Long Powwow Nights, Iskewsis, Dear Mother / Mawio'mi Amasiwula'kwl, Iskewsis, Nkij, is a moving picture book co-written by David Bouchard and Pam Aleekuk. The bilingual 32-page book has text in English and Mi'kmaq and access to an audio recording of the book. Bouchard's rhythmic poems are inspired by the child's fond memories of powwows attended with his mother. Raised in a single parent family, the narrator shows his love for the powwow event, the dancers, the long car rides to the powwow, and the intricate regalia.
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.
Lillian and Kokomis: The Spirit of Dance, is by Lynda Partridge, a member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan and illustrated by Dave Nicholson. In Lillian and Kokomis, Lillian who is a girl of mixed Indigenous and white ancestry is in the process of being shuffled to her seventh foster home. Lillian is a complex and not-always-lovable hero and she doesn’t always fit in but she eventually finds a sense of peace and belonging from a surprising spirit that returns her to traditional ways.
Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance is part of the Siha Tooskin Knows early chapter book series by Charlene Bearhead, Wilson Bearhead, a Nakota Elder and Wabamun Lake First Nation community member in central Alberta (Treaty 6 territory) and the recent recipient of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation Indigenous Elder Award; and illustrated by Chloe Bluebird Mustooch, of Alexis Nakoda Sioux Nation of Northern Alberta.
In Powwow: A Celebration Through Song and Dance, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane, Anishinaabe dancer, educator, writer, artist and orator from Wiikwemkoong on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, discusses the origins and definitions of powwow culture, songs and dances, and powwows across Canada and how they are storytelling and restore kinship and families. In these four chapters she introduces powwow through her experiences hearing the drums and the power of songs at the powwow including their political power, and of being Anishinaabe.
The Song Within My Heart is now available in paperback and is centred on Cree artist Allen Sapp's evocative paintings of his boyhood in Saskatchewan together with David Bouchard's lyrical text. In combination the text and images reinforce the love between a grandmother and her grandson as they prepare to attend a powwow. Based on the recollections of Allen Sapp's childhood with his Nokum (grandmother), the paintings capture the everyday preparations of this Plains Cree family. The boy recalls his first powwow and asks his Nokum what the singers are saying.
The Drum Story and accompanying DVD is produced by Reality Media. The Drum Story book and 20-minute DVD features the traditional knowledge and storytelling of Falcon Migwans from Manitoulin Island. The origin of the drum is told in English and Ojibwe with translation by Albert Owl and Vivian Roy. The book includes a brief introduction of Falcon Migwans and explains how he was gifted this account.
The Gathering is a 32-page well-illustrated picture book about a young child learning about a Mikmaw gathering, also known as mawiomi or a spiritual gathering. At the Gathering Alex is introduced to a variety of traditional powwow events such as learning about the sacred fire and fine arts and crafts. Alex and her older cousin participate in beading, watching how baskets and a canoe is made along with listening to the drummers and enjoying a traditional feast.
He Who Dreams by Cree/Scottish author is a new hi/lo title from Orca Publishers. Juggling soccer, school, friends and family leaves John with little time for anything else. But one day at the local community center, following the sound of drums, he stumbles into an Indigenous dance class. Before he knows what's happening, John finds himself stumbling through beginner classes with a bunch of little girls, skipping soccer practice and letting his other responsibilities slide.