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Aboriginal Celebrations 2012

Recommended reading for adults, teens and children.

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Anderson, Kim, 1964-
Life Stages and Native Women explores how the responsibilities of Métis, Cree, and Anishinaabe women were integral to the health and well-being of their communities during the mid-20th century. This book is rich with oral history from 14 Algonquian elders and concludes with a consideration of how oral history can help build healthier communities today. This is a powerful book that will speak to all women. (non-fiction)
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Annett, Kevin Daniel, 1956-
In 1992, Kevin Annett, an ordained minister with the United Church of Canada, discovered a history of abuse and atrocities committed against native children in the church's residential school. Annett refused to remain silent and was consequently defrocked by his Presbytery. Unrepentant is the story of Annett's 15 year campaign to raise awareness and bring justice to the countless native communities who suffered at the hands of the church and the Canadian government. (non-fiction)
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Berglund, Madeleine.
Based on the Seven Grandfather Teachings, this book is a collection of traditional teachings from Elders, activists, teachers and Wisdom Keepers from diverse Indigenous Nations. It invites both Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people to examine what it means to transcend the historical and present prejudices that give rise to hatred and violence. (non-fiction)
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Francis, Daniel.
Francis argues that the Imaginary Indian has been, and continues to be just about anything the non-Native culture has wanted it to be; and the contradictory stories non-Natives tell about Imaginary Indians are really stories about themselves and their own cultural uncertainties. (non-fiction)
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Johnston, Basil.
Think Indian is a collection of essays and presentations that Johnston has delivered to numerous educational conferences and gatherings across Canada and the United States. Topics covered - while all relating to the critical need to protect and encourage our language - include how we are "One Generation Away From Extinction," "Cowboys and Indians" to "You Can't Tell Stories in the Summertime" and the title essay "Think Indian." (non-fiction)
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Scofield, Gregory A., 1966-
Celebrated Métis poet Gregory Scofield takes a fresh look at Riel in his new collection, Louis: The Heretic Poems, challenging traditional conceptions of Riel as simply a folk hero and martyr. By juxtaposing historical events and quotes with the poetic narrative, Scofield draws attention to the side of the Mètis leader that most Canadians have never contemplated: that of husband, father, friend and lover, poet and visionary. (non-fiction)
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Maracle, Lee.
This powerful collection of short stories provides revealing glimpses into the life experiences of an Aboriginal woman, a university professor, an activist and a single mother. With lyrical eloquence, Lee Maracle takes the reader on a deeply stirring and emotional journey that is at times humorous and heart-wrenching but not soon to be forgotten. (fiction)
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Seesequasis, Paul.
Set in the early 17th century, Tobacco Wars follows the mythical adventures of Pocahontas and playwright Ben Jonson. As worlds are turned upside down and irrevocably altered, tobacco, a new commodity, intoxicates the old world at the same time as an 'Indian princess' undertakes her own age of exploration. (fiction)
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Wagamese, Richard.
Saul Indian Horse is dying. Tucked away in a hospice high above the clash and clang of a big city, he embarks on a marvellous journey of imagination back through the life he led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows. (fiction)
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Whitehead, Harry, 1967-
George Hunt has a white father and a native mother. A shaman and chieftain among his people, the Kwagiulth, he has helplessly watched them die, as their world is besieged by the arrival of the 20th century and the encroachments of the young country called Canada. Based on the life of the real historical figure George Hunt, The Cannibal Spirit is masterful, unforgettable and utterly gripping. (fiction)
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Bogaert, Harmen Meyndertsz van den.
Despite freezing temperatures and scarcity of trustworthy guides, maps, and sometimes even food, Van den Bogaert and his friends set off for a journey, through what today is known as New York, in an attempt to revive the struggling fur trade. Nearly four centuries later, George O'Connor brings van den Bogaert's journal of his travels to life with simple and striking artwork that is sure to engage teens. (teens)
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Bruchac, Joseph, 1942-
When Luke King's dad goes missing and his best friend Meena is put in danger, Luke realizes that life will never be the same. Luke's only chance to save them - a skin that will let him walk as a wolf - is hidden away in an abandoned mansion guarded by monsters. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny. (teens)
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Campbell, Nicola I.
A young girl delights in a visit to her grandpa's farm where she learns about her grandmother, Yahyah, and gets to explore the "secret room," with its old wooden box of ribbons, medals and photos of Grandpa in uniform. (children's)
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Dorion, Leah, 1970-
This vibrantly illustrated children's book is a beautiful retelling of a traditional Métis story. It emphasizes Métis core values and beliefs, and the important connection with the Creator and Mother Earth. A Métis value chart is included and the accompanying CD allows readers to hear the story in English and Michif. (children's)
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Jordan-Fenton, Christy.
Traveling to be reunited with her family in the Arctic, 10-year-old Margaret Pokiak can hardly contain her excitement. But when she arrives home, Margaret realizes she is now marked as an outsider - she has forgotten the language and stories of her people. This is a powerful memoir of an Inuvialuit girl searching for her true self when she returns home from residential school. (children's)
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McLimans, David.
This beautiful Huron creation story is retold through vivid illustrations and bold, creative text. In the time when all people lived in the sky and all animals in the water, Sky Girl falls through a hole, is rescued by swans and taken to wise Big Turtle. Simple, yet profound, Big Turtle will transport and entice readers, young and old alike. (children's)
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Mikkigak, Qaunak.
In this traditional Inuit story, a simple walk on the tundra becomes a life or death journey for a young man. When he comes across a giant who wants to take him home and cook him for dinner, the young man's quick thinking saves him from being devoured by the giant and his family, and in the process releases the first fog into the world. (children's)
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Qaunaq, Sakiasi, 1942-
An orphaned boy is abandoned on the sea ice by a group of cruel hunters until he is discovered and adopted by a polar bear elder. While living in the polar bear's village, the orphan learns many lessons about survival, but most importantly, he learns something about himself and his own place in the world. (children's)
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Qitsualik, Rachel A., 1953-
The Shadows that Rush Past introduces older children to some of the creepiest, scariest stories from Inuit mythology. These tales are filled with child-stealing ogresses, half-man half- grizzly bear monsters, ice-covered polar bears ten times the size of normal bears, and a smiling creature that surprises unsuspecting campers and tickles them to death! (children's)
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Johnston, Basil.
These stories teach us that we all have a gift to share. We depend on the insects, birds, fish and animals given to us by the Creator to help us live in harmony with the earth. This harmony, or Wesiihhik, gives us peace of heart and the ability to overcome challenges along The Path of Life. (children's)
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Willett, Mindy, 1968-
Raymond Taniton, a former chief, shows readers how to make a traditional Dene drum with the help of his father, Alfred, who is a leader and the "keeper of the drum." Raymond shares the importance of keeping traditions alive to maintain a healthy community. He also introduces readers to Dene spiritual, political and traditional leaders. Join Raymond and find out what is at the heart of the rich history of the Sahtugot'ine, the people of the Sahtu. (children's)
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