Literacy Seed Kit

A collaborative partnership between Northlands School Division, Edmonton Public School Division and Alberta Education developed the Literacy Seed Kit. The 76 book collection was created as a travelling classroom library to support the need for culturally relevant resources. Like a seed, it is meant to grow and expand depending on local conditions. The collection contains fiction and non-fiction books in a wide range of genres. Please refer to Readers are Leaders for additional information and full acknowledgements.

 

Fiction Books (A-L)

13 Moons Turtle Back

13 Moons Turtle Back

The thirteen scales on Old Turtle's back hold the key to the thirteen cycles of the moon and the changing seasons. These lyrical poems and striking paintings celebrate the wonder of the seasons, from the Northern Cheyenne's Moon of the Popping Trees to the Big Moon of the Abenaki.

Teacher Guide

A Different Game

A Different Game

A Different Game continues the story of Murphy who moved from his home in the city to a First Nation reserve. Now comfortable with his new life, Murphy and his soccer playing friends -The formidable Four-are facing tough tryouts. To everyone's surprise, Albert, the superstar player begins acting like a jerk and then does not make the team. Once the truth about Albert is discovered, the community must pull together because he is playing "a different game".

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Adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws - 4 in Series

Adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws - 4 in Series

This series of graphic tales set in the 1740s, are the adventures of the mischievous Ojibway brothers, Rabbit and Bear Paws colonized North America.

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Ancient Thunder

Ancient Thunder

This wonderfully lyric text is inspired by the author's love of horses and the traditional clothing of the Plains People. Each page is a work of art (collage). A must have for teaching the art curriculum, particularly: fabric arts, representing texture, creating foreground and background.

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A Walk On The Tundra

A Walk On The Tundra

This charming book tells the story of Inuujaq who is bored. Frustrated and with nothing else to do, Innujaq joins her Grandma for a walk on the tundra. To Inuujaq's increasing amazement, the tundra is filled with interesting and useful plants. Her grandma tells her stories about each plant and different ways the plants can be used.

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Belle of Batoch

Belle of Batoch

This is the story of friendship, honesty and integrity within the context of the historical attack of the Canadian government on the Métis of Batoche, MB in 1885. It is a great novel study for Division II or part of a text set for an author study on Jacqueline Guest.

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Board Books

Board Books

This is a collection of books to be used to teach students how to read to their younger relatives and encourage family literacy.

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Chuck in the City

Chuck in the City

A humorous, rhyming tale of a young Cree boy who comes to the city for the first time - and immediately gets lost. The bright detailed illustrations are in anime style.

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Code Talkers

Code Talkers

This book is part of a series of multitextual graphic tales for readers in older grades. It is the fictional story of two brothers who became Navajo code talkers during World War II.

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Coyote Christmas

Coyote Christmas

Coyote Christmas is a story about the cunning coyote that would do anything to get a meal. The story teaches about making choices and that there is good in all that we do.

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Eagle Boy

Eagle Boy

Eagle boy begins the story as an orphan in his coastal village. He is laughed at and teased by other children in the village for feeding fish to the eagles in the sky.

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Falling Star

Falling Star

This book is part of a series of multi-textual graphic tales for readers in older grades. Falling Star is the story of the adopted son of Standing Bear (band of Chief Sitting Bull) and his experiences watching the demise of the traditional way of life of the Lakota people.

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Fatty Legs

Fatty Legs

Fatty Legs is an informative, true story about the effects of residential school on a brave young Inuit girl in her quest to learn how to read. Her spirit, dignity and resilience remain intact against all the atrocities that she experiences. Archival photos and striking artwork add to the authenticity of this story.

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Here is the Arctic Winter

Here is the Arctic Winter

The lyrical repetitive text makes this book a good choice for reading with students. The detailed illustrations are compelling and engaging and create the mood of a long dark time period.

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How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

Big Bear brags and brags. He claims that he is so big and strong, he can do anything. Brown Squirrel doesn't believe Big Bear and a contest is proposed.

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How Coyote Stole the Summer

How Coyote Stole the Summer

Poor Coyote is freezing and tired of living in winter all year round. He listens to Raven who spells out exactly how the animals can capture summer from Old Woman. Raven, Wolf, Moose, Elk, Stag and Antelope develop a plan to steal summer from Old Woman and her children.

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Idaa Trail

Idaa Trail

John and his cousins spend the summer with their grandparents on a canoe trip that follows a hundred year old trade route of the Dogrib people. The children's grandparents had traveled this trail as youngsters and wanted to show their grandchildren how "the land is like a book".

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I Like Who I Am

I Like Who I Am

What happens when a blond, blueeyed Mohawk moves to her First Nation reserve and is accused of not being Mohawk? This story is wonderful for exploring bullying, what it means to identify as part of a culture, and for depicting life on a First Nation reserve.

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I Loved Her

I Loved Her

This is the recollection of a young Métis girl of her beloved Grandmother. Each two page spread covers different memories including singing and playing together at the piano, dressing up for tea parties, taking walks through the garden, and so forth. Love, laughter and sharing ring through the pages.

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Inuit Still

Inuit Still

Naomi, a young Inuk girl, shares her story of living in a modern Inuit community while wearing traditional clothing, playing traditional games and going out on the land. Glimpses of life in the past and how traditions, culture and language have been carried forward are shared.

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I Shall Wait and Wait

I Shall Wait and Wait

Part of a series on graphic poetry, this poem teaches us the importance of patience, dedication and love of family.

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Jingle Dancer

Jingle Dancer

Jenna dreams about her grandmother's jingle dancing and would love to do the same. There is one problem, how to get enough jingles in time for the pow-wow.

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Kookums Red Shoes

Kookums Red Shoes

The legacy of residential school is shared in a respectful and engaging way through this story. The elderly Kookum remembers how her life was changed forever, yet we see how her humour, goodness and loving ways are maintained throughout.

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Legend Caribou Boy

Legend Caribou Boy

This book could be used in a division II English Language Arts class during a unit covering legends. The readalong CD provides reading support for ESL or lower level readers. There is a strong glossary of Dene language at the back of the book.

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Fiction Books (M-Z)

Muskrat Will Be Swimming

Muskrat Will Be Swimming

Young Jeannie loves her community but feels sad and frustrated when classmates call her a lake rat. Jeannie confides in her grandfather who, through story, reminds her of the importance of the muskrat. With lyrical text and exquisite illustrations of wetland life, this book places traditions into the context of modern life.

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Mwakwa Talks to The Loon

Mwakwa Talks to The Loon

This is the story of Kayâs who uses his gift of knowing where to find animals (four-legged, winged and swimmers) to provide for his people. Soon however, he begins to love the admiration of the people, more than he loves hunting and the people grow hungry.

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Niwechihaw

Niwechihaw

This simple story is told simultaneously in Cree and English. It explores a young child's relationship to his Kokhom as they go for a walk in search of rose hips. Beautiful paintings help illustrate many of the cultural traditions.

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Nokum is my Teacher

Nokum is my Teacher

This thoughtful book is written as a dialogue between a young boy and his grandmother or Nokum. The boy asks why he should have to learn to read and wonders if knowledge of the world outside their reserve has value. Nokum knows that reading opens up a world of possibilities, even though she never learned to read.

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Raven a Trickster Tale From the-Pacific Northwest

Raven a Trickster Tale From the-Pacific Northwest

Many First Nations peoples have stories about tricksters (Raven, Coyote, Wisahkecahk, to name a few). They are generally humorous, with a strong message regarding how one ought to behave or how to treat others. The beautiful illustrations of this book make it a wonderful teaching tool for art Tricksters.

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Rebel Leader

Rebel Leader

This book is part of a series of multi-textual graphic tales for readers in older grades. Rebel Leader is the story a young Métis fiddler who is gifted with a fiddle that has been passed down since the days of Louis Riel. Through flashbacks and non-narrative writing, the reader learns about the formation of the Métis Nation and the eventual demise of its leader, Louis Riel.

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Red Parka Mary

Red Parka Mary

A heart-warming story of how a young boy learns to look beyond outward appearances and discover the kindness and love of Mary, his elderly neighbour. As they get to know each other, Mary teaches the boy many things. At Christmas the boy presents Mary with a gift of a warm red parka and Mary gives the boy the biggest and best gift of all the gift of her love.

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Secret of the Dance

Secret of the Dance

This story is based on a true story that happened to retired Judge Alfred Scow, Elder of the Kwick'wa'sut'eneuk people. He was born in 1927 during a time when traditional ceremonies were outlawed by the Canadian government. In Secret of the Dance, Watl'Kina's family defies the Indian Agent, just as many other families did, to go far afield in order to practice a potlatch ceremony in secrecy.

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Shin Chis Canoe

Shin Chis Canoe

This poignant sequel to award winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two young siblings in residential school. In telling this story, Nicole Campbell draws on interviews with her family and Elders who survived residential school. In spite of the devastation of a long separation, collection in a cattle truck, daily hard work and meager meals, strong family ties prevail.

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Shi Shi Etko

Shi Shi Etko

This beautifully illustrated story is a moving account of how a young girl spends her last day with family before leaving for residential school. Just before she leaves, mother, father and grandmother share valuable teachings.

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Skeleton Man

Skeleton Man

Molly wakes up one morning to discover her parents are gone. She is turned over to her greatuncle, a mysterious man totally unknown to her. The uncle rarely speaks to Molly and locks her in her room at night. By remembering what her parents told her about trusting dreams, Molly is able to solve the mystery of her parent's disappearance.

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Smilers Bones

Smilers Bones

Smiler's Bones, is the heartfelt story of Minik, his father and the plight of Inuit people who were taken from their home in Greenland to New York city in 1897. Explorer Robert Peary took them to the American Museum of Natural History as living "Eskimo" exhibits.

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The Contest

The Contest

Spunky Rosy is eager to win the Anne of Green Gables look-alike contest. It doesn't matter that her hair is black, that she has very little money to spend on the costs of the contest, or that her asthma throws a gigantic wrench into her plans. Rosy is determined and her family and friends rally around.

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The Lost Island

The Lost Island

Tillicum (grandfather) shares an inherited vision and reality with his grandson about the many things that the Salish People have lost: lands, forests, beliefs, dress, and stories. The vision is one of despair, struggle and yet hope.

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The Middle of Everywhere

The Middle of Everywhere

Noah Thorpe is spending the school term in George River, up in Quebec's far north. He is somewhat disdainful of his Inuit peers at first but through a series of adventures and experiences, begins to understand that he has a lot to learn. A wonderful book about survival, friendship and bi-cultural competency.

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The Moccasins

The Moccasins

In this story, the author shares his personal life with a foster mother who keeps his culture alive with a pair of lovingly made moccasins. The illustrations follow the boy from childhood through adulthood, when he in turn becomes a parent.

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The Night Wanderer

The Night Wanderer

Tiffany Hunter, a teen Anishinabe girl, has lived on Otter Lake reserve her entire life. A mysterious lodger moves into her basement and sinister events begin to occur. Tiffany is at first unaware of anything happening as she is preoccupied with her non-Anishinabe boyfriend and the relentless fighting with her father.

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There Was An Old Lady

There Was An Old Lady

A fast paced, rollicking retelling of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, this is sure to delight all readers. It is set on the west coast, with many familiar icons. Great for early literacy, for a text set on cumulative tales, or just a great read-aloud.

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Turtles Race With Beaver

Turtles Race With Beaver

Upon awakening, after her long winter nap, Turtle sees that her pond has been taken over by Beaver. Beaver challenges Turtle to a race: whomever wins can stay while the other must find a new home. The one who wins the race demonstrates courage in the face of adversity, creativity and amazing perseverance.

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Walking With Aalasi

Walking With Aalasi

The place is Nunavut and in this book Aalasi Joamie shares her traditional knowledge about plants in some of the northern regions of Canada.

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War Games

War Games

Ryan Taber's father is on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. Ryan can't wait for his father to be gone, and then perhaps he can finally do the things he really wants to do; play Desert Death. Ryan finally thinks he can be the person he wants to be rather than the soldier his father wants him to be.

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Which Way Should I Go

Which Way Should I Go

This book is about a happy young Tia-o-qui-aht boy and the loving relationship he has with his grandmother. His grandmother always gives the young boy choice and teaches him her song "Which Way Should I Go?" But when his grandmother dies the young boy grieves and is very unhappy until he discovers he has a choice in grief too.

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Wisahkecahk

Wisahkecahk

This book, written in English and Cree, is another story to add to the collection of the famous trickster tales. In this one Wisahkecahk flies to the moon, and before the tale is up, provides the legend of the creation of muskeg. As a sideline, it explains the origins of the long legs of the crane.

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Zoe and the Fawn

Zoe and the Fawn

Zoe and the fawn is a delightful story of a young girl, her father and their search for the mother of a visiting fawn. Each time they spot a new animal Zoe wonders if that is the mother they are looking for. After searching over a small hill, in the tall grass and at a creek they return home to a surprise.

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Non-Fiction Books

10 Most Significant Crossroads

10 Most Significant Crossroads

This book is one of the 10 series, geared towards grades 6-12. It uses multiple textual forms and visual images to present various viewpoints related to each of the cross roads highlighted in the books.

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Aboriginal Cultures In Alberta

Aboriginal Cultures In Alberta

This is an excellent resource for teachers who need breadth and depth of information about Alberta's First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in order to provide connections to different curricular areas.

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Art of the Old Ways

Art of the Old Ways

Cape Dorset is a community of many artistic talents. The story is centered on the life of one Inuit women's journey from a traditional Inuit life, struggling to raise a family by herself, to that of becoming one of Canada's most famous artists: drawing, sculpting and painting the "Old Ways."

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Berries

Berries

This is a simple story for the beginning reader and part of the Cedar Reader Series. It uses the sentence frame "I see the ____________" to show all the available berries.

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Blackfoot Children Elders

Blackfoot Children Elders

Children and Elders talk together about their Blackfoot culture. Topics include Blackfoot ways, celebrations, the land, families, ceremonies, food and prayers and thoughts about the future.

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Buffalo

Buffalo

This book is a magnificent collage bringing together visual imagery, teachings, historical detail and tribal song poems. By using a multi-layered perspective, Brodsky conveys a depth of understanding.

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Camping at the Lake

Camping at the Lake

This book is particularly good for our Alberta children as it takes place on the Kootenay plains. Part of the Literacy Place series, it is an excellent tool for guided reading.

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Come and Learn With Me

Come and Learn With Me

Come and Learn With Me introduces the reader to Sheyenne Jumbo and her family "real people" of the Sambaa K'e Dene Band from the Northwest Territories.

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Flip Perspectives Annotation

Flip Perspectives Annotation

The Flip Point of View series is a set of 24 books for Canadian students that examine a topic from two different perspectives, both equally weighted. Each book engages the student by providing opportunities for debate, discussion, and critical thinking.

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Great Women From Our First Nations

Great Women From Our First Nations

This book profiles the following ten outstanding women leaders: Suzanne Rochon Burnett, Pauline Johnson-Tekahionwake, Thocemtony (Sarah) Winnemucca, Maria Tallchief, Wilma Mankiller, Mary Kim Titla, Lorna B. Williams, Susan Aglukark, Winona LaDuke, Sandra Lovelace Nicholas.

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Inuit Thought of It

Inuit Thought of It

The Inuit Thought of It explores more than 40 ideas crucial to survival of the Inuit. From items familiar to us today like kayaks and parkas to inventive concepts that shaped their lives including bone games and the iconic Inuksuk this book celebrates the creativity of a remarkably resourceful people.

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Inuksuk Journey

Inuksuk Journey

A lush and evocative journey through the north, this book provides a rare glimpse of high Arctic living. Photographs, sketches and paintings illuminate the text, which is a series of journal entries over an eight day trip.

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Life Cycle of a Salmon

Life Cycle of a Salmon

Salmon takes the reader through the six year life cycle of a salmon. Each page contains vivid photographs as well as a pictorial time line.

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Proud to be Inuvialuit

Proud to be Inuvialuit

Proud to be Inuvialuit introduces the reader to the Inuvialuit "real people" of the Western Arctic community of Tuktoyaktuk, their stories, land, traditions and history.

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The Salmon Bears

The Salmon Bears

Stunning photographs add to the rich text in this book about the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. This book is included because of the special place bears have in both the life cycle of the salmon, and many First Nations stories.

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