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First Nation Communities READ 2020/21

A guide celebrating First Nation Communities Read nominations. Titles are chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, representing the very best of Indigenous literature.

2020/2021 Selections

Birdsong

When a young girl moves from the country to a small town, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of nature and art. As the seasons change, can the girl navigate the failing health of her new friend? Acclaimed author and artist Julie Flett's textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the fulfillment of intergenerational relationships and shared passions. A brief glossary and pronunciation guide to Cree-Metis words that appear in the text is provided on the copyright page.

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

"A bold and profound work by Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is a personal and critical meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America. In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight and understanding to the ongoing legacy of colonialism. What are the links between depression, colonialism and loss of language--both figurative and literal? How does white privilege operate in different contexts? How do we navigate the painful contours of mental illness in loved ones without turning them into their sickness? How does colonialism operate on the level of literary criticism? A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is Alicia Elliott's attempt to answer these questions and more."

The North-West Is Our Mother

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)

This Place

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact. This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts' New Chapter initiative. With this $35M initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.  

The Man Who Lived with a Giant

Our parents always taught us well. They told us to look on the good side of life and to accept what has to happen. The Man Who Lived with a Giant is a collection of traditional and personal stories told by Johnny Neyelle, a Dene Elder from Déline, Northwest Territories. Johnny used storytelling to teach Dene youth and others to understand and celebrate Dene traditions and knowledge. Johnny's voice makes his stories accessible to readers young and old, and his wisdom reinforces the right way to live: in harmony with people and places. Storytelling forms the core of Dene knowledge-keeping, making this a vital book for Dene people of today and tomorrow, researchers working with Indigenous cultures and oral histories, and all those dedicated to preserving Elders' stories.

Perception

Social action art in book form, Perception: A Photo Series encourages readers to look, and then look again. Tired of reading negative and disparaging remarks directed at Indigenous people of Winnipeg in the press and social media, artist KC Adams created a photo series that presented another perspective. Called "Perception Photo Series," it confronted common stereotypes of First Nation, Inuit and Métis people to illustrate a more contemporary truthful story. First appearing on billboards, in storefronts, in bus shelters, and projected onto Winnipeg's downtown buildings, Adam's stunning photographs now appear in the book, Perception: A Photo Series.  Meant to challenge the culture of apathy and willful ignorance about Indigenous issues, Adams hopes to unite readers in the fight against prejudice of all kinds. Perception is one title in The Debwe Series.

In My Own Moccassins

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. Helen Knott is a Dane Zaa, Nehiyaw, and mixed Euro-descent woman living in Fort St. John, British Columbia. In 2016 Helen was one of sixteen global change makers featured by the Nobel Women's Initiative for being committed to end gender-based violence. Helen was selected as a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author. This is her first book. Eden Robinson is the award-winning author of Monkey Beach, Son of a Trickster, and other novels. She is a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations.

Injichaag: My Soul in Story

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 connectionto 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."

The Case of Windy Lake

Sam, Otter, Atim, and Chickadee are four inseparable cousins growing up on the Windy Lake First Nation. Nicknamed the Mighty Muskrats for their habit of laughing, fighting, and exploring together, the cousins find that each new adventure adds to their reputation. When a visiting archeologist goes missing, the cousins decide to solve the mystery of his disappearance. In the midst of community conflict, family concerns, and environmental protests, the four get busy following every lead. From their base of operations in a fort made out of an old school bus, the Mighty Muskrats won't let anything stop them from solving their case!

From the Ashes

In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is. If I can just make it to the next minute...then I might have a chance to live; I might have a chance to be something more than just a struggling crackhead. From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up. Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse's drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around. In this heartwarming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education--and newfound love--he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family. An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.

From Bear Rock Mountain

In 1949, Antoine Mountain was born on the land near Radelie Koe (Fort Good Hope) in the Northwest Territories just south of the Arctic Circle. At the tender age of seven, he was stolen away from his home and sent to a residential school--run by the Roman Catholic Church in collusion with the Government of Canada--three hundred kilometres away. Over the next twelve years, the three residential schools Mountain was forced to attend systematically worked to erase his language and culture, the very roots of his identity. While reconnecting to that which had been taken from him, he had a disturbing and painful revelation of the bitter depths of colonialism and its legacy of cultural genocide. Canada has its own holocaust, Mountain argues. As a celebrated artist and social activist today, Mountain shares this moving, personal story of healing and the reclamation of his Dene identity.

2019/2020 Selections

Heart Berries

A powerful, poetic memoir of an Indigenous woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Band in the Pacific Northwest--this New York Times bestseller and Emma Watson Book Club pick is "an illuminating account of grief, abuse and the complex nature of the Native experience . . . at once raw and achingly beautiful (NPR) Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder, Terese Marie 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.

Surviving the City

Tasha Spillett's graphic novel debut, Surviving the City, is a story about womanhood, friendship, colonialism, and the anguish of a missing loved one. Miikwan and Dez are best friends. Miikwan is Anishinaabe; Dez is Inninew. Together, the teens navigate the challenges of growing up in an urban landscape - they're so close, they even completed their Berry Fast together. However, when Dez's grandmother becomes too sick, Dez is told she can't stay with her anymore. With the threat of a group home looming, Dez can't bring herself to go home and disappears. Miikwan is devastated, and the wound of her missing mother resurfaces. Will Dez's community find her before it's too late? Will Miikwan be able to cope if they don't?

Mamaskatch

Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family's history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school. McLeod was comforted by her presence and that of his many siblings and cousins, the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea, and his deep love of the landscape. Bertha taught him to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that would return to watch over and guide him at key junctures of his life. However, in a spiral of events, Darrel's mother turned wild and unstable, and their home life became chaotic. Sweet and innocent by nature, Darrel struggled to maintain his grades and pursue an interest in music while changing homes many times, witnessing violence, caring for his younger siblings and suffering abuse at the hands of his surrogate father. Meanwhile, his sibling's gender transition provoked Darrel to deeply question his own sexual identity. The fractured narrative of Mamaskatch mirrors Bertha's attempts to reckon with the trauma and abuse she faced in her own life, and captures an intensely moving portrait of a family of strong personalities, deep ties and the shared history that both binds and haunts them. Beautifully written, honest and thought-provoking, Mamaskatch--named for the Cree word used as a response to dreams shared--is ultimately an uplifting account of overcoming personal and societal obstacles. In spite of the traumas of Darrel's childhood, deep and mysterious forces handed down by his mother helped him survive and thrive: her love and strength stayed with him to build the foundation of what would come to be a very fulfilling and adventurous life.

Split Tooth

A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy and love. She knows boredom and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday and the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol and violence. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this. Veering between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the animal world and the ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains.

Moon of the Crusted Snow

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the council and community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader, they endeavour to restore order while grappling with a grave decision.

Otter's Journey Through Indigenous Language and Law

Storytelling has the capacity to address feelings and demonstrate themes - to illuminate beyond argument and theoretical exposition. In Otter's Journey, Borrows makes use of the Anishinaabe tradition of storytelling to explore how the work in Indigenous language revitalization can inform the emerging field of Indigenous legal revitalization. She follows Otter, a dodem (clan) relation from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, on a journey across Anishinaabe, Inuit, Māori, Coast Salish, and Abenaki territories, through a narrative of Indigenous resurgence. In doing so, she reveals that the processes, philosophies, and practices flowing from Indigenous languages and laws can emerge from under the layers of colonial laws, policies, and languages to become guiding principles in people's contemporary lives.

Kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly

This groundbreaking anthology from territory that is now Saskatchewan, kisiskâciwan, includes rich oral narratives from Cree, Saulteaux, Nakoda, Dakota, Dene, and Metis cultures; early writings from Cree missionaries; speeches and letters by Treaty Chiefs; stories from elders; archival discoveries; and contemporary literary works in all genres. 

Historically and culturally comprehensive, voices include Big Bear, Thunderchild, Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Edward Ahenakew, Maria Campbell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rita Bouvier, Harold Johnson, Gregory Scofield, Warren Cariou, Louise Halfe, and many more.

All Our Relations

Every single year in Canada, one-third of all deaths among Indigenous youth are due to suicide. Studies indicate youth between the ages of ten and nineteen, living on reserve, are five to six times more likely to commit suicide than their peers in the rest of the population. Suicide is a new behaviour for First Nations people. There is no record of any suicide epidemics prior to the establishment of the 130 residential schools across Canada. Bestselling and award-winning author Tanya Talaga argues that the aftershocks of cultural genocide have resulted in a disturbing rise in youth suicides in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond. She examinees the tragic reality of children feeling so hopeless they want to die, of kids perishing in clusters, forming suicide pacts, or becoming romanced by the notion of dying -- a phenomenon that experts call "suicidal ideation." She also looks at the rising global crisis, as evidenced by the high suicide rates among the Inuit of Greenland and Aboriginal youth in Australia. Finally, she documents suicide prevention strategies in Nunavut, Seabird Island, and Greenland; Facebook's development of AI software to actively link kids in crisis with mental health providers; and the push by First Nations leadership in Northern Ontario for a new national health strategy that could ultimately lead communities towards healing from the pain of suicide. Based on her Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy series, Tanya Talaga's 2018 Massey Lectures is a powerful call for action and justice for Indigenous communities and youth.

Red River Resistance

Echo Desjardins is adjusting to her new home, finding friends, and learning about Métis history. She just can't stop slipping back and forth in time. One ordinary afternoon in class, Echo finds herself transported to the banks of the Red River in the summer of 1869. All is not well in the territory as Canadian surveyors have arrived to change the face of territory, and Métis families, who have lived there for generations, are losing access to their land. As the Resistance takes hold, Echo fears for her friends and the future of her people in the Red River Valley.

River Woman

Governor General's Award-winning Métis poet and acclaimed novelist Katherena Vermette's second collection, river woman, explores her relationship to nature -- its destructive power and beauty, its timelessness, and its place in human history. Award-winning Métis poet and novelist Katherena Vermette's second book of poetry, river woman, examines and celebrates love as decolonial 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 the illusion of linear experience. 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 contemplates the ongoing negotiation between the city, the land, and the water, and as she finds herself falling into trust with the ones she loves. Vermette honours the river as a woman ― her destructive power and beauty, her endurance, and her stories. These poems sing from a place where "words / transcend ceremony / into everyday" and "nothing / is inanimate."

Blackbird Song

An exquisite series of meditations on memory, evanescence and the land. Randy Lundy draws deeply from his Cree heritage and equally from European and Asian traditions. Readers will be reminded by turns of Simon Ortiz, PÓr Lagerkvist, and Jane Hirshfield. This is the mind of prayer, a seeing and re-seeing of the immense cyclic beauty of the earth. "Lundy has entered the place where the masters reside. His poems join the shades that walk among them. There aren't many people who get to that place and sometimes it can feel very lonely there, but the masters are saved by the brilliant and humble work they have done, their poems the crevices in our lives where the light shines through." -- Patrick Lane, author of Washita "Randy Lundy's poems bring forward the spirit of his Cree ancestry, and place our species humbly among the creatures of Earth--who are all observed with deep reverence and perceptive care." -- Don McKay, author of Strike/Slip "This is the book of poems I've been waiting for ... His poems burn us, feed us, and make us feel beloved even if we have been broken. Language, as he uses it, holds us and leads us to a place where we can mourn and pray and wonder." -- Lorna Crozier, author of What the Soul Doesn't Want

21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples A Reality

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.

The Creator's Game

Lacrosse has been a central element of Indigenous cultures for centuries, but once non-Indigenous players entered the sport, it became a site of appropriation - then reclamation - of Indigenous identities. The Creator's Game focuses on the history of lacrosse in Indigenous communities from the 1860s to the 1990s, exploring Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations and Indigenous identity formation. While the game was being appropriated in the process of constructing a new identity for the nation-state of Canada, it was also being used by Indigenous peoples to resist residential school experiences, initiate pan-Indigenous political mobilization, and articulate Indigenous sovereignty. This engaging and innovative book provides a unique view of Indigenous self-determination and nationhood in the face of settler-colonialism.

Holy Wild

Winner of the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry Finalist for the 2019 Trillium Book Award for Poetry Finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Awards - Transgender Poetry Category Finalist for the 2019 Publishing Triangle Awards - Trans and Gender-Variant Literature Category Longlisted for the 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award In her third collection of poetry, Holy Wild, Gwen Benaway explores the complexities of being an Indigenous trans women in expansive lyric poems. She holds up the Indigenous trans body as a site of struggle, liberation, and beauty. A confessional poet, Benaway narrates her sexual and romantic intimacies with partners as well as her work to navigate the daily burden of transphobia and violence. She examines the intersections of Indigenous and trans experience through autobiographical poems and continues to speak to the legacy of abuse, violence, and colonial erasure that defines Canada. Her sparse lines, interwoven with English and Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), illustrate the wonder and power of Indigenous trans womanhood in motion. Holy Wild is not an easy book, as Benaway refuses to give any simple answers, but it is a profoundly vibrant and beautiful work filled with a transcendent grace. Praise for Holy Wild: "This is a heart wrenching, thought provoking, honest, and graceful walkthrough of trans realities both on the homeland and in urban settings." --Joshua Whitehead, author of Jonny Appleseed, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Full-Metal Indigiqueer "As the poet says, "they want one thing and I am many." This book is many things, and we are grateful." --Katherena Vermette, author of the award-winning novel The Break "Benaway conjures trans life in a place that is both prior to and in excess of the violence that mires it. It is the emotional infrastructure for something like freedom. Let Benaway lead you there." --Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of This Wound is a World

Nîtisânak

Lindsay Nixon's nîtisânak honours blood and chosen kin with equal care. A groundbreaking memoir spanning nations, prairie punk scenes, and queer love stories, it is woven around grief over the loss of their mother. It also explores despair and healing through community and family, and being torn apart by the same. Using cyclical narrative techniques and drawing on their Cree, Saulteaux, and Métis ancestral teachings, this work offers a compelling perspective on the connections that must be broken and the ones that heal. Winner of the 2019 Quebec Writers' Federation Concordia University First Book Prize

A Matter of Conscience

A novel of love and betrayal dealing with the biggest issues facing Canada's Indigenous peoples today. In the summer of 1972, a float plane carrying a team of child welfare officials lands on a river flowing through the Yellow Dog Indian reserve. Their mission is to seize the twin babies of an Indigenous couple as part of an illegal scheme cooked up by the federal government to adopt out tens of thousands of Native children to white families. The baby girl, Brenda, is adopted and raised by a white family in Orillia. Meanwhile, that same summer, a baby boy named Greg is born to a white middle-class family. At the age of eighteen, Greg leaves home for the first time to earn money to help pay for his university expenses. He drinks heavily and becomes embroiled in the murder of a female student from a residential school. The destinies of Brenda and Greg intersect in this novel of passion, confronting the murder and disappearance of Indigenous women and the infamous Sixties Scoop.

Little You

Richard Van Camp, internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author of the hugely successful Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns, has partnered with award-winning illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that celebrates the potential of every child. With its delightful contemporary illustrations, Little Youis perfect to be shared, read or sung to all the little people in your life--and the new little ones on the way!

Kiss by Kiss

One kiss, two kiss, three kiss, four!So many kisses and so many more. From bestselling author Richard Van Camp comes a delightful counting book that honors families and can be used to praise your little ones as they learn to count. Ten kisses from your sweet baby might not be enough to get you through this adorable book, so you'll just have to read it over and over! Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this book as a dual-language (English/Plains Cree) edition.

My Heart Fills with Happiness

The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with happiness? This beautiful board book, with illustrations from celebrated artist Julie Flett, serves as a reminder for little ones and adults alike to reflect on and cherish the moments in life that bring us joy. International speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote My Heart Fills with Happinessto support the wellness of Indigenous children and families, and to encourage young children to reflect on what makes them happy.

You Hold Me Up

This vibrant picture book, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other's well-being in their everyday actions. Consultant, international speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Upto prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.

Bowwow Powwow

Windy Girl is blessed with a vivid imagination. From Uncle she gathers stories of long-ago traditions, about dances and sharing and gratitude. Windy can tell such stories herself-about her dog, Itchy Boy, and the way he dances to request a treat and how he wriggles with joy in response to, well, just about everything. When Uncle and Windy Girl and Itchy Boy attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers in their jingle dresses and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. Later, Windy falls asleep under the stars. Now Uncle's stories inspire other visions in her head: a bowwow powwow, where all the dancers are dogs. In these magical scenes, Windy sees veterans in a Grand Entry, and a visiting drum group, and traditional dancers, grass dancers, and jingle-dress dancers-all with telltale ears and paws and tails. All celebrating in song and dance. All attesting to the wonder of the powwow. This playful story by Brenda Child is accompanied by a companion retelling in Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain and brought to life by Jonathan Thunder's vibrant dreamscapes. The result is a powwow tale for the ages.

We Sang You Home

In this sweet and lyrical board book from the creators of the bestselling Little You, gentle rhythmic text captures the wonder new parents feel as they welcome baby into the world. A celebration of the bond between parent and child, this is the perfect song to share with your little ones. Internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author Richard Van Camp teams up with award-winning illustrator Julie Flett for a second time to create a stunning board book for babies and toddlers.

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock

During an unfortunate mishap, young Awâsis loses Kôhkum's freshly baked world-famous bannock. Not knowing what to do, Awâsis seeks out a variety of other-than-human relatives willing to help. What adventures are in store for Awâsis?

Putuguq and Kublu and the Qalupalik

What creatures lurk beneath the sea ice? Putuguq and Kublu - two siblings who can't seem to get along- are about to find out! On their way to the shoreline, Putuguq and Kublu run into their grandfather, who has a stern warning for the pair: always beware when playing on the shore, because you never know if a qalupalik, a mythical creature that snatches children, is lying in wait under the ice. Kublu is pretty sure their grandfather is just trying to spook them with a scary story from the past....but maybe not?

Neekna and Chemai

Neekna and Chemai are two little girls growing up in the Okanagan Valley before the coming of the white man. Through these two friends we learn about seasonal life patterns of the Okanagan Indian people, a tribe in the interior of British Columbia.