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Education Professional Development


Engaging With Indigenous Narratives and Cultural Expressions In and Beyond the Classroom

edited by Katya Adamov Ferguson & Christine M'Lot

by (author) K.C. Adams, Sonya Ballantyne, Charlene Bearhead, Wilson Bearhead, Lisa Boivin, Rita Bouvier, Nicola I. Campbell, Sara Florence Davidson, Louise B. Halfe, Lucy Hemphill, Wanda John-Kehewin, Elizabeth LaPensee, Victoria McIntosh, Reanna Merasty, David A. Robertson, Russell Wallace & Christina Lavalley Ruddy

Portage & Main Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Professional Development, Arts & Humanities, Multicultural Education, Language Arts, Native American, Indigenous Studies, Study & Teaching
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 18
  • Grade: 12


★ Starred selection for CCBC's Best Books Ideal for Teachers 2023!

Resurgence is an inspiring collection of contemporary Indigenous poetry, art, and narratives that guides K–12 educators in bridging existing curricula with Indigenous voices and pedagogies. In this first book in the Footbridge Series, we invite you to walk with us as we seek to:

  • connect peoples and places
  • link truth and reconciliation as ongoing processes
  • symbolize the risk and urgency of this work for both Indigenous and settler educators
  • engage tensions
  • highlight the importance of balance, both of ideas and within ourselves

Through critical engagement with each contributor’s work, experienced educators Christine M’Lot and Katya Adamov Ferguson support readers in connecting with Indigenous narratives and perspectives, bringing Indigenous works into the classroom, and creating more equitable and sustainable teaching practices.

In this resource, you will find:

  • diverse Indigenous voices, perspectives, and art forms from a variety of nations and locations
  • valuable concepts and methods that can be applied to the classroom and beyond
  • practical action steps and resources for educators, parents, librarians, and administrators

Use this book as a springboard for your own learning journey or as a lively prompt for dialogue within your professional learning community.

About the authors

Katya Adamov Ferguson (she/her/hers) is a mother, artist, researcher, and teacher. Katya currently works as an early years support teacher in several schools in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is passionate about teacher professional learning in the area of Indigenous education. She sees potential in the arts to create ethical spaces to mobilize complex topics with both young children and adults. Katya is also a PhD student engaging in curriculum redesign and place-based inquiries, and is branching her arts-based research into public spaces. She has authored several teacher guides with Portage & Main Press and is co-editor of Resurgence: Engaging With Indigenous Narratives and Cultural Expressions In and Beyond the Classroom.

Katya Adamov Ferguson's profile page

Christine M’Lot is an Anishinaabe educator, curriculum developer, and consultant from Winnipeg, Manitoba. For over a decade, she has worked with children and youth in multiple capacities including teaching and facilitating programs through children’s disability services and child welfare. Christine co-edited the Indigenous-informed resource for educators Resurgence: Engaging With Indigenous Narratives and Cultural Expressions In and Beyond the Classroom, and recently completed her master’s degree in education with a focus on navigating digital spaces in Indigenous education.

Christine M'Lot's profile page

KC Adams (she/her/hers) is a Cree/Ojibway/British Winnipeg-based artist who graduated from Concordia University with a B.F.A in studio arts.  Adams has had several solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and was included in the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. KC has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Parramatta Arts Gallery in Australia. Adams has received several grants and awards from Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. KC’s work is in many permanent collections Nationally and Internationally.  Twenty pieces from the Cyborg Hybrid series are in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa and from the installation Birch Bark Ltd, four trees are in the collection of the Canadian Consulate of Australia, NSW. Adams was the set designer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. Adams has designed public art sculptures for the Winnipeg Forks South Point Project and the United Way of Winnipeg called Community. Adams have been teaching about Indigenous pottery and learning from elders at the annual nibi (water) gathering at Whiteshell Provincial Park. KC recently won the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Mark Award and the Aboriginal Circle of Educator’s Trailblazing Award.  She is an instructor in Visual and Aboriginal Art at Brandon University.

K.C. Adams' profile page

Sonya Ballantyne is a Swampy Cree writer, filmmaker, and speaker from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work focuses on contemporary and futuristic portrayals of Indigenous women and girls. If you want a story about a cheeky Native girl or a presentation on the media’s portrayal of Indigenous women, she’s your go-to. Her published works include children’s book Kerri Berry Lynn as well as contributions to anthologies such as Pros and Comic Cons and Women Love Wrestling. She has also written for television, such as APTN’s Taken and the children’s show Wolf-Joe. She is currently working on her first feature film, a graphic novel memoir, and the forthcoming game The Walking Dead: Last MILE.

Sonya Ballantyne's profile page

Charlene Bearhead (she/her/hers) is an educator and Indigenous education advocate living in Treaty 6 Territory in central Alberta. She was the first Education Lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Education Coordinator for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Charlene was recently honoured with the Alumni Honours Award from the University of Alberta and currently serves as the Director of Reconciliation for Canadian Geographic. She is a mother and a grandmother who began writing stories to teach her own children as she raised them. Adaptations of these stories have now been published as the Siha Tooskin Knows series, which she co-wrote with her husband, Wilson.

Charlene Bearhead's profile page

Wilson Bearhead (he/him/his), a Nakota Elder and Wabamun Lake First Nation community member in Treaty 6 territory (central Alberta), is the recent recipient of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation Indigenous Elder Award. Currently, he is the Elder for Victoria School for the Arts in Edmonton and a board member for the Roots of Resilience Education Foundation. Wilson’s grandmother Annie was a powerful, positive influence in his young life, teaching him all of the lessons that gave him the strength, knowledge, and skills to overcome difficult times and embrace the gifts of life.

Wilson Bearhead's profile page

Lisa Boivin is a member of the Deninu Kue First Nation and the author/artist of two illustrated books, We Dream Medicine Dreams (shortlisted for the 2022 Rocky Mountain Book Award) and I Will See You Again (AICL's Best Books of 2020, nominated for First Nation Communities READ Award). She is an interdisciplinary artist and a PhD candidate at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. Lisa uses images as a pedagogical tool to bridge gaps between medical ethics and aspects of Indigenous cultures and worldviews. She is writing and collaging an arts-based thesis that addresses the colonial barriers that Indigenous patients navigate in the current healthcare system. Lisa strives to humanize clinical medicine as she situates her art in the Indigenous continuum of passing knowledge through images. @redbioethics

Lisa Boivin's profile page

Rita Bouvier is an educator and a writer. She has published two collections of poetry with Thistledown Press, Blueberry Clouds (1999) and papîyâhtak (2004), and has been nominated for several Saskatchewan Book Awards. Bouvier's poetry has been translated into Spanish and German, and her work has appeared in literary anthologies and musical and television productions. In 2008 the Gabriel Dumont Institute published a collaborative children's book with artists Sherry Farrell-Racette and Margaret Gardiner and featuring the title poem from papîyâhtak titled Better That Way. Bouvier lives in Saskatoon.

Rita Bouvier's profile page

Nicola I. Campbell is the author of Shi-shi-etko, Shin-chi’s Canoe, Grandpa’s Girls, and A Day With Yayah. Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx, and Métis, Nicola is from British Columbia. Her stories weave cultural and land-based teachings that focus on respect, endurance, healing, and reciprocity.

She has been a finalist for numerous children’s literary awards, and her book Shin-chi’s Canoe won the 2009 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award as well as the 2008 Governor General's Award for Illustration. She lives in British Columbia.


Nicola I. Campbell's profile page

Sara Florence Davidson (she/her/hers) is a Haida/Settler Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Previously, she was an educator working with adolescents in the K-12 system in British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Sara is the co-author of Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony­, which she wrote with her father, and Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii, which she wrote with her stepmother, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson.

When she is not reading or writing, Sara can be found walking with her dog, drinking tea, or listening to stories and learning something new.


Sara Florence Davidson's profile page

Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Her first book, Bear Bones & Feathers (Coteau, 1994), received the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award and was a finalist for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Gerald Lampert Award. Blue Marrow (Coteau, 1998) was a finalist for the 1998 Governor General's Award for Poetry, and her fourth book, Burning in This Midnight Dream (Coteau, 2016), won the 2017 Saskatchewan Book Award and the Raymond Souster Award, among numerous other awards. Her newest book is awâsis – kinky and dishevelled (Brick Books, 2021). Halfe was Saskatchewan's Poet Laureate for 2005-2006, was awarded the Latner Writers Trust Award for her body of work in 2017, and was awarded the 2020 Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. She trained at Nechi Institute as a facilitator, has a Bachelor of Social Work, was granted a lifetime membership in the League of Canadian Poets, and has received three honorary doctorates. She currently works with Elders in the organization Opikinawasowin ("raising our children") and lives near Saskatoon with her husband, Peter.

Louise B. Halfe's profile page

Lucy Hemphill is a Kwakwaka’wakw mother from the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations and Indigenous Studies in 2019. Lucy strives to reconnect to ancestral relational ways of being and is currently working to develop language revitalization and healing programs in her community. Lucy is the author of the Overhead Series, which includes three poetry titles: Clouds, Stars, and Trees.

Lucy Hemphill's profile page

Wanda John-Kehewin (she, her, hers) is a Cree writer who uses her work to understand and respond to the near destruction of First Nations cultures, languages, and traditions. When she first arrived in Vancouver on a Greyhound bus, she was a nineteen-year-old carrying her first child, a bag of chips, a bottle of pop, thirty dollars, and a bit of hope. After many years of travelling (well, mostly stumbling) along her healing journey, she shares her personal life experiences with others to shed light on the effects of trauma and how to break free from the "monkeys in the brain."

Now a published poet, fiction author, and film scriptwriter, she writes to stand in her truth and to share that truth openly. She is the author of the Dreams series of graphic novels. Hopeless in Hope is her first novel for young adults.

Wanda is the mother of five children, two dogs, two cats, three tiger barbs (fish), and grandmother to one super-cute granddog. She calls Coquitlam home until the summertime, when she treks to the Alberta prairies to visit family and learn more about herself and Cree culture, as well as to continuously think and write about what it means to be Indigenous in today's times. How do we heal from a place of forgiveness?

Wanda John-Kehewin's profile page

Eizabeth LaPensée (she/her or they/them), PhD, is an award-winning designer, writer, artist, and researcher who creates and studies Indigenous-led media, including video games. She is Anishinaabe with family from Bay Mills, Métis, and Irish. She is an assistant professor of media and information, and writing, rhetoric, and American cultures at Michigan State University and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.

Elizabeth LaPensee's profile page

Victoria McIntosh, also known as Biktoryias, has a strong bond to stories and identifies as ikwe (woman, water carrier). Transitioning from artist to educator, she now merges both gifts into sharing what she sees in her life. Working with many different mediums and combining traditional storytelling with artworks, she strives to create deeper meaning and understanding of Indigenous teachings.

Victoria McIntosh's profile page

Reanna Merasty (she/her/hers) is Ininew from Barren Lands First Nation, completed her Master of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, and is an Architectural Intern at Number TEN Architectural Group. She also works with One House Many Nations as a Research Assistant on First Nations housing development, where her research focuses on reciprocity, Indigenous knowledge systems, and land-based pedagogy.

Reanna Merasty's profile page

DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the winner of the Beatrice Mosionier Aboriginal Writer of the Year Award, the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer and the TWUC Freedom to Read Award. His books include The Barren Grounds: The Misewa SagaWhen We Were Alone (winner of the Governor General’s Award, a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and a McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People); Will I See? (winner of the Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Award, graphic novel category); and the YA novel Strangers (recipient of the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction). He is the creator and host of the podcast Kiwew. Through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, Robertson educates as well as entertains, reflecting Indigenous cultures, histories and communities while illuminating many contemporary issues. David A. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He lives in Winnipeg.


David A. Robertson's profile page

Russell Wallace (he/him/his) is an award-winning composer, producer, and traditional singer from the Lil’wat Nation. His music can be heard on soundtracks for film, television, theatre, and dance productions. His most recent album, Unceded Tongues, combines Salish musical forms with pop, jazz, and blues, and is sung in the St’át’imc language. Russell is a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast and an alumnus of the University of British Columbia Creative Writing Program.

Russell Wallace's profile page

Christina Lavalley Ruddy, a member of Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, is an artist, researcher, mentor, and advocate. She has spent her career working to empower Indigenous youth through education, language, and capacity building, in settings such as friendship centres and post-secondary institutions. In 2018, Christina received Lakehead University’s Indigenous Partnership Research Award, with Dr. Ruth Beatty, in recognition of her leadership in incorporating Indigenous knowledge into the Ontario mathematics curriculum.

Christina Lavalley Ruddy's profile page

Editorial Reviews

At last, the voices, perspectives and reflections you have waited for. This evocative volume is the perfect guide to critical engagement with Indigenous literature—ideal for personal learning, family discussion and classroom content. Go on your own learning journey or recommend this book to your professional learning community today. Be part of the Resurgence.

SAY Magazine

Resurgence is the professional learning resource that all teachers should have access to, and it is monumentally important for educators to read. Highly Recommended

CM Association

Among CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2023, Ideal for Teachers, starred selection of exceptional caliber


Over the past several years, calls have come from across Canada for the inclusion of Indigenous worldviews and knowledge in all levels of education in the country. Enter...Resurgence: Engaging With Indigenous Narratives and Cultural Expressions In and Beyond the Classroom.

Toronto Star

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Other titles by Lisa Boivin

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Other titles by Nicola I. Campbell

Other titles by Sara Florence Davidson

Other titles by Louise B. Halfe

Other titles by Lucy Hemphill

Other titles by Wanda John-Kehewin

Other titles by Elizabeth LaPensee

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