Acclaimed author Ruby Slipperjack delivers a haunting novel about a 12-year-old girl’s experience at a residential school in 1966. Violet Pesheens is struggling to adjust to her new life at residential school. She misses her Grandma; she has run-ins with Cree girls; at her “white” school, everyone just stares; and everything she brought has been taken from her, including her name-she is now just a number. But worst of all, she has a fear. A fear of forgetting the things she treasures most: her Anishnabe language; the names of those she knew before; and her traditional customs. A fear of forgetting who she was. Her notebook is the one place she can record all of her worries, and heartbreaks, and memories. And maybe, just maybe there will be hope at the end of the tunnel. Drawing from her own experiences at residential school, Ruby Slipperjack creates a brave, yet heartbreaking heroine in Violet, and lets young readers glimpse into an all-too important chapter in our nation’s history.
Tess has visited her grandmother many times without really being aware of the garden. But today they step outside the door and Tess learns that all of nature can be a garden. And if you take care of the plants that are growing, if you learn about them — understanding when they flower, when they give fruit, and when to leave them alone — you will always find something to nourish you. At the end of their day Tess is thankful to Mother Earth for having such a lovely garden, and she is thankful to have such a wise grandma.
Etseh and Etsi traveled the Idaa Trail when they were children and as they paddle north with their grandchildren, they pass along their knowledge of special sites along the way — the history behind an abandoned village, the legend of the wolverine and its babies at the Sliding Hill, the story of a mysterious gravesite. They also explain how their people survived in the old days – building birch bark canoes, fishing with willow lines and muskrat-tooth hooks, and ambushing herds of caribou.
The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he can look forward, like all Native Americans, to a life of drunkenness, prison, and despair. But despite his new freedom, the reserve offers little to a young Métis man. Both his parents are dead, his father Shipu, a respected leader, dying mysteriously at a young age. When Nipishish is sent to a strange town to live with a white family and attend high school, he hopes for the new life the change promises. But despite some bright spots, the adjustments prove overwhelming. Forced to return to his people, he must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father’s death.
Leo Yerxa, an artist of Ojibway ancestry, brings us an art book in which he celebrates wild horses and the natural world in which they lived in harmony.
When young Donald and his friends head down to the water to play, they have no idea that they are soon to encounter a mermaid, one of the creatures that his elders have told him about. Terrified, the boys run back to their camp, ready to tell everyone what they have just seen. They can’t seem to remember it clearly. It is up to Donald’s grandmother to explain to them the magical creature they just encountered
A young Ojibway girl, struggling over the fact that her father has died, spends a summer in the bush with her grandmother and finds her own identity and voice. Things have been hard for her family since her father’s accidental death in a logging accident, and Ray has been unable to express her grief. In school, the green eyes she inherited from her father are unusual for a child from an Ojibway background in a northern Ontario town and get her noticed in ways she doesn’t enjoy. At home, Ray believes that her mother, grieving herself and busy with Ray’s younger brother and sister, no longer needs her. Ray becomes so withdrawn that at times she hardly speaks. At the end of this beautiful and empowering story, which begins in 1978, the withdrawn green-eyed girl has found her voice and is not afraid to use it.
“I write this for all of you, to tell you what it is like to be a Halfbreed woman in our country. I want to tell you about the joys and sorrows, the oppressing poverty, the frustration and the dreams. . . . I am not bitter. I have passed that stage. I only want to say: this is what it was like, this is what it is still like.” For Maria Campbell, a Métis (“Halfbreed”) in Canada, the brutal realities of poverty, pain, and degradation intruded early and followed her every step. Her story is a harsh one, but it is told without bitterness or self-pity. It is a story that begins in 1940 in northern Saskatchewan and moves across Canada’s West, where Maria roamed in the rootless existence of day-to-day jobs, drug addiction, and alcoholism. Her path strayed ever near hospital doors and prison walls.It was Cheechum, her Cree great-grandmother, whose indomitable spirit sustained Maria Campbell through her most desperate times. Cheechum’s stubborn dignity eventually led the author to take pride in her Métis heritage, and Cheechum’s image inspired her in her drive for her own life, dignity; and purpose.
These traditional teaching legends come straight from the oral traditions of the Sechelt Nation. Simple enough to be understood by young children, yet compelling enough for adults, they are gentle, beautifully presented cautionary tales. You’ll want to read them again and again – and you’ll learn a few words of the Shishalh language while you’re at it. Charlie Craigan is a young Sechelt artist who works in a tiny studio set up in his bedroom. He studied traditional wood carving with Sechelt Nation carvers, but learned to draw and paint by studying books.
When the giant Winter came down from the North to live in eastern Canada the land became frozen and white. Glooskap, mythical lord and creator of the Micmac Indians, saves his people from endless cold when he brings a beautiful Queen to his country. Her name is Summer and she persuades Winter to relax his icy grip every Spring while she awakens the land from its deep sleep and bestows life on everything that grows.