Neekah's Knitting Needles is a delightful story about learning to knit in the Cowichan style based on the knitting of Cowichan people from near Port Alberni. In Neekah’s Knitting Needles, the knittling style is based on the work of Odelia Smith from Tsartlip First Nation near Victoria, B.C. Coast Salish knitting is also part of a National Film Board documentary, The Story of the Coast Salish Knitters. Sheena Lot is a picture book illustrator and has won numerous awards for her work. In Neekah’s Knitting Needles Neekah is finally old enough to learn to knit.
Yetsa's Sweater is a charming picture book by Sylvia Olsen about the women of the Coast Salish who continue to create beautiful Cowichan sweaters. It is an effective picture book that demonstrates First Nations experiential learning. Yetsa is spending time with her grandmother assisting in the preparation of the sheep's wool needed to knit these amazing one-of-a-kind sweaters. The story and illustrations show the love and understanding between the generations as Yetsa's mother joins the group to complete the many tasks needed to make the wool ready for knitting.
Which Way Should I Go is a recent picture book written by Sylvia Olsen and based on the memories of Olsen's friend Ron Martin. This picture book offers young children an opportunity to understand that we all have choices to make in our lives even if we are young. Joey is a young Nuuchahnulth boy who has a happy and cheerful disposition. Even his friend, his teacher, and the store owner notice that Joey always has a smile on his face.
Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience is the winner in CODE's (Canadian Organization for Development through Education) 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience by Cree, Lakota, and Scottish author Monique Gray Smith is part memoir and part healing guide. Monique Gray Smith received the award on September 27th at the Winnipeg Gala. This creative non-fiction book tells the story of a young Indigenous woman coming of age in Canada in the 1980s.
Award-winning writer Sylvia Olsen's sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won, Counting on Hope tells the story of an English girl named Hope and a Lamalcha girl named Letia, whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures meet. The action is set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island. Alternating between free verse and prose, Counting on Hope follows the girls' individual story lines before, during and after their meeting.
Working With Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater presents the history, economic and cultural significance of the creation of the wool sweaters known as Cowichan Sweaters for the Coast Salish women who produce and market them. Written by Sylvia Olsen as her Master's thesis, this award-winning author combines her own passion as a knitter and her 40-year experience wool-working with Coast Salish women to create a valuable and highly readable book. The sweaters developed from the goat wool blankets created by Coast Salish women for generations.
Plants of Haida Gwaii, written with the cooperation and collaboration of the Haida, is a detailed and insightful record of the uses and importance to the Haida of over 150 species of native plants. Haida Gwaii is the traditional name for a world-renowned group of islands, sometimes called the Queen Charlottes, off the northern mainland coast of British Columbia. For thousands of years these islands have been the home of the Haida.
Just Ask Us: A Conversation with First Nations Teenage Moms written by Sylvia Olsen was funded as a project by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. After Sylvia Olsen's daughter announced her pregnancy, this author and loving mother saw, what could be termed a crisis by some, as an opportunity to understand this cultural and national phenomenon of the teen mom. Olsen began her research by contacting and locating 13 teen and young adult moms who were from ages 15 through 24.
Fifteen-year-old Josie Jessop goes from blending into the crowd to being the White Girl when her mother marries a First Nations man and moves them to his house on a reserve outside the city, where she must come to terms with her new home, new school, and new family amidst very few friendly faces. Josie has to come to terms with being identified as the White girl on the reserve as she strives to fit in and make this new family situation work. Josie must find her inner integrity with the help and guidance of her step-grandmother.
The Girl with a Baby is a novel by author Sylvia Olsen, who married into the Tsartlip First Nation, where she has raised her four children. Jane, one of the most popular girls and best students in her school, loses her good reputation when she has a baby at the age of fourteen, but as her grandmother predicted, Jane learns that motherhood has only made her stronger. ATOS Reading Level: 4.4; Reading Level: 4.4. Author Website: http://sylviaolsen.ca/