First People, First Voices first appeared in 1984 as an attempt by a Faculty of Education professor to compile readings for a Native teachers literature class. The result remains relevant today. Organized chronologically, Penny Petrone presents a selection of writing and speeches by First Nations in Canada from the 1690s to the 1980s. The purpose is to show the foundation and development of the Native literary tradition in English. The collection includes prose, poetry, letters, speeches, sermons, reports, petitions, diary entries, songs, essays, journal and travel writing, history and autobiography. With minimal commentary, Petrone allows the voices of Native People from the past to be heard by today's generation. The first chapter includes recorded and translated speeches by First Nations in eastern and central Canada in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. For the average student, these words would be difficult and time-consuming to locate from such sources as the Jesuit Relations. With First People, First Voices this problem is solved. An essential introduction to First Nations literature in Canada for high school and university level students.