First Starters by first-time graphic novel author Jen Storm published in the Debwe Series by Highwater Press. Illustrated in colour by Scott Henderson, this young adult graphic novel tells a story that stresses the importance of always being truthful. Teens from the Agamiing Reserve and the local town find themselves in serious trouble after a thoughtless prank ends with the reserve's gas bar burned down. After finding an old flare gun in his grandmother's garage, one teen proposes Ron and Ben go to the reserve's dump and shoot the flare gun.
Will I See? is a 2016 graphic novel from Highwater Press by David Alexander Robertson. From a story idea by Iskwe and Erin Leslie, the topic of missing and murdered Indigenous women receives a new treatment in this graphic novel. Illustrated in black and white with minimal red splashes on appropriate pages, this difficult story begins with a reader warning that this graphic novel could act as a trigger because of the content about violence against women. It begins with a First Nation teen living in the city with her grandmother.
Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Issues in Canada is designed for all teachers who have First Nations, Inuit or Métis students in their classrooms or are encouraged to infuse Indigenous perspectives into the curriculum. Written by Métis lawyer, scholar and educator Chelsea Vowel, the book tackles terminology; culture and identity; myth-busting; state violence; and land, learning, law and treaties with subtle humour and common sense drawn from 2016 landscape.
The Chief: Mistahimaskwa (Big Bear) is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series by David Alexander Robertson from Highwater Press. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique seven-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of seven great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics.
Where Did You Get Your Moccasins? is a wonderful picture book well suited for reading aloud to preschool and kindergarten children. The story focuses on a young boy who brings a pair of moccasins to school for show and tell. He explains step by step how his Kookum, his grandmother, made the moccasins. The sensitive black and white pencil drawings reflect the author's and illustrator's respect for the First Nation child in a multi-cultural, urban school setting.
I Can't Have Bannock But The Beaver Has A Dam is a wonderful picture book for reading aloud to young children. Bernalda Wheeler creates a refreshing way to introduce young children to contemporary First Nations people. Her character is a young boy who asks his mother to make some bannock. Bannock is a traditional bread made by most First Nations in northern Canada. The mother explains why she can't use her stove until the hydro line is fixed. It all comes down to the fact that a beaver has cut down a tree for his dam.
A Blanket of Butterflies explores the journey of Shinobu, a mysterious stranger who visits Fort Smith, NWT, to retrieve his family's samurai suit of armor and sword from the museum. When he discovers that his grandfather's sword has been lost in a poker game to the man they call "Benny the Bank," he sets out to retrieve it, with the help of a young boy, Sonny, and his grandmother. Together, they face Benny and his men, Torchy, Sfen and the giant they call Flinch. This graphic novel, illustrated in a stark contrast of black and white panels by Scott B.
The Stone Collection: Short Stories is the 2015 release of writer Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm's story collection from the Highwater Press Debwe Series. In these fourteen unique stories Akiwenzie-Damm takes on complex and dangerous emotions, exploring the gamut of modern Anishinaabe experience. Through unforgettable characters, these stories, about love and lust, suicide and survival, illness and wholeness, illuminate the strange workings of the human heart.
Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story by David Alexander Robertson and Scott B. Henderson is Portage and Main's revised edition of The Life of Helen Betty Osborne: A Graphic Novel. Helen Betty Osborne (1952-1971), known as Betty to her closest friends and family, dreamed of becoming a teacher. She left her home to attend residential school and high school in a small town in Manitoba. On November 13, 1971, Betty was abducted and brutally murdered by four young men. Initially met with silence and indifference, her tragic murder resonates loudly today.