Aboriginal Peoples of Canada

A resource

For Teachers

Achieving Aboriginal Student Success

by Pamela Rose Toulouse


Achieving Aboriginal Student Success presents goals and strategies needed to support Aboriginal learners in the classroom. This book is for all teachers of kindergarten to grade 8 who have Aboriginal students in their classrooms or who are looking for ways to infuse an Aboriginal worldview into their curriculum. 


For Students: Fiction

The Elders Are Watching

by David Bouchard and Roy Henry Vickers


When award-winning writer David Bouchard first saw the work of First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers, he was struck by Vickers' reverence for nature and his understanding of Canada's rugged West Coast. They collaborated on The Elders Are Watching, which - now in its fifth printing - has delighted more than 100,000 readers in four languages.


Recommended for grades 3+.

Rethinking Columbus

Edited by Bill BIgelow and Bob Peterson

 

Why rethink Christopher Columbus? Because the Columbus myth is a foundation of children's beliefs about society. Columbus is often a child's first lesson about encounters between different cultures and races. The murky legend of a brave adventurer tells children whose version of history to accept, and whose to ignore. It says nothing about the brutality of the European invasion of North America.

 

Shin-Chi's Canoe

This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.


Recommended for grades 1+.

Teaching Truly: A Curriculum to Indigenize Mainstream Education

by Don Trent Jacobs



Fatty Legs


by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact.
Recommended for grades 5+.

 

Also, try "When I Was Eight", a version of the same story accessible to younger children. Recommended for grades 1+.

The Mishomis Book - The Voice of the Ojibway

by Edward Benton-Banai


The Mishomis Book documents the history, traditions, and culture of the Ojibway people through stories and myths passed down through generations. Written by Ojibway educator and spiritual leader Edward Benton-Banai, and first published in 1988, The Mishomis Book draws from the traditional teachings of tribal elders to instruct young readers about Ojibway creation stories and legends, the origin and importance of the Ojibway family structure and clan system, the Midewiwin religion, the construction and use of the water drum and sweat lodge, and modern Ojibway history.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, heartwarming, and laugh out loud funny. Recommended for grades 9+.
*Pre-reading strongly recommended.

The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book is a powerful and historically accurate graphic portrayal of Indigenous resistance to the European colonization of the Americas, beginning with the Spanish invasion under Christopher Columbus and ending with the Six Nations land reclamation in Ontario in 2006. Gord Hill spent two years unearthing images and researching historical information to create The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book, which presents the story of Aboriginal resistance in a far-reaching format.

Seven Sacred Teachings

by David Bouchard and Dr. Joseph Martin

The Seven Sacred Teachings is a message of traditional values and hope for the future. The Teachings are universal to most First Nation peoples. These Teachings are aboriginal communities from coast to coast. They are a link that ties First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities together.

Multilingual, and includes an audio component.
Sample lesson plan can be found here.

What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?

By Richard Van Camp

"I'm a stranger to horses and horses are strangers to me," admits the author/narrator at the beginning of this delightful tale of discovery. Members of the Dogrib nation from Canada, Van Camp's people use dogs instead of horses. Yet Van Camp has always been curious about horses. So he sets off on a playful search for "the most beautiful thing about horses," talking to family, friends, and even artist George Littlechild, who is a Plains Cree and knows something about horses. The answers Van Camp gets range from zany to profound: Horses can run sideways. Horses have secrets. Horses can always find their way home. Littlechild's bold and fanciful paintings perfectly capture Van Camp's playful vision of the world.
Recommended for Grades 2+

For Students: Non-Fiction

Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Canada's Aboriginal peoples have shaped this country in countless ways. Their story is central to the nation's identity -- indeed, the word "Canada" is derived from the Huron-Haudenosaunee word "kanata," which means "our village." This title in the acclaimed Kids Book of series is a balanced, in-depth look at the cultures, struggles and triumphs of Canada's first peoples. 


Shannen and the Dream for a School

by Janet Wilson


This is the true story of Shannen Koostachin and the people of Attawapiskat, a Cree community in Northern Ontario, who have been fighting for a new school since the late 1970s when a fuel leak contaminated their original school building.


Recommended for grades 5+.