Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails

Northern Lights is a beautiful tale that explores the mystical aspects of the northern lights in Inuit culture. Scientists have their own explanations for the phenomenon that occurs when the night sky shimmers with milky white patterns, or displays all the colors of the rainbow. But the Inuit prefer their own explanation: They believe the souls of the dead are engaging in a lively game of soccer, just as they did when they were living. They run all over the sky chasing a walrus head that they use for a soccer ball. This is the story of Kataujaq and the intimate relationship she has with her mother. They do almost everything together; they hug, rub noses and say “Mamaq” which means “You smell so nice.” But a great sickness comes and Kataujaq’s mother is taken south to the white people’s hospital and never comes back. Kataujaq grieves, but is also able to rejoice when she and her grandmother watch the northern lights. This book celebrates family life, intimacy and the glory of nature.

Smiler’s Bones

Provides the story of an Eskimo boy who, after being brought from his home in Greenland to New York City by explorer Robert Peary, was forced to deal with the death of his father, and the loss of everything familiar to him.

The Inuit (First Americans)

Provides comprehensive information on the background, lifestyle, beliefs, and present-day lives of the Inuit people.

Tundra Mouse: A Storyknife Book

Using a traditional technique called storyknifing, two Yupik Eskimo sisters share a story about the mice that made a nest out of tinsel from the Christmas tree.

Salmon Boy: A Legend of the Sechelt People

Simple and compelling First Nations drawings illustrate this dynamic story that teaches respect for the environment and describes the life cycle of the salmon.

Arctic Stories

a storiesAcclaimed Inuit storyteller Michael Kusugak weaves a tapestry of tales about ten-year-old Agatha and her accidental heroism in the high Arctic of 1958. The first of Agatha’s stories is based on one of Kusugak’s real life experiences, when an eerie, black airship flew over Chesterfield Inlet in 1958. A sleepy Agatha “saves” the community from the monstrous flying object. In the second story, Agatha notices the playful antics of the winter ravens and takes an interest in the many migrating birds. As the seasons change, she begins to favor more beautiful and peaceful birds of spring, until the ravens return. The third of Agatha’s stories takes place in the fall when Agatha is sent to school in Chesterfield Inlet, an English-speaking community south of her home. During an afternoon of skating, Agatha rescues a show-off priest, who has inadvertently demonstrated the danger of thin ice. The three Agatha stories resonate with the nostalgia and affection of Kusugak’s childhood memories.

Two Old Women

Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River area in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine. Though these two women have been known to complain more than contribute, they now must either survive on their own or die trying. In simple but vivid detail, Velma Wallis depicts a landscape and way of life that are at once merciless and starkly beautiful. In her old women, she has created two heroines of steely determination whose story of betrayal, friendship,community, and forgiveness will carve out a permanent place in readers’ imaginations.

Arctic A To Z

A beautifully illustrated dictionary of 26 key aspects of life in the Arctic.World-class photographer and science writer Wayne Lynch takes readers to one of his favorite parts of the world: the Arctic.Using a plant, an animal or a phenomenon for each letter of the alphabet, Lynch describes the unique ways in which systems for living differ where temperature and light can be amazingly extreme. But Lynch also dispels the myth of the Arctic as a perpetually frozen landscape by introducing us to the birds, mammals, insects and plant life that thrive in the short yet glorious sun-filled days of summer.

The Inuksuk Book

An introduction to the many forms of the inuksuk structure The image of a traditional Inuit stone structure, or inuksuk, silouetted against an arctic sky, has become a familiar symbol. Yet, for many, their purpose remains a mystery. In a stunning new book, artist and children’s author Mary Wallace, in consultation with Inuit elders and other noted experts, gives a fascinating introduction in words, pictures, and paintings to the many forms of the inuksuk structure and its unique place in Inuit life and culture.