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Indigenous History Month: K–12 Books

By 49th Teachers
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A selection of books to help classrooms and libraries celebrate and learn about Indigenous History Month.
#NotYourPrincess

#NotYourPrincess

Voices of Native American Women
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover

 

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding …

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Those Who Dwell Below

Those Who Dwell Below

edition:Paperback

Haunted by the vicious creatures of his recent past, Pitu tries to go back to a normal life at home after the other-worldly travels and near-death encounters of his recent disappearance into the world of the spirits. But Pitu knows that there is more work to be done, and more that he must learn in his new role as a shaman. When word of a starving village nearby reaches Pitu, he must go help its people appease the angry spirits. It soon becomes clear that Pitu must travel to the bottom of the oce …

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Excerpt

The water was glacial, crushing the breath out of Pitu’s lungs and squeezing his stomach tight. His thoughts and worries left his mind, and all that remained was panic rushing through his entire body. As he sank beneath the ice, Pitu felt as though he was being stabbed from all directions. For a moment, he thought it might be the qallupilluit, their long, sharp nails piercing him. Eventually, Pitu opened his eyes, and for a moment they burned. But he could see that he was alone in the darkness. Soon the burning dissipated. He looked around, and above him he could see a jagged cast of light. As he descended, as he watched that light drifting farther and blurring with the salt and ice, a calmness engulfed him.

Pitu held his breath, but he also felt the absence of needing to breathe. The current kept pulling him deeper into the ocean. The stabbing pain of the cold had stopped, and now Pitu only felt numb. The light had disappeared completely now. Though he was surrounded by darkness, Pitu was comfortable in it.

His eyes began to adjust to the darkness and suddenly there was no darkness at all. The water surrounding him had turned a beautiful shade of blue, and inexplicable floes of ice floated around him. The floes cast bright lights that were unlike sunlight or moonlight. Their soft glow created an exquisite colourful aura.

This isn’t how nature works, Pitu thought.

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Surviving the City

Surviving the City

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

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 gr …

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The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

The Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

edition:Hardcover

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in partnership with Canada's national Indigenous organizations, has created a groundbreaking four-volume atlas that shares the experiences, perspectives, and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It's an ambitious and unprecedented project inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. Exploring themes of language, demographics, economy, environment and culture, with in-depth coverage of treaties and residential sch …

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I Am Not a Number

I Am Not a Number

edition:Hardcover

When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where …

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Shin-chi's Canoe

Shin-chi's Canoe

by Nicola Campbell
illustrated by Kim Lafave
edition:Hardcover

Winner of the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and finalist for the Governor General's Award: Children's Illustration

This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.

As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko tells her brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the …

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The Thundermaker

The Thundermaker

edition:eBook
also available: Hardcover Paperback

Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy’s The Thundermaker is based on Alan’s spectacular mixed-media exhibit of the same name. In the book, Big Thunder teaches his son, Little Thunder, about the important responsibility he has making thunder for his people. Little Thunder learns about his Mi’kmaw identity through his father’s teachings and his mother’s traditional stories. Syliboy’s spectacular, vibrant artwork brings the story of Little Thunder to vivid life.

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SkySisters

SkySisters

edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover

Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits' midnight dance. It isn't easy for the younger sister to be silent, but gradually she begins to treasure the stillness and the wonderful experiences it brings. After an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits --- the northern lights --- dancing and shimmering in the night sky.

This powerful story, with its stunning illustrations, captures the chill of a norther …

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