Indigenous Reads for Children
The items listed below were purchased with funds from the Ron Lewis Memorial Gift, which was donated to the Library by the Canmore Rotary Club Charitable Foundation in the summer of 2022.
Ron Lewis was a Rotarian and long-time resident of Canmore who was greatly interested in education and Indigenous Studies, and the Library has recently acquired over 150 items by, for, and about Indigenous peoples in his name.
A complete list of the Ron Lewis Memorial Gift items can be viewed here.
Be a good ancestor
Prince, Leona, author
"Thought-provoking stanzas encourage readers of all ages to consider they ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and encourages them to think deeply about their behaviors. Rooted in Indigenous teachings, the message delivered by the authors is universal, be a good ancestor to the world around you"-- Provided by publisher.
Beautiful you, beautiful me
Spillett-Sumner, Tasha, 1988- author
"A simple story exploring the feelings of a mixed heritage child who begins to notice the physical differences between her mother's features and her own. One day, Izzy notices that her skin looks different from her mama's. "Mama," exclaims Izzy. "We don't match! You're sand, and I'm chocolate." Then Izzy realizes that her hair has big swirls and curls that jump out from her braids, while her mama's hair is smooth and straight with a braid that hangs right down the middle of her back. At first, Izzy is sad that she looks so different from her mama. She only sees the beauty in her mother's features, and not in her own. But using a gentle refrain, her mama lovingly tells her You're part of me, and I'm part of you. I'm beautiful like me, and you're beautiful like you. And with time and encouragement, Izzy comes to realize that beauty and belonging come in all shapes and sizes."-- Provided by publisher.
Goade, Michaela, author, illustrator
As a young Tlingit girl collects wild berries over the seasons, she sings with her Grandmother as she learns to speak to the land and listen when the land speaks back.
King, Thomas, 1943- author
Borders is a masterfully told story of a boy and his mother whose road trip from Alberta to Salt Lake City is thwarted at the border when they identify their citizenship as Blackfoot. Refusing to identify as either American or Canadian first bars their entry into the US, and then their return into Canada. In the limbo between countries, they find power in their connection to their identity and to each other.
The first blade of sweetgrass : a Native American story
Greenlaw, Suzanne, author
"In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making."-- Provided by publisher.
Daniel, Danielle, author.
Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls' secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf's favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her. But Wolf's mother doesn't understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family's Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown.
The great bear
Robertson, David, 1977- author
Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and return to Misewa. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?
I'm finding my talk
Thomas, Rebecca (Poet), author.
"A response to Rita Joe's iconic poem "I Lost My Talk," and published simultaneously with the new children's book edition illustrated by Pauline Young, comes a companion picture book by award-winning spoken-word artist and Mi'kmaw activist Rebecca Thomas. A second-generation residential school survivor, Thomas writes this response poem openly and honestly, reflecting on the process of working through the destructive effects of colonialism. From sewing regalia to dancing at powow to learning traditional language, I'm Finding My Talk is about rediscovering her community, and finding culture. Features stunning, vibrant illustrations by Mi'kmaw artist Pauline Young."-- Provided by publisher.
A Is for anemone : a first West Coast alphabet
Vickers, Roy Henry, 1946- author, illustrator
With crisp, luminous illustrations by celebrated Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers, and a simple rythmic text, this sturdy board book introduces the alphabet using iconic imagery of the West Coast, creating a book that will be cherished by young readers and their families. Starting with colourful sea anemones waving in the ocean current, and closing with a sunset reflected in the tidal zone, this board book supports both early literacy and children's awareness of the natural world.
Keepunumuk : WeeAachumun's Thanksgiving story
Greendeer, Danielle, author
Wampanoag children listen as their grandmother tells them the story about how WeeAachumun (the wise Corn) asked local Native Americans to show the newcomers how to grow food to yield a good harvest--Keepunumuk--in 1621.
Learning my rights with Mousewoman
Asoyuf, Morgan, 1984-, author, illustrator
The tiny but mighty Mousewoman is a legendary figure in the oral and visual practices of Northwest Coast Indigenous cultures. She is both grandmother and oracle, able to travel in and out of the spirit world. Mousewoman sits on young people's shoulders in crucial times, whispering advice and knowledge. She protects and guides young people by helping them avoid or escape bad situations, and is never afraid to stand up to bigger beings. This book brings to life the timeless lessons of Mousewoman -- lessons that embody the principles outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A first of its kind, this book empowers children to become proudly aware of their rights.
Louis Riel Day : the fur trade project
Delaronde, Deborah L., 1958- author
When a young boy is assigned a project about the fur trade by his teacher, he doesn't know who to turn to because his mom works all day. With help from his grandfather and the internet, they travel back in time and discover how the fur trade began, a new people emerged, the Métis' role in the fur trade, Louis Riel and the Red River Resistance, and the reason behind a holiday named Louis Riel Day.
Magical beings of Haida Gwaii
Williams-Davidson, Terri-Lynn, author
Introduces a number of supernatural beings who have lived on the islands of Haida Gwaii. Each of them has a strong connection to the land and the sea, and teaches us to respect nature.
Beynon, Samantha, author.
"Oolichan Moon is a beautifully illustrated children's book about passing down traditional knowledge from Nisga'a Elders and the sacredness of traditional foods, particularly the oolichan fish. Together, author Samantha Beynon and illustrator Lucy Trimble have created a children's book rich with cultural knowledge and tradition that relates to their Nisga'a ancestry surrounding the oolichan fish. With playful text and vibrant illustrations, young readers can learn alongside the two Nisga'a sisters as they are gifted with sacred knowledge from their Elders, passed down for many generations in the oral tradition. A gorgeous celebration of Nisga'a language, history and culture, Oolichan Moon also includes historical and cultural information about the oolichan fish and related Nisga'a vocabulary"-- Provided by publisher.
Phoenix gets greater
Wilson-Trudeau, Marty, author
"A powerful story about the importance of family acceptance. Phoenix isn't like other boys. He loves to play with dolls and marvel at pretty fabrics. Most of all, he loves to dance--whether it's ballet, Pow Wow dancing, or just swirling and twirling around his house. Not everyone understands Phoenix, but his mom and brother are proud of him. With their help, Phoenix learns about Two Spirit/Niizh Manidoowag people in Anishinaabe culture and just how special he is."-- Provided by publisher.
She holds up the stars
Laronde, Sandra, author
"A young Indigenous girl searching for a sense of home finds strength and courage in her gifts, her deepening connection to the land, and her own cultural awakening in this moving coming-of-age story. The last thing that twelve-year-old Misko wants to do is to move away from the city to spend time on the rez with her grandmother. She feels strangely compelled to go to the place where her dreams have been tugging at her to come home. Maybe she can finally find out what happened to her mother, who mysteriously disappeared when she was four years old. Misko discovers her unique ability to connect to a spirited horse named Mishtadim who is being violently broken in by the rancher next door and his son, Thomas. Although Misko and Thomas challenge one another, their friendship is forged through the taming of the wild horse. In the process, she realizes the true meaning of belonging and that you can never truly leave home. She Holds Up the Stars is a powerful story of reconciliation and the interwoven threads that connect us to family, to the land, and to our own sense of self."-- Provided by publisher.
Together we drum, our hearts beat as one
Poll, Willie, author
In this beautifully illustrated book, a young, determined Anishnaabe girl decides to go on a transformative journey into a forest on her traditional territory, in search of adventure. She is joined by a chorus of women and girls in red dresses ancestors who tell her they remember what it was like to be carefree and wild too. Soon, though, the girl is challenged by a monster named Hate who envelops the girl in a cloud of darkness. With the creature at her heels, she climbs a mountain to try and evade him, and with the help of her matriarchs and the power of Thunder Bird, the monster vanishes. With Hate at bay, the women and girls beat their drums together in song and support to give the girl the confidence needed to become a changemaker in the future, able to fend off any monster in her way.
Turtle Island : the story of North America's first people
Yellowhorn, Eldon, 1956- author
The witness blanket : truth, art and reconciliation
Newman, Carey, 1975- author
This nonfiction book for middle-grade readers, illustrated with photographs, tells the story of the making of the Witness Blanket, a work by Indigenous artist Carey Newman that includes items from every residential school in Canada and stories from the Survivors who donated them.