . . Photographer Tessa Macintosh, a southerner whose children are Tlicho, has done a wonderful job of including pictures of the land and the people, some posed to represent the subject under discussions, many in cheerful candid shots." — CM Magazine

Educator & Series Information
This book is part of the "The Land Is Our Storybook" series, which considers the diverse lands and cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories. Told in a uniquely diverse range of northern voices, with a child-centred approach, books in the series highlight each official Aboriginal language group in the NWT, revealing a richly textured picture of life in the North-on the trapline, around the campfire, in communities, at school, and within the outdoor school that is the land itself. The series celebrates the seasons, ages, genders, traditional activities, and communities of the NWT.

The stories are illustrated by the striking images of acclaimed northern photographer, Tessa Macintosh and depict the similarities in lifestyle between children of the North and South, as well as the marked cultural differences, and highlight the special relationship these First Nations people have with the land and how they are adapting to rapid change while remaining connected to the land. Images of the landscape and animals within it, of trapping, hunting, fishing, and bannock baking sit alongside pictures of children at school, swimming at recreation centres, and reading in libraries. Here is modern northern culture painted beautifully: a complex mix of the new and the old.

These wonderful books, written with a variety of provincial and territorial curricula in mind, are specially designed for the classroom and include special features such as glossaries relating details on animals biology and cultural definitions, regional and language maps. The text of the stories also have sidebars such as Our Stories, which contain the stories of the people and language group featured, and Our Words, which highlight words in the featured language that are important to the story.

Recommended Grade Level: 4-7

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.00" x 8.00" | colour photographs and illustrations throughout

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$16.95

Quantity:
Owls See Clearly At Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak Lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L'Alfabet Di Michif)
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

This picture book is a small glimpse, from A to Z, of some of the sights and sounds of the Michif language and its speakers. The language of the Métis, Michif is a combination of French and Cree with a trace of other regional languages. Once spoken by thousands of people across the prairies of Canada and the northern United States, Michif is now so little spoken that it might disappear within a generation. This alphabet book is part of a resurgence to celebrate and preserve the traditions of the Métis people. Here Michif and English words combine with images from Métis culture to introduce all generations to the unique Michif language. The book even includes a brief introduction to the language's history, a pronunciation guide, and a list of references for those interested in learning more about Michif.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$18.95

Quantity:
The Song Within My Heart (Hardcover)
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);

Renowned Cree painter Allen Sapp's inspired and stunning artwork beautifully complements this sweet story of a young First Nations boy preparing for his first pow wow. The young boy's Nokum-his beloved grandmother-guides him through the exciting day and watches over him as events unfold. David Bouchard's rhythmic and informative text is based on remembrances from Allen Sapp's childhood.

Allen Sapp is a Cree painter who grew up on the Red Pheasant Reserve in the 1930s and now lives and works in nearby North Battleford, Saskatchewan. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and has held exhibitions across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. He has won many awards and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Three of his paintings were selected for UNICEF's 1996 Christmas card series.
David Bouchard is a sought-after speaker and writer who has written more than 20 illustrated books for children with total sales of 500,000 copies. They include the classics The Elders Are Watching and Qu'Appelle.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$24.95

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