Indigenous Voices: Non-Fiction

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Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save The World

HarperCollins | May 12, 2020 | Hardcover | English

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A paradigm-shifting book in the vein of Sapiens that brings a crucial Indigenous perspective to historical and cultural issues of history, education, money, power, and sustainability-and offers a new template for living.

As an indigenous person, Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from a unique perspective, one tied to the natural and spiritual world. In considering how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation, he raises important questions. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently?

In this thoughtful, culturally rich, mind-expanding book, he provides answers. Yunkaporta's writing process begins with images. Honoring indigenous traditions, he makes carvings of what he wants to say, channeling his thoughts through symbols and diagrams rather than words. He yarns with people, looking for ways to connect images and stories with place and relationship to create a coherent world view, and he uses sand talk, the Aboriginal custom of drawing images on the ground to convey knowledge. 

In Sand Talk, he provides a new model for our everyday lives. Rich in ideas and inspiration, it explains how lines and symbols and shapes can help us make sense of the world. It's about how we learn and how we remember. It's about talking to everyone and listening carefully. It's about finding different ways to look at things.

Most of all it's about a very special way of thinking, of learning to see from a native perspective, one that is spiritually and physically tied to the earth around us, and how it can save our world.

Sand Talk include 22 black-and-white illustrations that add depth to the text.


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The Right To Be Cold: One Woman's Story Of Protecting Her Culture, The Arctic And The Whole Planet

Penguin Canada | March 1, 2016 | Paperback | English

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The Right To Be Cold: One Woman's Story Of Protecting Her Culture, The Arctic And The Whole Planet is rated 4 out of 5 by 15.
SHORTLISTED FOR CANADA READS 2017

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Now in paperback, one of Canada's most passionate environmental and human rights activists addresses the global threat of climate change from the intimate perspective of her own Arctic childhood

The Arctic ice is receding each year, but just as irreplaceable is the culture, the wisdom that has allowed the Inuit to thrive in the Far North for so long. And it's not just the Arctic. The whole world is changing in dangerous, unpredictable ways. Sheila Watt-Cloutier has devoted her life to protecting what is threatened and nurturing what has been wounded. In this culmination of Watt-Cloutier's regional, national, and international work over the last twenty-five years, The Right to Be Cold explores the parallels between safeguarding the Arctic and the survival of Inuit culture, of which her own background is such an extraordinary example. This is a human story of resilience, commitment, and survival told from the unique vantage point of an Inuk woman who, in spite of many obstacles, rose from humble beginnings in the Arctic to become one of the most influential and decorated environmental, cultural, and human rights advocates in the world.

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All The Way: My Life On Ice

Penguin Canada | August 18, 2015 | Paperback | English

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All The Way: My Life On Ice is rated 4.5556 out of 5 by 9.
The bestselling story of a true warrior's toughest battle, now in paperback
     It seemed as though nothing could stop Jordin Tootoo on the ice. The captain, a fan favourite, a star in international competition, Tootoo was always a leader. And when he was drafted by Nashville in 2001 and made the Predators out of camp in 2003, he became a leader in another way--as the first player of Inuk descent to suit up in the NHL.
    All the challenges and pressure would have been more than enough for any rookie, but Tootoo faced something far more difficult: the tragic loss of his older brother before his first shift for the Predators. Though he played through it, Tootoo suffered from many of the same problems that have plagued so many people from his community. In 2010, he checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction. It seemed as though a promising career had ended too soon.
     But that's not the way Tootoo saw it and not the way it would end. Told in Tootoo's bold voice, with contributions by Stephen Brunt, arguably one of the best sportswriters, All the Way is the searing, honest tale of a young man who has risen to every challenge but all too nearly fell short in the toughest game of all.

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The Reason You Walk: A Memoir

Penguin Canada | May 30, 2017 | Paperback | English

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The Reason You Walk: A Memoir is rated 5 out of 5 by 4.
A moving father-son reconciliation told by a charismatic First Nations broadcaster, musician and activist.
          When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who'd raised him. The Reason You Walk spans the year 2012, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his own childhood in Winnipeg and on a reserve in Northern Ontario, he learns more about his father's traumatic childhood at residential school. An intriguing doubleness marks The Reason You Walk, a reference to an Anishinaabe ceremonial song. Born to an Anishinaabe father and a non-native mother, he has a foot in both cultures. He is a Sundancer, an academic, a former rapper, a hereditary chief, and an urban activist. His father, Tobasonakwut, was both a beloved traditional chief and a respected elected leader who engaged directly with Ottawa. Internally divided, his father embraced both traditional native religion and Catholicism, the religion that was inculcated into him at the residential school where he was physically and sexually abused. In a grand gesture of reconciliation, Kinew's father invited the Roman Catholic bishop of Winnipeg to a Sundance ceremony in which he adopted him as his brother. Kinew writes affectingly of his own struggles in his twenties to find the right path, eventually giving up a self-destructive lifestyle to passionately pursue music and martial arts. From his unique vantage point, he offers an inside view of what it means to be an educated aboriginal living in a country that is just beginning to wake up to its aboriginal history and living presence.
     Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples.

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The Tao of Raven: An Alaska Native Memoir

University Of Washington Press | January 24, 2019 | Paperback | English

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In her first book, Blonde Indian, Ernestine Hayes powerfully recounted the story of returning to Juneau and to her Tlingit home after many years of wandering. The Tao of Raven takes up the next and, in some ways, less explored question: once the exile returns, then what?

Using the story of Raven and the Box of Daylight (and relating it to Sun Tzu's equally timeless Art of War) to deepen her narration and reflection, Hayes expresses an ongoing frustration and anger at the obstacles and prejudices still facing Alaska Natives in their own land, but also recounts her own story of attending and completing college in her fifties and becoming a professor and a writer. Hayes lyrically weaves together strands of memoir, contemplation, and fiction to articulate an Indigenous worldview in which all things are connected, in which intergenerational trauma creates many hardships but transformation is still possible. Now a grandmother and thinking very much of the generations who will come after her, Hayes speaks for herself but also has powerful things to say about the resilience and complications of her Native community.

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Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers

University Of Washington Press | July 3, 2019 | Paperback | English

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Just as a basket's purpose determines its materials, weave, and shape, so too is the purpose of the essay related to its material, weave, and shape. Editors Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton ground this anthology of essays by Native writers in the formal art of basket weaving. Using weaving techniques such as coiling and plaiting as organizing themes, the editors have curated an exciting collection of imaginative, world-making lyric essays by twenty-seven contemporary Native writers from tribal nations across Turtle Island into a well-crafted basket.

Shapes of Native Nonfiction features a dynamic combination of established and emerging Native writers, including Stephen Graham Jones, Deborah Miranda, Terese Marie Mailhot, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Eden Robinson, and Kim TallBear. Their ambitious, creative, and visionary work with genre and form demonstrate the slippery, shape-changing possibilities of Native stories. Considered together, they offer responses to broader questions of materiality, orality, spatiality, and temporality that continue to animate the study and practice of distinct Native literary traditions in North America.

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Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through The Turbulent Waters Of Native History

Knopf Canada | May 26, 2015 | Paperback | English

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Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through The Turbulent Waters Of Native History is rated 4.8333 out of 5 by 12.
A powerful, raw and eloquent memoir about the abuse former First Nations chief Edmund Metatawabin endured in residential school in the 1960s, the resulting trauma, and the spirit he rediscovered within himself and his community through traditional spirituality and knowledge. Foreword by Joseph Boyden.

     After being separated from his family at age 7, Metatawabin was assigned a number and stripped of his Native identity. At his residential school--one of the worst in Canada--he was physically and emotionally abused, and was sexually abused by one of the staff. Leaving high school, he turned to alcohol to forget the trauma. He later left behind his wife and family, and fled to Edmonton, where he joined a Native support group that helped him come to terms with his addiction and face his PTSD. By listening to elders' wisdom, he learned how to live an authentic Native life within a modern context, thereby restoring what had been taken from him years earlier. Metatawabin has worked tirelessly to bring traditional knowledge to the next generation of Native youth and leaders, as a counsellor at the University of Alberta, Chief in his Fort Albany community, and today as a youth worker, Native spiritual leader and activist. His work championing indigenous knowledge, sovereignty and rights spans several decades and has won him awards and national recognition. His story gives a personal face to the problems that beset Native communities and fresh solutions, and untangles the complex dynamics that sparked the Idle No More movement. Haunting and brave, Up Ghost River is a necessary step toward our collective healing.

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Testimony: A Memoir

Knopf Canada | October 3, 2017 | Paperback | English

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Testimony: A Memoir is rated 3.6667 out of 5 by 3.
New York Times and National Bestseller

On the fortieth anniversary of The Band’s legendary The Last Waltz concert, Robbie Robertson finally tells his own spellbinding story of the band that changed music history, his extraordinary personal journey, and his creative friendships with some of the greatest artists of the last half-century.


Robbie Robertson’s singular contributions to popular music have made him one of the most beloved songwriters and guitarists of his time. With songs like “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “Up on Cripple Creek,” he and his partners in The Band fashioned music that has endured for decades, influencing countless musicians.
     In this captivating memoir, written over five years of reflection, Robbie Robertson employs his unique storyteller’s voice to weave together the journey that led him to some of the most pivotal events in music history. He recounts the adventures of his half-Jewish, half-Mohawk upbringing on the Six Nations Indian Reserve and on the gritty streets of Toronto; his odyssey at sixteen to the Mississippi Delta, the fountainhead of American music; the wild, early years on the road with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks; his unexpected ties to the Cosa Nostra underworld; the gripping trial-by-fire “going electric” with Bob Dylan on his 1966 world tour, and their ensuing celebrated collaborations; the formation of The Band and the forging of their unique sound,  culminating with history’s most famous farewell concert, brought to life for all time in Martin Scorsese’s great movie The Last Waltz
     This is the story of a time and place—the moment when rock ʼnʼ roll became life, when legends like Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley crisscrossed the circuit of clubs and roadhouses from Texas to Toronto, when The Beatles, Hendrix, The Stones, and Warhol moved through the same streets and hotel rooms. It’s the story of exciting change as the world tumbled through the ʼ60s and early ʼ70s, and a generation came of age, built on music, love, and freedom. Above all, it’s the moving story of the profound friendship among five young men who together created a new kind of popular music.    
   Testimony is Robbie Robertson’s story, lyrical and true, as only he could tell it.

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The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account Of Native People In North America

Doubleday Canada | August 13, 2013 | Paperback | English

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The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account Of Native People In North America is rated 4.4737 out of 5 by 57.

A National Bestseller

Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King's critical and personal meditation on what it means to be "Indian" in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.
     This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope--a sometimes inconvenient but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.

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The Inconvenient Indian Illustrated: A Curious Account Of Native People In North America

Doubleday Canada | October 17, 2017 | Hardcover | English

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The Inconvenient Indian Illustrated: A Curious Account Of Native People In North America is rated 3.875 out of 5 by 8.
An illustrated edition of the award-winning, bestselling Canadian classic, featuring over 150 images that add colour and context to this extraordinary work.

"Every Canadian should read [this] book." —Toronto Star

Since its publication in 2012, The Inconvenient Indian has become an award-winning bestseller and a modern classic. In its pages, Thomas King tells the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Native and Indigenous people in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. This new, provocatively illustrated edition matches essential visuals to the book's urgent words, and in so doing deepens and expands King's message. With more than 150 images—from artwork, photographs, advertisements and archival documents to contemporary representations of Native peoples by Native peoples, including some by King himself—this unforgettable volume vividly shows how "Indians" have been seen, understood, propagandized, represented and reinvented in North America.
     Here is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger and tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope—an inconvenient but necessary account for all of us seeking to tell a new story, in both words and images, for the future.

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Heart Berries: A Memoir

Doubleday Canada | June 2, 2020 | Paperback | English

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*Canada Reads 2019 Longlist

*National Bestseller

*New York Times Bestseller

*Finalist for the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
*Finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards
*Longlisted for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize
*Winner of the Blue Metropolis First Peoples Prize
*Winner of the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature
*Winner of the 2019 Whiting Award for Nonfiction
*Shortlisted for the 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
*Shortlisted for the 2019 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction

*A New York Times Editors' Choice
*A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2018
*A CBC Best Book of 2018
*A Toronto Star Best Book of 2018
*A Walrus Best Book of 2018
*An NPR Best Book of 2018
*A Chatelaine Best Book of 2018
*A Bustle Best Book of 2018
*A GQ Best Book of 2018
*A Thrillist Best Book of 2018
*A Book Riot Best Book of 2018
*An Electric Lit Best Book of 2018
*An Entropy Best Book of 2018
*A Hill Times Best Book of 2018
*A BookPage Best Book of 2018
*A Library Journal Best Book of 2018
*A Goodreads Best Book of 2018
*A New York Public Library Best Book of 2018

*Named one of the most anticipated books of 2018 by: ChatelaineEntertainment Weekly, ELLECosmopolitanEsquireHuffington PostB*tchNYLONBuzzFeedBustleThe Rumpus and Goodreads

*Selected by Emma Watson as the Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick for March/April 2018 

 
Guileless and refreshingly honest, Terese Mailhot's debut memoir chronicles her struggle to balance the beauty of her Native heritage with the often desperate and chaotic reality of life on the reservation.


Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II, Terese Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father--an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist--who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.
    
Mailhot "trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain and what we can bring ourselves to accept." Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people and to her place in the world.

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A Mind Spread Out On The Ground

Doubleday Canada | June 2, 2020 | Paperback | English

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#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 HILARY WESTON WRITERS' TRUST PRIZE FOR NONFICTION

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY THE GLOBE AND MAIL • CBC • CHATELAINE • QUILL & QUIRE • THE HILL TIMES • POP MATTERS

A bold and profound meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America from award-winning Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott.


In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight into the ongoing legacy of colonialism. She engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrifcation, writing and representation, and in the process makes connections both large and small between the past and present, the personal and political—from overcoming a years-long battle with head lice to the way Native writers are treated within the Canadian literary industry; her unplanned teenage pregnancy to the history of dark matter and how it relates to racism in the court system; her childhood diet of Kraft Dinner to how systemic oppression is directly linked to health problems in Native communities. 

With deep consideration and searing prose, Elliott provides a candid look at our past, an illuminating portrait of our present and a powerful tool for a better future.

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Thunder Through My Veins: A Memoir

Doubleday Canada | September 10, 2019 | Paperback | English

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Gregory Scofield's Thunder Through My Veins is the heartbreakingly beautiful memoir of one man's journey toward self-discovery, acceptance, and the healing power of art.

Few people can justify a memoir at the age of thirty-three. Gregory Scofield is the exception, a young man who has inhabited several lives in the time most of us can manage only one. Born into a Métis family of Cree, Scottish, English and French descent but never told of his heritage, Gregory knew he was different. His father disappeared after he was born, and at five he was separated from his mother and sent to live with strangers and extended family. There began a childhood marked by constant loss, poverty, violence and self-hatred. Only his love for his sensitive but battered mother and his Aunty Georgina, a neighbor who befriended him, kept him alive.
     It wasn't until he set out to search for his roots and began to chronicle his life in evocative, award-winning poetry, that he found himself released from the burdens of the past and able to draw upon the wisdom of those who went before him. Thunder Through My Veins is Gregory's traumatic, tender and hopeful story of his fight to rediscover and accept himself in the face of a heritage with diametrically opposed backgrounds.

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For Joshua: Penguin Modern Classics Edition

Doubleday Canada | October 2, 2018 | Paperback | English

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The heartfelt memoir from one of Canada's most beloved writers.

Staring the modern world in the eye, Richard Wagamese confronts its snares and perils. He sees people coveting without knowing why, looking for roots without understanding what constitutes home, searching for acceptance without extending reciprocal respect, and longing for love without knowing how to offer it.
He sees this because he lived it.
For Joshua Wagamese's love letter to his estranged son. Ojibway tradition calls for fathers to walk their children through the world and teach them their place in it. To teach them they belong. In this intimate memoir, Wagamese describes his own tumultuous journey--though childhood trauma, racism, and substance abuse--and his fight to emerge stronger. His road to self-knowledge has been long and treacherous, but this has furnished him, if not with a complete set of answers, then at least with a profound understanding of the questions. Hoping to impart his newfound understanding of the world onto his beloved son, Wagamese shares his search for happiness and the choices he has made to open himself up to it.

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Crazy Brave: A Memoir

WW Norton | July 30, 2013 | Paperback | English

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A “raw and honest” (Los Angeles Review of Books) memoir from the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States.

In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a haunting, visionary memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.

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A History Of My Brief Body

Penguin Canada | August 25, 2020 | Hardcover | English

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The youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his own personal history to reconcile the world he was born into with the world that could be.

Billy-Ray Belcourt's debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it, first loves and first loves lost, sexual exploration and intimacy, and the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.
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Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun: Portraits Of Everyday Life In Eight Indigenous Communities

Knopf Canada | October 22, 2019 | Paperback | English

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Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun: Portraits Of Everyday Life In Eight Indigenous Communities is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
A revelatory portrait of eight Indigenous communities from across North America, shown through never-before-published archival photographs--a gorgeous extension of Paul Seesequasis's popular social media project.

In 2015, writer and journalist Paul Seesequasis found himself grappling with the devastating findings of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on the residential school system. He sought understanding and inspiration in the stories of his mother, herself a residential school survivor. Gradually, Paul realized that another, mostly untold history existed alongside the official one: that of how Indigenous peoples and communities had held together during even the most difficult times. He embarked on a social media project to collect archival photos capturing everyday life in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities from the 1920s through the 1970s. As he scoured archives and libraries, Paul uncovered a trove of candid images and began to post these on social media, where they sparked an extraordinary reaction. Friends and relatives of the individuals in the photographs commented online, and through this dialogue, rich histories came to light for the first time.

Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun collects some of the most arresting images and stories from Paul's project. While many of the photographs live in public archives, most have never been shown to the people in the communities they represent. As such, Blanket Toss is not only an invaluable historical record, it is a meaningful act of reclamation, showing the ongoing resilience of Indigenous communities, past, present--and future.

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Halfbreed

McClelland & Stewart | November 5, 2019 | Paperback | English

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A new, fully restored edition of the essential Canadian classic.

An unflinchingly honest memoir of her experience as a Métis woman in Canada, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed depicts the realities that she endured and, above all, overcame. Maria was born in Northern Saskatchewan, her father the grandson of a Scottish businessman and Métis woman--a niece of Gabriel Dumont whose family fought alongside Riel and Dumont in the 1885 Rebellion; her mother the daughter of a Cree woman and French-American man. This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust. Laced with spare moments of love and joy, this is a memoir of family ties and finding an identity in a heritage that is neither wholly Indigenous or Anglo; of strength and resilience; of indominatable spirit.

This edition of Halfbreed includes a new introduction written by Indigenous (Métis) scholar Dr. Kim Anderson detailing the extraordinary work that Maria has been doing since its original publication 46 years ago, and an afterword by the author looking at what has changed, and also what has not, for Indigenous people in Canada today. Restored are the recently discovered missing pages from the original text of this groundbreaking and significant work.

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Peace And Good Order: The Case For Indigenous Justice In Canada

McClelland & Stewart | September 24, 2019 | Hardcover | English

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Peace And Good Order: The Case For Indigenous Justice In Canada is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.
An urgent, informed, intimate condemnation of the Canadian state and its failure to deliver justice to Indigenous people by national bestselling author and former Crown prosecutor Harold R. Johnson.

"The night of the decision in the Gerald Stanley trial for the murder of Colten Boushie, I received a text message from a retired provincial court judge. He was feeling ashamed for his time in a system that was so badly tilted. I too feel this way about my time as both defence counsel and as a Crown prosecutor; that I didn't have the courage to stand up in the court room and shout 'Enough is enough.' This book is my act of taking responsibility for what I did, for my actions and inactions." --Harold R. Johnson

In early 2018, the failures of Canada's justice system were sharply and painfully revealed in the verdicts issued in the deaths of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine. The outrage and confusion that followed those verdicts inspired former Crown prosecutor and bestselling author Harold R. Johnson to make the case against Canada for its failure to fulfill its duty under Treaty to effectively deliver justice to Indigenous people, worsening the situation and ensuring long-term damage to Indigenous communities.

In this direct, concise, and essential volume, Harold R. Johnson examines the justice system's failures to deliver "peace and good order" to Indigenous people. He explores the part that he understands himself to have played in that mismanagement, drawing on insights he has gained from the experience; insights into the roots and immediate effects of how the justice system has failed Indigenous people, in all the communities in which they live; and insights into the struggle for peace and good order for Indigenous people now.

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Eatenonha: Native Roots Of Modern Democracy

McGill-Queen's University Press | September 12, 2019 | Hardcover | English

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Eatenonha is the Wendat word for love and respect for the Earth and Mother Nature. For many Native peoples and newcomers to North America, Canada is a motherland, an Eatenonha - a land in which all can and should feel included, valued, and celebrated. In Eatenonha Georges Sioui presents the history of a group of Wendat known as the Seawi Clan and reveals the deepest, most honoured secrets possessed by his people, by all people who are Indigenous, and by those who understand and respect Indigenous ways of thinking and living. Providing a glimpse into the lives, ideology, and work of his family and ancestors, Sioui weaves a tale of the Wendat's sparsely documented historical trajectory and his family's experiences on a reserve. Through an original retelling of the Indigenous commercial and social networks that existed in the northeast before European contact, the author explains that the Wendat Confederacy was at the geopolitical centre of a commonwealth based on peace, trade, and reciprocity. This network, he argues, was a true democracy, where all beings of all natures were equally valued and respected and where women kept their place at the centre of their families and communities. Identifying Canada's first civilizations as the originators of modern democracy, Eatenonha represents a continuing quest to heal and educate all peoples through an Indigenous way of comprehending life and the world.

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Men, Masculinity, And The Indian Act

Ubc Press | January 15, 2020 | Paperback | English

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Canada’s Indian Act is infamously sexist. Through many iterations of the legislation a woman’s status rights flowed from her husband, and even once it was amended to reinstate rights lost through marriage or widowhood, First Nations women could not necessarily pass status on to their descendants.

That injustice has rightly been subject to much scrutiny, but what has it meant for First Nations men? In an original complement to studies focused on the implications of the act for women, Martin J. Cannon challenges the decades-long assumption of case law and politics that the act has affected Indigenous people as either “women” or “Indians” – but not both. He argues that sexism and racialization must instead be understood as interlocking within the law. This double discrimination has been used to disrupt gender complementarity between Indigenous men and women, and to undercut the identities of Indigenous men through their female forebears.

By restorying historically patriarchal legislation and Indigenous masculinity, Men, Masculinity, and the Indian Act encourages Indigenous men to begin to articulate the complex ways in which their life’s journey is shaped by discrimination directed at Indigenous women. Only then can a transformative discussion about Indigenous nationhood, citizenship, and reconciliation take place.

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From Where I Stand: Rebuilding Indigenous Nations For A Stronger Canada

Ubc Press | September 20, 2019 | Paperback | English

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An Indigenous leader who has dedicated her life to Indigenous Rights, Jody Wilson-Raybould has represented both First Nations and the Crown at the highest levels. And she is not afraid to give Canadians what they need most – straight talk on how to deconstruct Canada's dark colonial legacy and embrace a new era of recognition and reconciliation.

In this powerful book, drawn from Wilson-Raybould’s speeches and other writings, she urges all Canadians – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – to build upon the momentum already gained in the reconciliation process or risk hard-won progress being lost. The choice is stark: support Indigenous-led initiatives for Nation rebuilding or continue to allow governments to just “manage the problem.” She also argues that true reconciliation will never occur unless governments transcend barriers enshrined in the Indian Act that continue to deny Indigenous Peoples their rights. Until then, we’ll be stuck in the status quo – mired in conflicts and court cases that do nothing to improve people’s lives or heal the country.

The good news is that Indigenous Nations already have the solutions. But now is the time to act and build a shared postcolonial future based on the foundations of trust, cooperation, recognition, and good governance. Frank and impassioned, this book charts a course forward – one that will not only empower Indigenous Peoples but strengthen the well-being of Canada and all Canadians.

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The Shoe Boy: A Trapline Memoir

Ubc Press | April 2, 2020 | Paperback | English

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Duncan McCue is an award-winning CBC journalist and the host of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. He teaches journalism at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism and Ryerson University, and was awarded a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University. His numerous honours include an Innovation Award from the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, for developing curriculum on Indigenous issues. McCue is Anishinaabe, from the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in Ontario, and the proud father of two children. He lives in Toronto.

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The Way Home

Ubc Press | October 1, 2019 | Paperback | English

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David Neel was an infant when his father, a traditional Kwakiutl artist, returned to the ancestors, triggering a series of events that would separate David from his homeland and its rich cultural traditions for twenty-five years. When he saw a potlatch mask carved by his great-great-grandfather in a museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the encounter inspired the young photographer to rekindle a childhood dream to follow in the footsteps of his father.

Drawing on memories, legends, and his own art and portrait photography, David Neel recounts his struggle to reconnect with his culture after decades of separation and a childhood marred by trauma and abuse. He returned to the Pacific Coast in 1987, where he apprenticed with master carvers from his father’s village. The art of his ancestors and the teachings of the people he met helped make up for the lost years and fuelled his creativity. His career as a multimedia artist also gave him the opportunity to meet and photograph leading artists, knowledgeable elders, and prominent people from around the world. In time he was a recognized artist, with his artwork presented in more than forty solo and sixty group exhibitions.

The Way Home is an uplifting tale that affirms the healing power of returning home. It is also a testament to the strength of the human spirit to overcome great obstacles, and to the power and endurance of Indigenous culture and art.

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As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight For Environmental Justice, From Colonization To…

Beacon Press | March 31, 2020 | Paperback | English

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The story of Native peoples’ resistance to environmental injustice and land incursions, and a call for environmentalists to learn from the Indigenous community’s rich history of activism

Through the unique lens of “Indigenized environmental justice,” Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. As Long As Grass Grows gives readers an accessible history of Indigenous resistance to government and corporate incursions on their lands and offers new approaches to environmental justice activism and policy.

Throughout 2016, the Standing Rock protest put a national spotlight on Indigenous activists, but it also underscored how little Americans know about the longtime historical tensions between Native peoples and the mainstream environmental movement. Ultimately, she argues, modern environmentalists must look to the history of Indigenous resistance for wisdom and inspiration in our common fight for a just and sustainable future.

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Indigenomics: Taking A Seat At The Economic Table

New Society Publishers | August 7, 2020 | Perfect | English

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Igniting the $100 billion Indigenous economy

It is time. It is time to increase the visibility, role, and responsibility of the emerging modern Indigenous economy and the people involved. This is the foundation for economic reconciliation. This is Indigenomics.

Indigenomics lays out the tenets of the emerging Indigenous economy, built around relationships, multigenerational stewardship of resources, and care for all.

Highlights include:

  • The ongoing power shift and rise of the modern Indigenous economy
  • Voices of leading Indigenous business leaders
  • The unfolding story in the law courts that is testing Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples
  • Exposure of the false media narrative of Indigenous dependency
  • A new narrative, rooted in the reality on the ground, that Indigenous peoples are economic powerhouses
  • On the ground examples of the emerging Indigenous economy.

Indigenomics calls for a new model of development, one that advances Indigenous self-determination, collective well-being, and reconciliation. This is vital reading for business leaders and entrepreneurs, Indigenous organizations and nations, governments and policymakers, and economists.

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Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive

University of Manitoba Press | May 3, 2019 | Paperback | English

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Labrador Innu cultural and environmental activist Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue is well-known both within and far beyond the Innu Nation. The recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award and an honorary doctorate from Memorial University, she has been a subject of documentary films, books, and numerous articles. She led the Innu campaign against NATO’s low-level flying and bomb testing on Innu land during the 1980s and ’90s, and was a key respondent in a landmark legal case in which the judge held that the Innu had the “colour of right” to occupy the Canadian Forces base in Goose Bay, Labrador. Over the past twenty years she has led walks and canoe trips in nutshimit, “on the land,” to teach people about Innu culture and knowledge. Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive began as a diary written in Innu-aimun, in which Tshaukuesh recorded day-to-day experiences, court appearances, and interviews with reporters. Tshaukuesh has always had a strong sense of the importance of documenting what was happening to the Innu and their land. She also found keeping a diary therapeutic, and her writing evolved from brief notes into a detailed account of her own life and reflections on Innu land, culture, politics, and history. Beautifully illustrated, this work contains numerous images by professional photographers and journalists as well as archival photographs and others from Tshaukuesh’s own collection.

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Injichaag: My Soul in Story: Anishinaabe Poetics in Art and Words

University of Manitoba Press | October 11, 2019 | Paperback | English

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This book shares the life story of Anishinaabe artist Rene Meshake in stories, poetry, and Anishinaabemowin “word bundles” that serve as a dictionary of Ojibwe poetics. Meshake was born in the railway town of Nakina in northwestern Ontario in 1948, and spent his early years living off-reserve with his grandmother in a matriarchal land-based community he calls Pagwashing. He was raised through his grandmother’s “bush university,” periodically attending Indian day school, but at the age of ten Rene was scooped into the Indian residential school system, where he suffered sexual abuse as well as the loss of language and connection to family and community. This residential school experience was lifechanging, as it suffocated his artistic expression and resulted in decades of struggle and healing. Now in his twenty-eighth year of sobriety, Rene is a successful multidisciplinary artist, musician and writer. Meshake’s artistic vision and poetic lens provide a unique telling of a story of colonization and recovery. The material is organized thematically around a series of Meshake’s paintings. It is framed by Kim Anderson, Rene’s Odaanisan (adopted daughter), a scholar of oral history who has worked with Meshake for two decades. Full of teachings that give a glimpse of traditional Anishinaabek lifeways and worldviews, Injichaag: My Soul in Story is “more than a memoir.”

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Pathways Of Reconciliation: Indigenous And Settler Approaches To Implementing The Trc's Calls To…

University of Manitoba Press | May 29, 2020 | Paperback | English

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Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Calls to Action in June 2015, governments, churches, non-profit, professional and community organizations, corporations, schools and universities, clubs and individuals have asked: “How can I/we participate in reconciliation?” Recognizing that reconciliation is not only an ultimate goal, but a decolonizing process of journeying in ways that embody everyday acts of resistance, resurgence, and solidarity, coupled with renewed commitments to justice, dialogue, and relationship-building, Pathways of Reconciliation helps readers find their way forward. The essays in Pathways of Reconciliation address the themes of reframing, learning and healing, researching, and living. They engage with different approaches to reconciliation (within a variety of reconciliation frameworks, either explicit or implicit) and illustrate the complexities of the reconciliation process itself. They canvass multiple and varied pathways of reconciliation, from Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives, reflecting a diversity of approaches to the mandate given to all Canadians by the TRC with its Calls to Action. Together the authors — academics, practitioners, students and ordinary citizens — demonstrate the importance of trying and learning from new and creative approaches to thinking about and practicing reconciliation and reflect on what they have learned from their attempts (both successful and less successful) in the process.

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The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative

House Of Anansi Press Inc | November 1, 2003 | Paperback | English

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The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative is rated 5 out of 5 by 9.

Winner of the 2003 Trillium Book Award

"Stories are wondrous things," award-winning author and scholar Thomas King declares in his 2003 CBC Massey Lectures. "And they are dangerous."

Beginning with a traditional Native oral story, King weaves his way through literature and history, religion and politics, popular culture and social protest, gracefully elucidating North America's relationship with its Native peoples.

Native culture has deep ties to storytelling, and yet no other North American culture has been the subject of more erroneous stories. The Indian of fact, as King says, bears little resemblance to the literary Indian, the dying Indian, the construct so powerfully and often destructively projected by White North America. With keen perception and wit, King illustrates that stories are the key to, and only hope for, human understanding. He compels us to listen well.

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Injun

Talonbooks | March 25, 2016 | Paperback | English

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Award-winning Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel’s third collection, Injun, is a long poem about racism and the representation of indigenous peoples. Composed of text found in western novels published between 1840 and 1950 – the heyday of pulp publishing and a period of unfettered colonialism in North America – Injun then uses erasure, pastiche, and a focused poetics to create a visually striking response to the western genre.

After compiling the online text of 91 of these now public-domain novels into one gargantuan document, Abel used his word processor’s “Find” function to search for the word “injun.” The 509 results were used as a study in context: How was this word deployed? What surrounded it? What was left over once that word was removed? Abel then cut up the sentences into clusters of three to five words and rearranged them into the long poem that is Injun. The book contains the poem as well as peripheral material that will help the reader to replicate, intuitively, some of the conceptual processes that went into composing the poem.

Though it has been phased out of use in our “post-racial” society, the word “injun” is peppered throughout pulp western novels. Injun retraces, defaces, and effaces the use of this word as a colonial and racial marker. While the subject matter of the source text is clearly problematic, the textual explorations in Injun help to destabilize the colonial image of the “Indian” in the source novels, the western genre as a whole, and the Western canon.

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I Am Woman

Press Gang Publishers | May 16, 2003 | Paperback | English

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I Am Woman is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
One of the foremost Native writers in North America, Lee Maracle links her First Nations heritage with feminism in this visionary book. "Maracle has created a book of true wisdom, intense pride, sisterhood and love." -Milestones Review

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Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours)

University of Regina Press | September 23, 2016 | Paperback | English

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Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours) is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2.
A passionate call to action, Firewater examines alcohol-its history, the myths surrounding it, and its devastating impact on Indigenous people. 

Drawing on his years of experience as a Crown Prosecutor in Treaty 6 territory, Harold Johnson challenges readers to change the story we tell ourselves about the drink that goes by many names-booze, hooch, spirits, sauce, and the evocative "firewater." Confronting the harmful stereotype of the "lazy, drunken Indian," and rejecting medical, social, and psychological explanations of the roots of alcoholism, Johnson cries out for solutions, not diagnoses, and shows how alcohol continues to kill so many. Provocative, irreverent, and keenly aware of the power of stories, Firewater calls for people to make decisions about their communities and their lives on their own terms. 

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The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir - New Edition

University of Regina Press | March 4, 2017 | Hardcover | English

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Named the fourth most important "Book of the Year" by the National Post in 2015 and voted "One Book/One Province" in Saskatchewan for 2017, The Education of Augie Merasty launched on the front page of The Globe and Mail to become a national bestseller and an instant classic.

A courageous and intimate memoir, The Education of Augie Merasty is the story of a child who faced the dark heart of humanity, let loose by the cruel policies of a bigoted nation. 

A retired fisherman and trapper who sometimes lived rough on the streets, Augie Merasty was one of an estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children who were taken from their families and sent to government-funded, church-run schools, where they were subjected to a policy of aggressive assimilation. 

As Augie recounts, these schools did more than attempt to mould children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse. 

But even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty's sense of humour and warm voice shine through. 

"In this book I have seen horror through eyes of a child." - James Daschuk, author of Clearing the Plains

"A story in which our entire nation has an obscure and dark complicity." - David Carpenter, co-author of The Education of Augie Merasty and author of The Gold and other books

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The Unexpected Cop: Indian Ernie on a Life of Leadership

University of Regina Press | January 26, 2019 | Paperback | English

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"From his small community in northern Ontario to the military and the Saskatoon Police Service, Ernie Louttit has made an incredible journey helping others and protecting Canadians. Known as 'Indian Ernie' in Saskatoon's inner-city, he has been both hated and revered by the Indigenous peoples he has served. He has played roles of both protector and enforcer. In this moving account, Ernie tells an insightful story that illuminates his personal journey." -Doug Cuthand, author of Askiwina: A Cree World
 
Bestselling author Ernie Louttit helped put an end to Saskatoon's notorious "Starlight Tours." In The Unexpected Cop, he demonstrates that being a leader means sticking to your convictions and sometimes standing up to the powers that be. An outsider who became an insider, he was tough on the beat but was also a role model for kids on the streets.
 
"Louttit fearlessly takes on some of the most problematic public issues of the day and confronts them with the objective practicality of a thoughtful, observant foreigner." -Les MacPherson, former editor and columnist with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Loss Of Indigenous Eden And The Fall Of Spirituality

University of Regina Press | April 11, 2020 | Paperback | English

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The follow-up to his award-winning book The Knowledge Seeker, Blair Stonechild's Loss of Indigenous Eden and the Fall of Spirituality continues to explore the Indigenous spiritual teachings passed down to the author by Elders, examining their relevance in today's world. Exploring how the rise of civilization has been antithetical to the relational philosophy of Indigenous thinking-whereby all things are interrelated and in need of care and respect-Stonechild demonstrates how the current global ideology of human dominance, economic growth, and technological progress has resulted in all-consuming and destructive appetites that are damaging relationships between humans and the natural world. Most troubling is the loss of respect for spirituality so fundamental to Indigenous stability. There must be international reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, their culture and spirituality, Stonechild insists, if humanity itself is to survive.

"This tome needs to be read by everyone for the benefit of the Earth." -Antonia Mills, author of Amerindian Rebirth

"Stonechild has appeared with his writings to consider the spirituality of the Indigenous a key in finding a true path for humanity." -Elder Dave Courchene, Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness

"[A] great scholarly contribution to our knowledge of the history of Indigenous spirituality....These chapters completely rewrite the histories of 'civilizations' of religion and the nation states. They do so with great imagination and originality." -David McNab, author of No Place for Fairness

"Provocative and compelling, [Stonechild] offers deep historical insight into the colonialist legacies persisting within contemporary society, illuminating how the enduring values of Indigenous spirituality can provide meaningful paths toward healing and reconciliation." -Jesse Rae Archibald-Barber, editor of kisiskâciwan

"It is thought-provoking, philosophical, informative, and celebrates the resilience and strength of Indigenous spirituality and our relationships to the sacred." -Kathleen E. Absolon-King, author of Kaandossiwin

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Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-determination In Canadian Sport

University of Regina Press | May 30, 2020 | Paperback | English

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Reclaiming Tom Longboat recounts the history of Indigenous sport in Canada through the lens of the prestigious Tom Longboat Awards, shedding light on a significant yet overlooked aspect of Canadian policy and Crown-Indigenous relations. Drawing on a rich and varied set of oral and textual sources, including interviews with award recipients and Jan Eisenhardt, the creator of the Awards himself, Janice Forsyth critically assesses the state's role in policing Indigenous bodies and identities through sport, from the assimilationist sporting regulations of residential schools to the present-day exclusion of Indigenous activities from mainstream sports. This work recognizes the role of sport as a tool for colonization in Canada, while also acknowledging its potential to become a tool for decolonization and self-determination.

"Through considering the Awards in the broader context of ongoing colonial relations in Canada, and bringing to light the voices of the recipients, this study extends well beyond the Tom Longboat Awards history to encompass the complicated place of sport in the Indigenous experience." -Robert Kossuth, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Lethbridge

"A fascinating account . . . in the ongoing struggle to decolonize Canadian institutions." -J.R. Miller, author of Residential Schools and Reconciliation

"Reclaiming Tom Longboat traces the long and arduous journey of sport from a tool of state-sponsored elimination of Indigenous values and culture to a means of empowerment, decolonization and self-determination. It sheds light on the predicament of both Indigenous communities and wider Canadian society as sport is untangled from its colonial history. Forsyth has taken sport seriously, making an important and necessary contribution to our understanding of both the past and the present." -James Daschuk, author of Clearing the Plains

"There is nothing out there like this book-it is an original take, one that will make a difference." -Nancy Bouchier, author of For the Love of the Game

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In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir Of Resilience

University of Regina Press | March 21, 2020 | Paperback | English

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A nationally bestselling book on the struggle of addiction and the power of Indigenous resilience. 

Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.

With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit.

"In My Own Moccasins never flinches. The story goes dark, and then darker. We live in an era where Indigenous women routinely go missing, our youth are killed and disposed of like trash, and the road to justice doesn't seem to run through the rez. Knott's journey is familiar, filled with the fallout of residential school, racial injustice, alcoholism, drugs, and despair. But she skillfully draws us along and opens up her life, her family, and her communities to show us a way forward. It's the best kind of memoir: clear-eyed, generous, and glorious .Bear witness to the emergence of one of the most powerful voices of her generation." -Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach (from the foreword)
 
"Helen Knott speaks truth to the experience of Indigenous women living through the violence of colonized spaces and she does so with grace, beauty and a ferocity that makes me feel so proud." -Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost
 
"Helen writes beautifully and painfully, about her own life and the lives of many of our sisters. A strong, gentle voice removing the colonial blanket and exposing truth." -Maria Campbell, author of Halfbreed
 
"An incredible debut that documents how trauma and addiction can be turned into healing and love. I am in awe of Helen Knott and her courage. I am a fan for life. Wow." -Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed
 
"Heartfelt, heartbreaking, triumphant and raw, In My Own Moccasins is a must-read for anyone who's ever felt lost in their life Actually, it's a must-read for anyone who appreciates stories of struggle, redemption and healing. Knott's writing is confident, clear, powerful and inspiring."
-Jowita Bydlowska, author of Guy: A Novel and Drunk Mom
 
"Powerful, filled with emotion." -Carol Daniels, author of Bearskin Diary and Hiraeth

"A beautiful rendering of how recovery for our peoples is inevitably about reconnecting with Indigenous identities, lands, cultural and healing practices." -Kim Anderson, author of Reconstructing Native Womenhood 

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Indigenous Peoples Atlas Of Canada

Canadian Geographic | September 25, 2018 | Hardcover | English

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Indigenous Peoples Atlas Of Canada is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in partnership with Canada's national Indigenous organizations, has created a groundbreaking four-volume atlas that shares the experiences, perspectives, and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It's an ambitious and unprecedented project inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Exploring themes of language, demographics, economy, environment and culture, with in-depth coverage of treaties and residential schools, these are stories of Canada's Indigenous Peoples, told in detailed maps and rich narratives.

This extraordinary project offers Canada a step on the path toward understanding.

The volumes contain more than 48 pages of reference maps, content from more than 50 Indigenous writers; hundreds of historical and contemporary photographs and a glossary of Indigenous terms, timelines, map of Indigenous languages, and frequently asked questions. All packaged together in a beautifully designed protective slipcase.

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21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation With…

Page Two Books, Inc. | April 10, 2018 | Paperback | English

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21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples A Reality is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 5.
#1 National Bestseller Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer. Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Bob Joseph's book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a crescendo. Joseph explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance - and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around truth and reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act's cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true reconciliation.

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The North-west Is Our Mother: The Story Of Louis Riel's People, The Métis Nation

HarperCollins Canada | September 17, 2019 | Hardcover | English

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There is a missing chapter in the narrative of Canada’s Indigenous peoples—the story of the Métis Nation, a new Indigenous people descended from both First Nations and Europeans

Their story begins in the last decade of the eighteenth century in the Canadian North-West. Within twenty years the Métis proclaimed themselves a nation and won their first battle. Within forty years they were famous throughout North America for their military skills, their nomadic life and their buffalo hunts.

The Métis Nation didn’t just drift slowly into the Canadian consciousness in the early 1800s; it burst onto the scene fully formed. The Métis were flamboyant, defiant, loud and definitely not noble savages. They were nomads with a very different way of being in the world—always on the move, very much in the moment, passionate and fierce. They were romantics and visionaries with big dreams. They battled continuously—for recognition, for their lands and for their rights and freedoms. In 1870 and 1885, led by the iconic Louis Riel, they fought back when Canada took their lands. These acts of resistance became defining moments in Canadian history, with implications that reverberate to this day: Western alienation, Indigenous rights and the French/English divide.

After being defeated at the Battle of Batoche in 1885, the Métis lived in hiding for twenty years. But early in the twentieth century, they determined to hide no more and began a long, successful fight back into the Canadian consciousness. The Métis people are now recognized in Canada as a distinct Indigenous nation. Written by the great-grandniece of Louis Riel, this popular and engaging history of “forgotten people” tells the story up to the present era of national reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

2019 marks the 175th anniversary of Louis Riel’s birthday (October 22, 1844)

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The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers | October 6, 2017 | Paperback | English

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In this book Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson challenge virtually everything that non-Indigenous Canadians believe about their relationship with Indigenous Peoples and the steps that are needed to place this relationship on a healthy and honourable footing.

Manuel and Derrickson show how governments are attempting to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples without touching the basic colonial structures that dominate and distort the relationship. They review the current state of land claims. They tackle the persistence of racism among non-Indigenous people and institutions. They celebrate Indigenous Rights Movements while decrying the role of government-funded organizations like the Assembly of First Nations. They document the federal government's disregard for the substance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples while claiming to implement it. These circumstances amount to what they see as a false reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Instead, Manuel and Derrickson offer an illuminating vision of what Canada and Canadians need for true reconciliation.

In this book, which Arthur Manuel and Ron Derrickson completed in the months before Manuel's death in January 2017, readers will recognize their profound understanding of the country, of its past, present, and potential future.

Expressed with quiet but firm resolve, humour, and piercing intellect The Reconciliation Manifesto will appeal to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who are open and willing to look at the real problems and find real solutions.

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Him Standing

Orca Book Publishers | April 1, 2013 | Paperback | English

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Him Standing is rated 4.75 out of 5 by 4.
When Lucas Smoke learns the Ojibway art of carving from his grandfather, he proves to be a natural. He can literally make people come to life in wood. Then Lucas's growing reputation attracts a mysterious stranger, who offers him a large advance to carve a spirit mask.
This mask is to represent the master, but Lucas must find its face in his dreams. As his dreams become more and more disturbing, he feels himself changing. And the mask takes control of his life. Then a chance encounter with an old woman introduces him to the identity of the master. He is an ancient sorcerer named Him Standing, a powerful and dark wizard. The more Lucas works on the mask, the closer Him Standing comes to emerging from the dream world to walk the earth again. What follows is a race against time and the forces of evil in this supernatural thriller.

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Picking Up The Pieces: Residential School Memories And The Making Of The Witness Blanket

Orca Book Publishers | September 10, 2019 | Paper over Board | English

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Picking Up the Pieces tells the story of the making of the Witness Blanket, a living work of art conceived and created by Indigenous artist Carey Newman. It includes hundreds of items collected from residential schools across Canada, everything from bricks, photos and letters to hockey skates, dolls and braids. Every object tells a story.

Carey takes the reader on a journey from the initial idea behind the Witness Blanket to the challenges in making it work to its completion. The story is told through the objects and the Survivors who donated them to the project. At every step in this important journey for children and adults alike, Carey is a guide, sharing his process and motivation behind the art. It's a personal project. Carey's father is a residential school Survivor. Like the Blanket itself, Picking Up the Pieces calls on readers of all ages to bear witness to the residential school experience, a tragic piece of Canada's history.

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Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City

House Of Anansi Press Inc | September 30, 2017 | Paperback | English

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Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City is rated 4.6563 out of 5 by 32.

The shocking true story covered by the Guardian and the New York Times of the seven young Indigenous students who were found dead in a northern Ontario city.

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau's grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang's. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie's death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada's long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

A portion of each sale of Seven Fallen Feathers will go to the Dennis Franklin Cromarty Memorial Fund, set up in 1994 to financially assist Nishnawbe Aski Nation students' studies in Thunder Bay and at post-secondary institutions. Further donations can be made to: http://www.cromartyfund.ca.

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river woman

House Of Anansi Press Inc | September 25, 2018 | Paperback | English

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river woman is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.

Governor General's Award-winning Métis poet and acclaimed novelist Katherena Vermette's second work of poetry, river woman, examines and celebrates love as postcolonial action. Here love is defined as a force of reclamation and repair in times of trauma, and trauma is understood to exist within all times. The poems are grounded in what feels like an eternal present, documenting moments of clarity that lift the speaker (and reader) out of our preconceptions of historical time, while never losing a connection to history. This is what we mean when we describe a work of art as being "timeless."

Like the river they speak to, these poems return again and again to the same source in search of new ways to reconstruct what has been lost. Vermette suggests that it's through language and the body - particularly through language as it lives inside the body - that a fragmented self might resurface as once again whole. This idea of breaking apart and coming back together is woven throughout the collection as the speaker revels in the physical pleasures of learning Anishnaabemowin ("the language / I should have already known"), as she contemplates the ongoing negotiation between the natural world and urban structures, and as she finds herself falling into trust with the ones she loves.

Divided into four sections, and written in her distinctively lean and elegantly spare style, where short lines belie the depth within them, river woman explores Vermette's relationship to nature - its destructive power and beauty, its timelessness, and its place in human history. Here is a poet who is a keen observer of an environment that is both familiar and otherworldly, where her home is alive with the sounds and smells of the land it grows out of, where "Words / transcend ceremony / into everyday" and "Nothing / is inanimate."

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Clifford: A Memoir, A Fiction, A Fantasy, A Thought Experiment

House Of Anansi Press Inc | August 28, 2018 | Paperback | English

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Clifford: A Memoir, A Fiction, A Fantasy, A Thought Experiment is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.

I open my eyes in the darkness, laying on my side, half my vision is of the earth and shadows; the other is of the sky, treetops, and stars. I should write Clifford's story. The thought emerges fully formed . . . The thought dissipates. I close my eyes and the earth and the sky disappear. The warmth of my sleeping bag wraps around me and sleep pulls me under into that half-world where reality and fantasy mingle in a place where coherent thoughts disintegrate.

When Harold Johnson returns to his childhood home in a northern Saskatchewan Indigenous community for his brother Clifford's funeral, the first thing his eyes fall on is a chair. It stands on three legs, the fourth broken off and missing. So begins a journey through the past, a retrieval of recollections that have too long sat dormant. Moving from the old family home to the log cabin, the garden, and finally settling deep in the forest surrounding the property, his mind circles back, shifting in time and space, weaving in and out of memories of his silent, powerful Swedish father; his formidable Cree mother, an expert trapper and a source of great strength; and his brother Clifford, a precocious young boy who is drawn to the mysterious workings of the universe.

As the night unfolds, memories of Clifford surface in Harold's mind's eye: teaching his younger brother how to tie his shoelaces; jousting on a bicycle without rubber wheels; building a motorcycle. Memory, fiction, and fantasy collide, and Clifford comes to life as the scientist he was meant to be, culminating in his discovery of the Grand Unified Theory.

Exquisitely crafted, funny, visionary, and wholly moving, Clifford is an extraordinary work for the way it defies strict category and embraces myriad forms of storytelling. To read it is to be immersed in a home, a family, a community, the wider world, the entire cosmos.

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Tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine

House Of Anansi Press Inc | October 1, 2019 | Paper over Board | English

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tawâw [ta-wow; Cree]: "Welcome, there is room."

Born to Cree parents and raised by a Métis father and Mi'kmaw-British mother, Shane M. Chartrand has spent the past fifteen years learning about his history, visiting with other First Nations peoples, gathering and sharing knowledge and stories, and creating dishes that combine his diverse interests and express his unique personality. The result is tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, a gorgeous book that traces Chartrand's culinary journey from his childhood in Central Alberta, where he learned to raise livestock, hunt, and fish on his family's acreage, to his current position as executive chef at the acclaimed SC Restaurant in the River Cree Resort & Casino in Enoch, Alberta, on Treaty 6 Territory.

Containing over seventy-five recipes - including his award-winning dish "War Paint" - along with personal stories, interviews with Chartrand's culinary influences and family members, and contemporary and archival photographs of his journey, tawâw is part cookbook, part exploration of ingredients and techniques, and part chef's personal journal - a visionary book that will invite readers to leaf through its pages for ideas, education, recipes, and inspiration.

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All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

House Of Anansi Press Inc | October 16, 2018 | Paperback | English

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All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.

In this vital and incisive work, bestselling and award-winning author Tanya Talaga explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. From Northern Ontario to Nunavut, Norway, Brazil, Australia, and the United States, the Indigenous experience in colonized nations is startlingly similar and deeply disturbing. It is an experience marked by the violent separation of Peoples from the land, the separation of families, and the separation of individuals from traditional ways of life - all of which has culminated in a spiritual separation that has had an enduring impact on generations of Indigenous children. As a result of this colonial legacy, too many communities today lack access to the basic determinants of health - income, employment, education, a safe environment, health services - leading to a mental health and youth suicide crisis on a global scale. But, Talaga reminds us, First Peoples also share a history of resistance, resilience, and civil rights activism, from the Occupation of Alcatraz led by the Indians of All Tribes, to the Northern Ontario Stirland Lake Quiet Riot, to the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which united Indigenous Nations from across Turtle Island in solidarity.

Based on her Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy series, All Our Relations is a powerful call for action, justice, and a better, more equitable world for all Indigenous Peoples.

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NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field

House Of Anansi Press Inc | September 3, 2019 | Paperback | English

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In the follow-up to his Griffin Poetry Prize-winning collection, This Wound is a World, Billy-Ray Belcourt writes using the modes of accusation and interrogation. He aims an anthropological eye at the realities of everyday life to show how they house the violence that continues to reverberate from the long twentieth century. In a genre-bending constellation of poetry, photography, redaction, and poetics, Belcourt ultimately argues that if signifiers of Indigenous suffering are everywhere, so too is evidence of Indigenous peoples' rogue possibility, their utopian drive.

In NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, the poet takes on the political demands of queerness, mainstream portrayals of Indigenous life, love and its discontents, and the limits and uses of poetry as a vehicle for Indigenous liberation. In the process, Belcourt once again demonstrates his extraordinary craft, guile, and audacity, and the sheer dexterity of his imagination.

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One Native Life

Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd. | February 23, 2009 | Paperback | English

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One Native Life is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 5.

In 2005, award-winning writer Richard Wagamese moved with his partner to a cabin outside Kamloops, B.C. In the crisp mountain air Wagamese felt a peace he’d seldom known before. Abused and abandoned as a kid, he’d grown up feeling there was nowhere he belonged. For years, only alcohol and moves from town to town seemed to ease the pain.

In One Native Life, Wagamese looks back down the road he has travelled in reclaiming his identity and talks about the things he has learned as a human being, a man and an Ojibway in his fifty-two years. Whether he’s writing about playing baseball, running away with the circus, attending a sacred bundle ceremony or meeting Pierre Trudeau, he tells these stories in a healing spirit. Through them, Wagamese celebrates the learning journey his life has been.

Free of rhetoric and anger despite the horrors he has faced, Wagamese’s prose resonates with a peace that has come from acceptance. Acceptance is an Aboriginal principle, and he has come to see that we are all neighbours here. One Native Life is his tribute to the people, the places and the events that have allowed him to stand in the sunshine and celebrate being alive.

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Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada

Portage & Main Press | September 9, 2016 | Paperback | English

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Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada is rated 4.8333 out of 5 by 18.
In Indigenous Writes, Chelsea Vowel initiates myriad conversations about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. An advocate for Indigenous worldviews, the author discusses the fundamental issues?the terminology of relationships; culture and identity; myth-busting; state violence; and land, learning, law and treaties?along with wider social beliefs about these issues. She answers the questions that many people have on these topics to spark further conversations at home, in the classroom, and in the larger community.

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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Milkweed Editions | August 21, 2015 | Paperback | English

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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 10.
A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller Named a Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise" (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings - asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass - offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return."

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Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems

Graywolf Press | March 3, 2020 | Paperback | English

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Natalie Diaz's highly anticipated follow-up to When My Brother Was an Aztec, winner of an American Book Award

Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz's brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages-bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers-be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: "Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. / Let me call it, a garden." In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality.

Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves: "I am doing my best to not become a museum / of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. // I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible." Postcolonial Love Poem unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope-in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.

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The Pemmican Eaters

ECW Press | April 1, 2015 | Paperback | English

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The Pemmican Eaters is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.

A picture of the Riel Resistance from one of Canada's preeminent Métis poets

With a title derived from John A. Macdonald's moniker for the Métis, The Pemmican Eaters explores Marilyn Dumont's sense of history as the dynamic present. Combining free verse and metered poems, her latest collection aims to recreate a palpable sense of the Riel Resistance period and evoke the geographical, linguistic/cultural, and political situation of Batoche during this time through the eyes of those who experienced the battles, as well as through the eyes of Gabriel and Madeleine Dumont and Louis Riel.

Included in this collection are poems about the bison, seed beadwork, and the Red River Cart, and some poems employ elements of the Michif language, which, along with French and Cree, was spoken by Dumont's ancestors. In Dumont's The Pemmican Eaters, a multiplicity of identities is a strengthening rather than a weakening or diluting force in culture.

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Legacy: Trauma, Story, And Indigenous Healing

ECW Press | March 19, 2019 | Paperback | English

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Five hundred years of colonization have taken an incalculable toll on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas: substance use disorders and shockingly high rates of depression, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions brought on by genocide and colonial control. With passionate logic and chillingly clear prose, author and educator Suzanne Methot uses history, human development, and her own and others' stories to trace the roots of Indigenous cultural dislocation and community breakdown in an original and provocative examination of the long-term effects of colonization. But all is not lost. Methot also shows how we can come back from this with Indigenous ways of knowing lighting the way.

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Why Indigenous Literatures Matter

Wilfrid Laurier University Press | March 8, 2018 | Paperback | English

see the Indigenous Voices: Non-Fiction collection
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Part survey of the field of Indigenous literary studies, part cultural history, and part literary polemic, Why Indigenous Literatures Matter asserts the vital significance of literary expression to the political, creative, and intellectual efforts of Indigenous peoples today. In considering the connections between literature and lived experience, this book contemplates four key questions at the heart of Indigenous kinship traditions: How do we learn to be human? How do we become good relatives? How do we become good ancestors? How do we learn to live together? Blending personal narrative and broader historical and cultural analysis with close readings of key creative and critical texts, Justice argues that Indigenous writers engage with these questions in part to challenge settler-colonial policies and practices that have targeted Indigenous connections to land, history, family, and self. More importantly, Indigenous writers imaginatively engage the many ways that communities and individuals have sought to nurture these relationships and project them into the future.

This provocative volume challenges readers to critically consider and rethink their assumptions about Indigenous literature, history, and politics while never forgetting the emotional connections of our shared humanity and the power of story to effect personal and social change. Written with a generalist reader firmly in mind, but addressing issues of interest to specialists in the field, this book welcomes new audiences to Indigenous literary studies while offering more seasoned readers a renewed appreciation for these transformative literary traditions.

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Indianthusiasm: Indigenous Responses

Wilfrid Laurier University Press | January 7, 2020 | Paperback | English

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Indianthusiasm refers to the European fascination with, and fantasies about, Indigenous peoples of North America, and has its roots in nineteenth-century German colonial imagination. Often manifested in romanticized representations of the past, Indianthusiasm has developed into a veritable industry in Germany and other European nations: there are Western and so-called “Indian” theme parks and a German hobbyist scene that attract people of all social backgrounds and ages to join camps and clubs that practise beading, powwow dancing, and Indigenous lifestyles.

Containing interviews with twelve Indigenous authors, artists, and scholars who comment on the German fascination with North American Indigenous Peoples, Indianthusiasm is the first collection to present Indigenous critiques and assessments of this phenomenon. The volume connects two disciplines and strands of scholarship: German Studies and Indigenous Studies, focusing on how Indianthusiam has created both barriers and opportunities for Indigenous peoples with Germans and in Germany.

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One Story, One Song

Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd. | March 9, 2015 | Paperback | English

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One Story, One Song is rated 5 out of 5 by 3.

"The short pieces in One Story, One Song remind us of human beingsï?? place in the world: We are a part of it, not masters of it. And by sharing our stories we share ourselves. By listening to othersï?? stories, we share their lives and perhaps gain connections. One Story, One Song is all about connections, something we all need."
—Globe and Mail

In One Story, One Song, Richard Wagamese invites readers to accompany him on his travels. His focus is on stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four Ojibway storytelling principles: balance, harmony, knowledge and intuition.

Whether the topic is learning from his grade five teacher about Martin Luther King, gleaning understanding from a wolf track, lighting a fire for the first time without matches or finding the universe in an eagle feather, these stories exhibit the warmth, wisdom and generosity that make Wagamese so popular. As always, in these pages, the land serves as Wagameseï??s guide. And as always, he finds that true home means not only community but conversation—good, straight-hearted talk about important things. We all need to tell our stories, he says. Every voice matters.

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Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations

Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd. | October 29, 2016 | Paperback | English