From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle is his memoir. From being lost and alone, falling apart, living on the streets and later to reconciliation, From the Ashes is Thistle’s life story. Through four parts from 1997 to 2015 he recounts life through his stories of growing up berry picking with his Kokum in Debden, Saskatchewan; through his parents’ separation, and living rough, begging and going hungry with his father and then being in foster care.
Bawaajimo, A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature by Margaret Noodin, discusses Anishinaabe language and literature through the works of four writers representing a range of contemporary Anishinaabe literature: Louise Erdrich, Jim Northrup, Basil Johnston and Gerald Vizenor, who share a world view, a common cultural, linguistic and literary heritage. Their works reflect patterns of identity, conscious survival, universal life and stirred thoughts respectively.
The Song Within My Heart is now available in paperback and is centred on Cree artist Allen Sapp's evocative paintings of his boyhood in Saskatchewan together with David Bouchard's lyrical text. In combination the text and images reinforce the love between a grandmother and her grandson as they prepare to attend a powwow. Based on the recollections of Allen Sapp's childhood with his Nokum (grandmother), the paintings capture the everyday preparations of this Plains Cree family. The boy recalls his first powwow and asks his Nokum what the singers are saying.
The Case of Windy Lake is a chapter book for young readers who enjoy mysteries and problem-solving along with traditions and culture. The author of ‘A Mighty Muskrats Mystery’ series, Michael Hutchinson is a citizen of Misipawistik Cree Nation in the Treaty 5 territory, and his familiarity with the land and life experiences are reflected in these mystery adventures. Cousins Samuel, Chickadee, Atim and Otter – the Mighty Muskrats - visit and live on the First Nation rez at Windy Lake. This mystery begins when an archaeologist goes missing from a mining company.
kimotinâniwiw itwêwina / Stolen Words by author Melanie Florence, illustrator Gabrielle Grimard and translated into Cree by Dolores Sand and Gayle Weenie is a primary level picture book that explains language loss among First Nations residential school survivors and their descendants. Told through the eyes of a child and her grandfather, the book captures the close and caring relationship between generations as the girl learns about residential schools and language loss.
Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View published in 2019 by Routledge offers the ideas of well-known education thinkers Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang. This 292-page volume features the works of 26 Indigenous and other scholars in fifteen essays in the series, Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education. The authors represent a variety of cultural traditions including Maori, Samoa, Mayan, Navajo, Salish, Hesquiaht, Tlingit, Ojibwe, and others.
'Hiraeth' is a 2019 First Nation Communities READ book of poems by Carol Rose Daniels (Cree/Dene). She is a published novelist (Bearskin Diary in 2015), poet, playwright, visual artist and musician. In 'Hiraeth', the reader is drawn to poems of nostalgia, yearning, the grief of lost places, a homesickness for home. Arranged in three sections that weave helpers, abandonment and spirit wisdom, these poems are powerful, a gift. The poems speak to a journey of struggle to find a place to belong and finding it. This is a highly recommended.
Kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly, a recent anthology is a significant contribution to Indigenous literature by Indigenous writers and storytellers. 'kisiskâciwan', which means it flows swiftly in Cree is where Saskatchewan derives its name but also expresses the sentiment of the work with the ongoing flow of traditions from past into present. This work is a search for Indigenous oral and written traditions. And while some were found in libraries and archives many others were found through conversations with storytellers, writers, elders, and artists.