When The Spirits Dance-pb- LIMITED QUANTITIES

SKU: 9781926886022

Constance Brissenden, Larry Oskiniko Loyie
Grade Levels:
Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Adult Education
Cree, Subarctic
Book Type:
Theytus Books Ltd.
Copyright Data:

Sale price$16.95


When the Spirits Dance by award-winning authors Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden is a recent children's book about a Cree family during the Second World War. Larry Loyie grew up with his extended family in Rabbit Hill in northern Alberta. In 1941 when Larry was eight, the family's traditional lifestyle was interrupted as the need for an increased Canadian war effort reached Slave Lake in Alberta. The Loyie family was faced with the need for all able-bodied men to enlist in Canada's army. Despite the fact that Victor and Marie Loyie had nine children and that Victor had gladly served during the First World War, the Canadian Armed Forces called up the 43-year-old Cree father. The days of living off the bounty of the land with parents and elders teaching the children were over. The women, their children, and the elders had to survive on the scarce game and the rationing of staples such as sugar, butter, and tea. Larry helped his family survive without their father by drawing on the traditional knowledge taught by his parents and grandparents. Coming to terms of living with the uncertainty of war and the fear of losing their father were additional lessons for the children to learn. The family also had to deal with the threat of army deserters who had escaped in the area. The caring wisdom of their Kokum and Mosoom help the family live through the difficult months. The narrative, told through Larry's eyes, explains how the family rationed food, collected birch sap, and waited for any news from the battlefield. Throughout the story the authors have woven facts about how the war years changed the life of one Cree community. Teachings about the environment and the vision quest become vital parts of the narrative. The reality of the Second World War is highlighted by the inclusion of black and white family photographs and images of the community in northern Alberta. Colour photographs showing the landscape and the Northern Lights add to the feeling that Mother Earth is central to the story. This prequel to As Long As the Rivers Flow: A Last Summer Before Residential School is the second book in the Lawrence Series about Larry Loyie's life. The story contains themes that examine the meaning of war for young children, the contributions made by courageous Aboriginal veterans, the importance of traditional knowledge, and respect for the environment. The young Cree boy in the autobiography obtains his Spirit Animal in a dream while camping alone and gains the respect of his Elders for his bravery. This important new title brings to life the impact of World War 2 on First Nations in Canada from a personal perspective. This book fills a gap in the growing literature by First Nations writers about the recent history of Aboriginal Peoples. Highly recommended for elementary students as well as adult learners. Authors website: http://firstnationswriter.com/when-the-spirits-dance-reviews/. Study Guide: http://www.firstnationswriter.com/WordFeststudyWhenthespiritsdance.pdf

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