Here is a collection of some of our favourite new Indigenous reads we have available at the library for you to borrow!
If you would like to borrow any of the books, click on the picture of the cover.
Treaty Words: For as Long as the Rivers Flow by Aimee Craft
On the banks of the river that have been Mishomis's home his whole life, he teaches his granddaughter to listen--to hear both the sounds and the silences, and so to learn her place in Creation. Most importantly, he teaches her about treaties--the bonds of reciprocity and renewal that endure for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow.
Accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Luke Swinson and an author's note at the end, Aimée Craft affirms the importance of understanding an Indigenous perspective on treaties in this evocative book that is essential for readers of all ages.
Return of the Trickster by Eden Robinson
Jared, now 18, wakes up in a hospital bed, feeling like hell. Some of the people he loves--the ones who are deaf to magic--assume he fell off the wagon after a tough year of sobriety and went on a bender to end all benders. They think that's why movers found him naked, dangerously dehydrated and confused in the basement of his mom's old house in Kitimat. The truth for Jared, who has spent two years running from it, is so much worse. He finally knows for sure that he will never be normal because he is the son of Wee'git, a Trickster, and a Trickster himself. He is actually in such bad shape because he was forced into mortal combat with his father's sister, Aunt Georgina, a maniacal ogress hungry for his power. In the struggle, he transported her and her posse of shape-shifting coy wolves to another dimension where the coy wolves all died. Now Georgina doesn't only want to eat him, she wants revenge on his whole family.
We Had a Little Real Estate Problem by Kliph Nesteroff
It was one of the most reliable jokes in Charlie Hill's stand-up routine: "My people are from Wisconsin. We used to be from New York. We had a little real estate problem."
In We Had a Little Real Estate Problem, acclaimed comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff focuses on one of comedy's most significant and little-known stories: how, despite having been denied representation in the entertainment industry, Native Americans have influenced and advanced the art form.
The account begins in the late 1880s, when Native Americans were forced to tour in wild west shows as an alternative to prison. (One modern comedian said it was as "if a Guantanamo detainee suddenly had to appear on X-Factor.") This is followed by a detailed look at the life and work of seminal figures such as Cherokee humorist Will Rogers and Hill, who in the 1970s was the first Native American comedian to appear The Tonight Show.
Also profiled are several contemporary comedians, including Jonny Roberts, a social worker from the Red Lake Nation who drives five hours to the closest comedy club to pursue his stand-up dreams; Kiowa-Apache comic Adrianne Chalepah, who formed the touring group the Native Ladies of Comedy; and the 1491s, a sketch troupe whose satire is smashing stereotypes to critical acclaim. As Ryan Red Corn, the Osage member of the 1491s, says: "The American narrative dictates that Indians are supposed to be sad. It's not really true and it's not indicative of the community experience itself...Laughter and joy is very much a part of Native culture."
Call Me Indian: from the trauma of residential school to becoming the NHL's First Treaty Indigenous player by Fred Saskamoose
Fred Sasakamoose, torn from his home at the age of seven, endured the horrors of residential school for a decade before becoming one of 120 players in the most elite hockey league in the world. He has been heralded as the first Indigenous player with Treaty status in the NHL, making his official debut as a 1954 Chicago Black Hawks player on Hockey Night in Canada and teaching Foster Hewitt how to pronounce his name. Sasakamoose played against such legends as Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, and Maurice Richard. After twelve games, he returned home.
When people tell Sasakamoose's story, this is usually where they end it. They say he left the NHL to return to the family and culture that the Canadian government had ripped away from him. That returning to his family and home was more important to him than an NHL career. But there was much more to his decision than that. Understanding Sasakamoose's choice means acknowledging the dislocation and treatment of generations of Indigenous peoples. It means considering how a man who spent his childhood as a ward of the government would hear those supposedly golden words: "You are Black Hawks property."
Sasakamoose's story was far from over once his NHL days concluded. He continued to play for another decade in leagues around Western Canada. He became a band councillor, served as Chief, and established athletic programs for kids. He paved a way for youth to find solace and meaning in sports for generations to come. Yet, threaded through these impressive accomplishments were periods of heartbreak and unimaginable tragedy--as well moments of passion and great joy.
When I Was Young in Nunavut by Natasha Donovan
In Nunavut, there are lots of fun things to do, no matter the season. This book introduces children to the memoir genre and describes different activities the author did when she was growing up in Nunavut.
Inuit Games by Thomas Anguti Johnston
Inuit games have been played as long as anyone can remember!Learn all about Inuit games and why they are important for staying healthy and strong for life in the Arctic.
We All Play (Kimêtawânaw) by Julie Flett
Animals and kids love to play! This wonderful book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Beautiful illustrations show:
birds who chase and chirp!
bears who wiggle and wobble!
whales who swim and squirt!
owls who peek and peep!
and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting:
We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna
At the end of the book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside, making this book a great bedtime story. A beautiful ode to the animals and humans we share our world with, We All Play belongs on every bookshelf.
This book also includes:
A glossary of Cree words for wild animals in the book
A pronunciation guide and link to audio pronunciation recordings
On the Trapline by David Robertson
A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, "Is this your trapline?" Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago -- a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child's wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family.