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)
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Fiction Books (M-Z)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.