Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Urban Tribes edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

Urban Tribes edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
Annick Press

Young, urban Natives powerfully show how their culture and values can survive—and enrich—city life.

Much of the popular discourse on Native Americans and Aboriginals focuses on reservation life. But the majority of Natives in North America live off the rez. How do they stay rooted to their culture? How do they connect with their community?

Urban Tribes offers unique insight into this growing and often misperceived group. Emotionally potent and visually arresting, the anthology profiles young urban Natives from across North America, exploring how they connect with Native culture and values in their contemporary lives. Their stories are as diverse as they are. From a young Dene woman pursuing a MBA at Stanford to a Pima photographer in Phoenix to a Mohawk actress in New York, these urban Natives share their unique perspectives to bridge the divide between their past and their future, their cultural home, and their adopted cities.

Unflinchingly honest and deeply moving, contributors explore a wide-range of topics. From the trials and tribulations of dating in the city to the alienating experience of leaving a remote reserve to attend high school in the city, from the mainstream success of Electric Pow wow music to the humiliation of dealing with racist school mascots, personal perspectives illuminate larger political issues. An innovative and highly visual design offers a dynamic, reading experience.


Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend by Erika T. Wurth

Crazy Horse's Girlfriend by Erika T. Wurth
Curbside Splendor

Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.


If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
Arthur Levine

Lewis "Shoe" Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he's not used to is white people being nice to him — people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family's poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan's side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis's home — will he still be his friend?

Acclaimed adult author Eric Gansworth makes his YA debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock 'n' roll.

Killer of Enemies and the sequel Trail of the Dead by Joseph Bruchac

Killer of Enemies and the sequel Trail of the Dead by Joseph Bruchac
Tu Books

A post-Apocalyptic YA novel with a steampunk twist, based on an Apache legend.

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones — people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human — and there was everyone else who served them. Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones' pets — genetically engineered monsters — turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen's powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun. As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero.

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
Annick Press

A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today.

Truly universal in its themes, "Dreaming In Indian" will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. Divided into four sections, 'Roots, ' 'Battles, ' 'Medicines, ' and 'Dreamcatchers, ' this book offers readers a unique insight into a community often misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media.

Emerging and established Native artists, including acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, renowned visual artist Bunky Echo Hawk, and stand-up comedian Ryan McMahon, contribute thoughtful and heartfelt pieces on their experiences growing up Indigenous, expressing them through such mediums as art, food, the written word, sport, dance, and fashion. Renowned chef Aaron Bear Robe, for example, explains how he introduces restaurant customers to his culture by reinventing traditional dishes. And in a dramatic photo spread, model Ashley Callingbull and photographer Thosh Collins reappropriate the trend of wearing 'Native' clothing.

Whether addressing the effects of residential schools, calling out bullies through personal manifestos, or simply citing hopes for the future, "Dreaming In Indian" refuses to shy away from difficult topics. Insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully honest, this book will to appeal to young adult readers. An innovative and captivating design enhances each contribution and makes for a truly unique reading experience.

House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle

House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle
Cinco Puntos Press

"The hour has come to speak of troubled times. It is time we spoke of Skullyville." Thus begins Rose Goode's story of her growing up in Indian Territory in pre-statehood Oklahoma. Skullyville, a once-thriving Choctaw community, was destroyed by land-grabbers, culminating in the arson on New Year's Eve, 1896, of New Hope Academy for Girls. Twenty Choctaw girls died, but Rose escaped. She is blessed by the presence of her grandmother Pokoni and her grandfather Amafo, both respected elders who understand the old ways. Soon after the fire, the white sheriff beats Amafo in front of the town's people, humiliating him. Instead of asking the Choctaw community to avenge the beating, her grandfather decides to follow the path of forgiveness. And so unwinds this tale of mystery, Indian-style magical realism, and deep wisdom. It's a world where backwoods spiritualism and Bible-thumping Christianity mix with bad guys; a one-legged woman shop-keeper, her oaf of a husband, herbal potions, and shape-shifting panthers rendering justice. Tim Tingle—a scholar of his nation's language, culture, and spirituality—tells Rose's story of good and evil with understanding and even laugh-out-loud Choctaw humor.  — Cover images and summaries via Goodreads


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Pisim Finds Her Miskanow.

M . . . . Volume XX Number 40. . . .June 13, 2014
coverPisim Finds Her Miskanow.
William Dumas. Illustrated by Leonard Paul.
Winnipeg, MB: Highwater Press/Portage & Main Press, 2013.
48 pp., hardcover & pdf, $29.00 (hc.).
ISBN 978-55379-394-6 (hc.), ISBN 978-55379-395-3 (pdf).

Subject Headings:
Cree Indians-Manitoba-Southern Interlake Region-History-Juvenile fiction.
Cree Indians-Manitoba-Southern Interlake Region-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Gail de Vos.

***½ /4
Then he [Wapistan*, the travelling storyteller] told of the stories in the wind that had been travelling around the camps about strange, hairy-faced men who had been sighted at the mouth of the Missinipi**. Wapistan would talk to Mahikanawasis***, the chief of all the minisiwina****, at the Spring Gathering. It was important that he confirm the stories for the people. "What stories have you heard about our camp?" asked Nocokisiw*****. "It is told that one of the Bear women had a hard delivery this winter at Minahikosakahikanihk, Pine Lake. They say Nocokisiw and Pisim walked through the night to help a difficult birth into our world safely." Pisim dropped her eyes. She was Nocokisiw's Observer. She was young, but – maybe—she was on her way to becoming a midwife. That night Pisim went to sleep comfortably in the mikiwap******, the dwelling she shared with her family. (no pagination) Note: The following translations were found in the two-page Cree Glossary at the conclusion of the book. The names are also explained throughout the story in various side bars. * marten ** Big Water ***wolf child **** family *****old lady ****** a birchbark dwelling with a rounded roof

The story of the young girl, Pisim, is a fictionalized account that had its genesis in the discovery of the remains of a young Cree woman at Nagami Bay, South Indian Lake, Manitoba in 1993. In recreating and interpreting a week of the life of this young woman in the mid-1600s, author William Dumas, a Cree Elder, and illustrator Leonard Paul, Mi'kmaq, effectively bring to life the people and setting of that time. The fictionalized narrative is supplemented with illuminating sidebars on Cree language, culture, history as well as the maps and information on the travel routes undertaken by the various characters to the Spring Gathering during the time frame of the story. Source notes and background for the project are provided in the "Introduction" and in the large listing of contributors provided along with the publication information following the glossary.
internal art     The advent of the arrival of the storyteller sets the tone of the story as well as the beginning of the physical and psychological journey for the 13-year-old Pisim who is wondering if becoming a midwife is the correct path for her to follow. Her family packs up their belongings to follow the annual series of journeys to the Spring Gathering. As the days and adventures pass, more and more canoes join the convoy, bringing more stories, songs and laughter to the families. The trip is not without danger, however, as Pisim and her younger brother are caught in a severe rain storm while paddling on the river. Safely reaching shore propels her into another adventure when her aunt goes into labour. Without the benefit of her midwife teacher, Pisim successfully delivers the baby and understands that her proposed path is indeed the one that she should follow. The episodic story offers background information, excitement and adventure and is warm and satisfying. This reviewer, however, found the supplementary material to overshadow the story but appreciated the total package. Evocative landscapes and portraits bathed in washes of golds, browns and greens splash over the pages in various sizes and shapes, contributing to the reader's insight and understanding of the historical era and setting.
      Pisim Finds Her Miskanow is a must addition for all collections of First Nations material in elementary, middle school and junior high libraries as well as public libraries.
Highly Recommended.
Gail de Vos teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and San Jose State University. She is the author of nine books on storytelling and folklore.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Birthing the Stories of Kayasochi Kikawenow page - CRYTC

Otinawāsowin: Birthing the Stories of Kayasochi Kikawenow

CRYTC Members: Mavis ReimerDeborah Schnitzer, and Larissa Wodtke

Leonard Paul illustration of Pipon waking the camp for Piisim Finds Her Miskanow

From 2008 to 2013, the Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures managed the development of a picture book for young people about the life of Kayasochi Kikawenow, Our Mother from Long Ago, a young Cree woman who lived in northern Manitoba in the late-seventeenth century and whose burial site was discovered in 1993. Mavis Reimer and Deborah Schnitzer, scholars from the Centre, worked in collaboration with William Dumas, storyteller and educator, and a group of scholars and educators from the University of Winnipeg, theManitoba Museum, and the Government of Manitoba. In addition, this collaborative group consulted with several land-based members of the South Indian Lake community regarding mapping, traditional cultural activities, language, and land use. This picture book, entitled Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow and illustrated by Leonard Paul, is now available through Highwater PressPisim Finds Her Miskanow coverOn the edges of the words and pictures of the story, readers will find supplementary material -- photographs, maps, diagrams, Cree vocabulary -- to help them to situate and to extend the meanings of the story.

This project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Marsha Hanen Global Dialogue and Ethics Program, the University of Winnipeg Research Office, and the Canada Research Chair in Young People's Texts and Cultures.

Awards and Recognition

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow won the 2014 Public Communications Award from the Canadian Archaeological Association, and was shortlisted for the 2014 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award (Older Category), the 2014 Manuela Dias Book Design of the Year, and the 2014 Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration. Pīsim was also recommended as one of the 2014-15 titles for the First Nation Communities Read program supported by the Southern Ontario Library Service.

Teaching Resources for Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow

CRYTC has assembled various teaching resources for using Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow in the classroom, including a draft teacher's guide.

Reviews for Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow:

The story of the young girl, Pisim, is a fictionalized account that had its genesis in the discovery of the remains of a young Cree woman at Nagami Bay, South Indian Lake, Manitoba in 1993. In recreating and interpreting a week of the life of this young woman in the mid-1600s, author William Dumas, a Cree Elder, and illustrator Leonard Paul, Mi'kmaq, effectively bring to life the people and setting of that time. . . . The episodic story offers background information, excitement and adventure and is warm and satisfying. . . . Pisim Finds Her Miskanow is a must addition for all collections of First Nations material in elementary, middle school and junior high libraries as well as public libraries.
Canadian Review of Materials

The brilliant teamwork between archaeologists, the Cree, and an accomplished storyteller gives us ... a beautifully written and illustrated journey into a centuries-old world ... the book promises to be a classic of Canadian history.
— Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of The First North Americans

In imagining the life of a young Cree woman, this volume provides a wonderful evocation of the wisdom and language of Cree elders that seamlessly incorporates archaeology, ethnology, and oral tradition.
— Stephen Loring, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

This enchanting book deserves a place in every school in the province. It is a beautiful rendition of historical fiction that can give all young people a collective understanding of the power of our history in shaping who we are.
— Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor

This rich story ... brings alive the history and language of Asiniskow Ithiniwak in Manitowapow while illustrating the cultural breadth of a dynamic community. It is a joy to read, teach, and share with my daughter.
— Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Native Studies, University of Manitoba

Pīsim finds her Miskanow . . . is a wonderful bringing together of archeology, anthropology, history, and Cree language to make a story that brings these disciplines to a living place in our hearts and minds. William Dumas has presented Pisim and her family in such a way that their lives will be etched into our memory. The story is complemented by the beautiful and realistic illustrations of Leonard Paul. . . . This book is wonderful!
— Joe McLellan, Author of Nanabosho

Media Attention for Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow:

Award-winning book a look back into Northern Manitoba's pastThompson Citizen

UWinnipeg Congratulates Pisim Finds Her Miskanow Collaborators on Award, UW News Centre

Children's Book About Manitoba Discovery Wins Archaeology Award, Mytoba.ca

Final Episode of 2013!, The Frank and Kevin Show Podcast

Book inspired by discovery of remainsThe Winnipeg Free Press

Art, History Tell Story of Cree Woman in New Book, ChrisD.ca