Join Howe Library as we celebrate Native American Heritage Month with our latest New Books Spotlight. Check-out print and eBooks available through the Library featuring indigenous perspectives, stories, and activism.
All the quiet places by Brian Thomas Isaac
"It's 1956, and six-year-old Eddie Toma lives with his mother, Grace, and his little brother, Lewis, near the Salmon River on the far edge of the Okanagan Indian Reserve in the British Columbia Southern Interior. Grace, her friend Isabel, Isabel's husband Ray, and his nephew Gregory cross the border to work as summer farm labourers in Washington state. There Eddie is free to spend long days with Gregory exploring the farm: climbing a hill to watch the sunset and listening to the wind in the grass. The boys learn from Ray's funny and dark stories. But when tragedy strikes, Eddie returns home grief-stricken, confused, and lonely. Eddie's life is governed by the decisions of the adults around him. Grace is determined to have him learn the ways of the white world by sending him to school in the small community of Falkland. On Eddie's first day of school, as he crosses the reserve boundary at the Salmon River bridge, he leaves behind his world. Grace challenges the Indian Agent and writes futile letters to Ottawa to protest the sparse resources in their community. His father returns to the family after years away only to bring chaos and instability. Isabel and Ray join them in an overcrowded house. Only in his grandmother's company does he find solace and true companionship. In his teens, Eddie's future seems more secure--he finds a job, and his long-time crush on his white neighbour Eva is finally reciprocated. But every time things look up, circumstances beyond his control crash down around him. The cumulative effects of guilt, grief, and despair threaten everything Eddie has ever known or loved. All the Quiet Places is the story of what can happen when every adult in a person's life has been affected by colonialism; it tells of the acute separation from culture that can occur even at home in a loved familiar landscape. Its narrative power relies on the unguarded, unsentimental witness provided by Eddie."
awâsis - kinky and dishevelled by Louise B. Halfe - Sky Dancer
“A gender-fluid trickster character leaps from Cree stories to inhabit this racous and rebellious new work by award-winning poet Louise Bernice Halfe. There are no pronouns in Cree for gender; awâsis (which means illuminated child) reveals herself through shape-shifting, adopting different genders, exploring the English language with merriment, and sharing his journey of mishaps with humor, mystery, and spirituality. Opening with a joyful and intimate Introduction from Elder Maria Campbell, awâsis - kinky and dishevelled is a force of Indigenous resurgence, resistance, and soul-healing laughter. If you've read Halfe's previous books, prepared to be surprised by this one.”
Berry song by Michaela Goade
“Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade's first self-authored picture book is a gorgeous celebration of the land she knows well and the powerful wisdom of elders. On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries. Salmonberry, Cloudberry, Blueberry, Nagoonberry. Huckleberry, Snowberry, Strawberry, Crowberry. Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all. Michaela Goade's luminous rendering of water and forest, berries and jams glows with her love of the land and offers an invitation to readers to deepen their own relationship with the earth.”
"Without Destroying Ourselves is an intellectual history of Native activism seeking greater access to and control of higher education in the twentieth century."
Restoring the kinship worldview : indigenous voices introduce 28 precepts for rebalancing life on planet Earth by Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) and Darcia Narvaez, PhD.
"A collection of 28 excerpted passages from Indigenous leaders that reflect the wisdom of Indigenous worldview precepts, accompanied by analysis."
"Weaving her own story with the story of her ancestors and with the broader themes of creation, replacement, and disappearance, Krawec helps readers see settler colonialism through the eyes of an Indigenous writer. Settler colonialism tried to force us into one particular way of living, but the old ways of kinship can help us imagine a different future. Krawec asks, What would it look like to remember that we are all related? How might we become better relatives to the land, to one another, and to Indigenous movements for solidarity? Braiding together historical, scientific, and cultural analysis, Indigenous ways of knowing, and the vivid threads of communal memory, Krawec crafts a stunning, forceful call to 'unforget' our history"
“To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Indigenous Voices Awards, an anthology consisting of selected works by finalists over the past five years, edited by Jordan Abel, Carleigh Baker, and Madeleine Reddon. Established in 2017, the Indigenous Voices Awards honour the sovereignty of Indigenous creative voices and nurture the work of emerging Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada. Through generous support from hundreds of Canadians and organizations such as Penguin Random House Canada, Scholastic Canada, Douglas & McIntyre, Pamela Dillon and Family Gift Fund, the awards have ushered in a new and dynamic generation of Indigenous writers. Past IVAs recipients include Billy-Ray Belcourt and Tanya Tagaq. The IVAs also promote the works of unpublished writers, helping to launch the careers of Smokii Sumac, Cody Caetano, and Samantha Martin-Bird. This anthology gathers together a selection of the finalists over the past five years, highlighting some of the most pathbreaking Indigenous writing across poetry, prose, and theatre in English, French, and Indigenous languages. Curated by award-winning and critically acclaimed writers Jordan Abel (Nisga'a) and Carleigh Baker (Métis), and scholar Madeleine Reddon (Métis), this anthology is a celebration of Indigenous storytelling that both introduces readers to emerging luminaries and returns them to treasured favorites.”
“Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.”
Man made monsters by Andrea L. Rogers
“Haunting illustrations are woven throughout these horror stories that follow one extended Cherokee family across the centuries and well into the future as they encounter predators of all kinds in each time period.”
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
"Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe ("Ellie" for short) lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect façade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family."
The first blade of sweetgrass : a Native American story by Suzanne Greenlaw and Gabriel Frey
"In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making"
Iwígara : The kinship of plants and people by Enrique Salmón
“Tap into Thousands of Years of Plant Knowledge The belief that all life-forms are interconnected and share the same breath'known in the RarAmuri tribe as iwigara'has resulted in a treasury of knowledge about the natural world, passed down for millennia by native cultures. Ethnobotanist Enrique SalmOn builds on this concept of connection and highlights 80 plants revered by North America's indigenous peoples. SalmOn teaches us the ways plants are used as food and medicine, the details of their identification and harvest, their important health benefits, plus their role in traditional stories and myths. Discover in these pages how the timeless wisdom of iwigara can enhance your own kinship with the natural world.”
To shape a dragon's breath by Moniquill Blackgoose
"A young, Indigenous woman enters a colonizer-run dragon academy after bonding with a hatchling--and quickly finds herself at odds with the "approved" way of doing things--in the first book of a brilliant new fantasy series. The remote island of Masquapaug has not seen a dragon in many generations--until fifteen-year-old Anequs finds a dragon's egg and bonds with its hatchling. Her people are delighted, for all remember the tales of the days when dragons lived among them and danced away the storms of autumn, enabling the people to thrive. To them, Anequs is revered: a Person Who Belongs to a Dragon. Unfortunately for Anequs, the Anglish conquerors of her land have a quite different opinion. They have a very specific idea on how a dragon should be raised--and who should be doing the raising--and Anequs does not meet any of their requirements. Only with great reluctance do they allow Anequs to enroll in a proper Anglish dragon school on the mainland. If she cannot succeed there, then her dragon will be destroyed. For a girl with no formal schooling, a non-Anglish upbringing, and a very different understanding of the history of her land challenges abound--both socially and academically. But Anequs is smart and determined, and resolved to learn what she needs to help her dragon, even if it means teaching herself. The one thing she refuses to do, however, is become the meek Anglish miss that everyone expects. For the world needs changing--and Anequs and her dragon are less coming of age in this bold new world than coming to power"