Nokum is My Teacher is a picture book that effectively explains about teachings from grandmother, Nokum, told in English and Cree. Allen Sapp's remarkable oil paintings illustrate this sensitive book about the importance of Elders. Grandson asks his grandmother about the importance of attending school and learning how to read. Grandmother provides gentle teachings about respect for the culture of the Cree and advises the boy about understanding the world around him as well as his community. Bouchard uses lyrical dialogue between Nokum and grandson that is thoughtful and loving.
As Long as the Sun Shines is a collection of poems by Janet Rogers who is an award-winning Mohawk and Tuscarora poet from Six Nations of the Grand River. As Long as the Sun Shines is inspired by Janet Roger’s global perspectives. This work references the concept of forever associated with the Haudenosaunee Two Row Wampum Agreement based on relationship and environmental concern. Assembled in three sections: Nations March Together with poems such as The Ever Present Tomahawk, Know Your Generosity and Bank-notable E.
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.
Inconvenient Skin / nayêhtâwan wasakay authored by Shane Koyczan is a dual language English and Cree poem and art book. It includes the artwork by Kent Monkman, Joseph Sánchez, Jim Logan and Nadia Kwandibens. The Cree translation is provided by Solomon Ratt. With Inconvenient Skin / nayêhtâwan wasakay, Koyczan hopes to continue the conversations after the polarizing 150 years celebration of Canada as a nation.
Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent has won Liz Howard the Griffin Poetry Prize (2016). She is Euro-Anishinaabekwe from Treaty 9, Northern Ontario. This debut collection of poems is filled with imagery and language on a variety of topics. The poems are at once scientific, contemporary and intelligent, filled with carefully juxtaposed images. Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award (2015).
At the Mountain’s Base is a book release from Penguin Publishing through their new imprint Kokila centring on stories that have nuance and depth in the way children and young adults interpret their world. Traci Sorell, Cherokee, and Weshoyot Alvitre, Tongva/Scots-Gaelic, as author and illustrator respectively, have collaborated to publish At the Mountain’s Base. At The Mountain’s Base is a poem that uses vivid and colourful images to draw the reader from the mountain’s base to the hickory tree to the cabin where a family have gathered.
'Hiraeth' is a 2019 First Nation Communities READ book of poems by Carol Rose Daniels (Cree/Dene). She is a published novelist (Bearskin Diary in 2015), poet, playwright, visual artist and musician. In 'Hiraeth', the reader is drawn to poems of nostalgia, yearning, the grief of lost places, a homesickness for home. Arranged in three sections that weave helpers, abandonment and spirit wisdom, these poems are powerful, a gift. The poems speak to a journey of struggle to find a place to belong and finding it. This is a highly recommended.
Unearthing Secrets Gathering Truths is the first book of poetry by Jules Arita Koostachin, Attawapiskat First Nation member. This work is divided into four parts: InNiNeWak (Human Beings), WiKwam (Home), MiTeWin (Dreams) and IsKweWak (Cree Womyn). The poems reflect life, voice, spirit world, mothers, freedom, truth and love seen through the eyes of an Indigenous woman. Through the process of the poems, which were a twenty-year journey, she finds the courage to face her difficult past and gathers truths of her family to heal.
'We Sang You Home' is the Plains Cree translation of the charming and heart-warming board book that welcomes a new baby boy into a family. Written by renowned author and storyteller Richard Van Camp, translated by Mary Cardinal Collins and beautifully illustrated by Julie Flett, this book is a welcome addition to Indigenous family print resources. This is a 2019 First Nation Communities READ book. and a highly recommended book.
Kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly, a recent anthology is a significant contribution to Indigenous literature by Indigenous writers and storytellers. 'kisiskâciwan', which means it flows swiftly in Cree is where Saskatchewan derives its name but also expresses the sentiment of the work with the ongoing flow of traditions from past into present. This work is a search for Indigenous oral and written traditions. And while some were found in libraries and archives many others were found through conversations with storytellers, writers, elders, and artists.