Orange Shirt Day by Jaadee Kung (Roberta Kennedy) a traditional Haida singer, drummer, and storyteller; translated by Marie-Christine Payette, and illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner tells the story of Orange Shirt Day, a day observed annually on September 30th to honour residential school survivors and their families, and to remember those who did not make it. This book explores the historical impact on Indigenous people in order to create champions who will walk a path of reconciliation through Orange Shirt Day, promoting the message that Every Child Matters.
Mina-waasige miinwaa Goon / Sunny and the Snow is a story by Brita Vija Brookes with artwork by Rachel Mae Dennis, Haudenosaaunne/Latino, and translated by Isadore Toulouse from Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve, and Shirley Ida Williams, Migizi ow-kwe,That Eagle Woman, who is a member of the Bird Clan of the Ojibway and Odawa First Nations of Canada. In Sunny and the Snow, Sunny the horse leads his community through the snowstorm with help from his Elders despite his fear of ice and cold. Follow Sunny on a quest to learn how to walk and run on the snow.
The Wolf ’s Trail, an Ojibwe Story, Told by Wolves by Thomas D. Peacock, a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Anishinaabe Ojibwe, tells the story of Zhi-Shay, an elder wolf, and a litter of young wolves living somewhere on the side of a hill overlooking the river that flows through Nagahchiwangong in Northern Minnesota. Zhi-Shay, who knows the whole story of the parallel relationship between wolves and the Ojibwe going all the way back to the beginning, sharing it with his nieces and nephews, and us.
Grasshopper Girl is written by Teresa Peterson, Dakota from the Upper Sioux Community and illustrated by Jordan Rodgers, Lakota. In Grasshopper Girl, young Psipsi is sick in bed. What will make her feel better? An Unktomi trickster story from her father lulls her to sleep. "Unktomi stories have been shared in Dakota families and communities for a very long time. This tradition continued into the childhood of my mother's generation. Depending upon location and community, variations of this Unktomi story have been told.
The Boy From Pickerel Lake by Steve Barse, Dakota, is a fictionalized biography chapter book about a young Dakota High School basketball star. Set in the early 1930s, this novel is the inspiring story of Bill Sheldon who grew up on the Lake Traverse reservation. He escapes the oppressive Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school and becomes the only Native high school player in Waubay, South Dakota. This story is based on the life story of Harold Barse, the author’s father.
The Dancers by Thomas Peacock, a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and illustrated by Jacqueline Paske Gill, is a heart-warming story about a young Native girl, her mother, and a very special auntie. It is also a story of wisdom and triumph, of being strong, and of dancing with your heart.
In Genocidal Love: A Life after Residential School author Bevann Fox, a member of Pasqua First Nation, originally from Piapot First Nation, delves into the long-term effects of childhood trauma on those who attended residential school and demonstrates the power of story to help in recovery and healing. Presenting herself as “Myrtle,” Bevann Fox recounts her early childhood filled with love and warmth on the First Nation reservation with her grandparents.
When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson, a member of Norway House Cree Nation and translated by Marsha Blacksmith, a member of Pimicikamak Cree Nation, and illustrated by Julie Flett, Cree-Métis author, illustrator, is an empowering story of resistance that gently introduces children to the history of residential schools in Canada. In When We Were Alone, a young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. As she asks questions, her grandmother tells her about her experiences in a residential school.
The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series from Highwater Press. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of six great Indigenous heroes from Aboriginal peoples and 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.
The Scout: Tommy Prince is one of the titles from Tales from Big Spirit series. This unique graphic novel series is a highly recommended six-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of great Indigenous heroes from Aboriginal peoples and 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.