My List – April 29 Iris Loewen

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My List – April 29

Iris Loewen

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2007.

Fiction - High School
Alexie, Sherman. Ten Little Indians : Stories. New York: Grove, 2003.

Fiction - High School

Short Stories
Alexie, Sherman. War Dances. Grove Press, 2009

Fiction – High School

Short Stories
Bayle, B.J. Battle Cry at Batoche. Vancouver: Beach Holme Publishing, 2000.

Métis Rebellion

Fiction – grade 5,6,7
Bellingham, Brenda. Storm Child. Toronto: James Lorimer, 1985.

Fort Edmonton

Country wives and children of the Hudson’s Bay employees

Fiction – grade 5,6,7

Berry, Susan. Aboriginal cultures in Alberta : Five hundred years. Edmonton: Provincial Museum of Alberta, 2004. (Now the Royal Alberta Museum.)

Non-fiction – grade 4-12

Bierhorst, John. The Woman Who Fell From the Sky. New York: William Morrow, 1993.

Describes how the creation of the world was begun by a woman who fell down to earth from the sky country, and how it was finished by her two sons Sapling and Flint.

Legend – Iroquois story of creation
Bigelow, Bill, and Bob Peterson, eds. Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years. 2nd ed. Williston, VT: Rethinking Schools, 1998.

Teacher Resource.

Bird, John, Lorraine Land, and Murray Macadam, eds. Nation to Nation : Aboriginal Sovereignty and the Future of Canada. Toronto: Irwin, 2002.

High School Resource.

Brownridge, William Roy. The Final Game. Victoria: Orca Books, 1997.
Brownridge, William Roy. The Moccasin Goalie. Victoria: Orca Books, 1995.
Bruchac, James. Native American Games and Stories. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum, 2000.

Non-fiction – grades K-12

Bruchac, Joseph. The First Strawberries : Cherokee Story. New York: Puffin Books, 1993.

A quarrel between the first man and the first woman is reconciled when the Sun causes strawberries to grow out of the earth.

Legend - Cherokee
Bruchac, Joseph. The Journal of Jesse Smoke : A Cherokee Boy, the Trail of Tears.

Fiction – grades 6,7,8

Bruchac, Joseph, and Gayle Ross. The Story of the Milky Way : a Cherokee Tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

Legend - Cherokee

Bruchac, Joseph, and James Bruchac. How the Chipmunk Got His Stripes. New York: Dial Books, 2001.

When Bear and Brown Squirrel have a disagreement about whether Bear can stop the sun from rising, Brown Squirrel ends up with claw marks on his back and becomes Chipmunk, the striped one.

Legend – Seneca
Bruchac, Joseph, and James Bruchac. Turtle's Race With Beaver. New York: Dial Books, 2003.

When Beaver challenges Turtle for ownership of the pond, Turtle outsmarts Beaver and Beaver learns to share.

Legend - Seneca
Bruchac, Joseph. Children of the Longhouse. New York: Penguin, 1996.

This title fits wonderfully with the grade 6 Social Studies.

Fiction – Iroquois
Bruchac, Joseph. Turkey Brother and Other Tales. New York: The Crossing Press, 1975.

Legends - Iroquois

Caduto, Michael J. Keepers of the Animals. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1991.

Native stories of wildlife activities for children

Caduto, Michael J. Keepers of the Earth. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Inc., 1989.

Native American stories and environmental activities for children.

Caduto, Michael J. Keepers of the Night. Calgary: Fifth House, 1994.

Non-fiction - Science.

Campbell, Nicola I. Shi-shi-etko. Toronto: Groundwood, 2005.

Picture book - Residential School

Campbell, Nicola I. Shin-chi's Canoe. Toronto: Groundwood, 2008.

Picture book - Residential School

Carvell, Marlene. Sweetgrass Basket. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2005.

Fiction – grades 7-12

Carlisle Residential School – Mohawk
Carvell, Marlene. Who will tell my Brother. New York: Hyperion Books, 2004.

Fiction – grades 6-12

Using Native Americans as sports mascots
Cavell, Edward. Classic Images of Canadian First Nations (1850-1920). Canmore, Alberta: Altitude, 2007.
Cleaver, Elizabeth. The Enchanted Caribou. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Legend - Inuit

Cleaver, Elizabeth, and William Toye. The Mountain Goats of Temlaham. Toronto: Oxford, 1969.

Set against a background of totem poles and majestic mountain scenery, this famous legend of the Tsimshain Indians of British Columbia tells how the mountain goats took their revenge on the men of Temlaham for breaking the law of the hunt. The story is given visual excitement by the glowing collages of one of Canada's outstanding illustrators.

Legend - Tsimshain
Cohon, Caron. The Mud Pony. New York: Scholastic, 1988.

Legend - Pawnee

Cuthand, Beth. The Little Duck=Sikihpsis. Trans. Stan Cuthand. Penticton BC: Theytus Books, 1999.

An enchanting children’s story about a little mud duck who wanted to be a handsome Plains Cree dancer.

Legend - Cree
Cooper, Amy Jo. Dream Quest. Toronto: Annick, 1987.

Fiction - Juvenile

De Coteau Orie, Sandra. Did you Hear Wind Sing Your Name? : an Oneida Song of Spring. New York: Walker and Company, 1995.

Deiter McArthur, Pat. Dances of the Northern Plains. Saskatoon: Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre, 1987.

Non-fiction – resource
Dempsey, Hugh A. Charcoal's world. Calgary: Fifth House Ltd., 1998

Biography – Blackfoot

Dempsey, Hugh A. Crowfoot : Chief of the Blackfeet. Edmonton: Hurtig, 1976.

Biography - Siksika

Dempsey, Hugh A. The Amazing death of Calf Shirt and other Blackfoot stories. Calgary: Fifth House Ltd., 1994.

Non-fiction - grades 7-12

Dempsey, Hugh A. Redrow : Warrior Chief. Saskatoon, SK: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1980.

Biography - Blood

Denny, Elizabeth. Jenneli's Dance. Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 2008.

Picture book – Métis

Dominic, Gloria. Song of the Hermit Thrush: an Iroquois Legend. Troll, 2002. Print.

The animals and the birds of the forest hold a contest to choose which will sing a song to greet the day.

Legend - Iroquois
Dorris, Michael. Sees Behind Trees. New York: Scholastic, 1996.

Set in the sixteenth-century America, this richly imagined and gorgeously written rite of passage story has the gravity of a legend.

Fiction – grades 7,8,9
Erdrich, Louis. The Birchbark House. New York: Hyperion, 1999.

Omakayas, a seven year old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

Fiction – grades 4,5,6,7

Erdrich, Louise. The Game of Silence. New York: Harper trophy, 2005.

Nine year old Omakayas, of the Ojibwa tribe, moves West with her family, 1849.

Fiction - grades 4,5,6,7

Erdrich, Louise. The Porcupine Year. Toronto: Harper Trophy Canada, 2008.

Sequel to The Birchbark House and the Game of Silence.

Fiction - grades 4,5,6,7
Falconer, Shelley and Shawna White. Stones, Bones, and Stitches : Storytelling through Inuit Art. Toronto: Tundra Book, 2007.


Goble, Paul. The Gift of the Sacred Dog. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, [?].

In response for a hungry boy's prayer for his people, the Great Spirit sends the gift of the Sacred Dogs, horses, which enable the tribe to hunt for buffalo.

Goble, Paul. The Return of the Buffaloes. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2002.

Based on a Lakota myth in which a mysterious woman returns the buffalo and other animals to the Indian people. A Plains Indian story about famine and renewal of the earth.

Guest, Jacqueline. Belle of Batoche. Victoria: Orca Books, 2004

Fiction – Métis – grades 4-6

Highway, Tomson. Caribou Song. Toronto: Harper Collins, 2001.

Picture book -Cree

Highway, Tomson. Dragonfly Kites. Toronto: Harper Collins, 2002.

Picture book - Cree

Highway, Tomson. Fox on Ice. Toronto: Harper Collins, 2003.

Picture book - Cree

Highway, Tomson. Kiss of the Fur Queen. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1998.

Fiction – Young Adult

Ipellie, Alootook. The Inuit Thought of It : Amazing Arctic Innovations. Toronto: Annick Press, 2007.

Non-fiction – grades 4,5,,6,7

Jones, Guy W., and Sally Moomaw. Lessons from Turtle Island: Native Curriculum in Early Childhood Classrooms. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf, 2002. Print.

Teacher resource.

King, Thomas. Medicine River. Toronto: Penguin, 1991.

Fiction - High School

King, Thomas. A Coyote Solstice Tale. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2009.
Kusugak, Michael. Hide and Sneak. New York: Annick, 1992.

Kusugak, Michael. Northern Lights : Soccer Trails. Toronto: Annick, 1993.

Lafonta, Isabelle. Mikissuk's Secret. Toronto: Scholastic, 2006.

Mikissuk dreams of going hunting on the big dogsled, but her brother says she is too small and not tough enough.

Picture book
Lunge-Larsen, Lise, and Margi Preus. The Legend of the Lady Slipper. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Print. In this re-telling of an Ojibway tale, a girl's act of bravery to save her family leads to the appearance in the world of the delicate and tender flower called the lady slipper.

Picture book

Loewen, Iris. My Kokum Called Today. Winnipeg: Pemmican, 1993.

Picture book

Loewen, James W. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook got wrong. New York: The New, 1995.

Non-fiction – teacher resource

Loyie, Larry. As long as the river flows. Toronto: Groundwoods Books, 2002

Memoir – Set in 1944, it recreates the summer Lawrence Loyie was ten years old, the last summer he spent with his Cree family before a Canadian government program forced him to attend residential school

Grade s 4,5,6,7
Loyie, Larry. The Gathering Tree. Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 2005.

Loyie, Larry, and Constance Brissenden. Goodbye Buffalo Bay. Penticton: Theytus Books, 2008.

Fiction – Juvenile / Residential school
McCain, Becky Ray. Grandmother's Dreamcatcher. Morton Grove, Ill: Albert Whitman, 1998.

While spending a week with her grandmother who, like her, is a Chippewa Indian, Kimmy learns to make a dreamcatcher, which allows the sleeper to have only sweet dreams.

Picture books – Contemporary setting with traditional story
Medicine Crow, Joseph. Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2003.

Non-Fiction - The funny and ever amazing memoir of Joseph Medicine Crow,

trained as a warrior by his grandfather Yellowtail.
Messinger,Carla. When the Shadbush blooms. Berkley, California: Tricycle Press, 2007.

A young Lenni Lenapi Indian child describes her family’s life through the seasons. Includs facts about the Lenni Lenape Indians.

Picture book
Métis: a Glenbow Museum Exhibition. Calgary: Glenbow Museum, 1985.


Meuse, Theresa. The Sharing Circle: stories about First Nations Culture. Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2003.

Discusses Micmac perspectives on the eagle feather, sweetgrass and sage, drum, etc.

Miller, Gloria. The Snapshot. Winnipeg: Pemmican, 2001.

Munsch, Robert, and Michael Kusugak. A Promise is a Promise. Toronto: Annick, 1988.

Picture book – Contemporary setting with traditional story
Murdoch, Patricia. Deep Thinker and the Stars. Toronto: Three Trees Press, 1987.

Picture book

O'Dell, Scott. Sing Down the Moon. New York: Dell, 1970. Print.

Fiction – Juvenile

Olsen, Sylvia. Counting on Hope. Winlaw, BC: Sononis, 2009.


Olsen, Sylvia. No time to say Goodbye. Winlaw, BC: Sononis, 2005.

Fiction – Residential school

Olsen, Sylvia. Yetsa's Sweater. Winlaw, BC: Sononis, 2006.

Picture book

Osofky, Audrey. Dreamcatcher. New York: Orchard Books, 1992. Print.

In the land of the Ojibway a baby sleeps, protected from bad dreams, as the life of the tribe goes on around him.

Picture book
Pelletier, Darrell. Alfred's first day at school. Alfred reading series. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Gabriel Dumont Institute, 1992.

The Alfred reading series is available in Cree, English, French and Michif.

Pelletier, Darrell. Alfred's Summer. Alfred Reading series. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Gabriel Dumont Institute, 1992.

The Alfred Reading Series is available in Cree, English, French and Michif.

Pelletier, Darrell. Lisa and Sam. Alfred reading series. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Gabriel Dumont Institute, 1992.

The Alfred reading series is available in Cree, English, French and Michif.

Pelletier, Darrell. The big storm. Alfred reading series. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Gabriel Dumont Institute, 1992.

The Alfred reading series is available in Cree, English, French and Michif.

Pelletier, Jeanne. The story of the rabbit dance. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007.

Legend – Métis

Pelletier, Jeanne. The Story of the Rabbit Dance. Saskatoon: Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007.

Legend – Métis

Quan, Holly. Native Chiefs & famous Metis. Amazing stories. Canmore,: Attitude Canada, 2003.


Reid, Bill, and Robert Bringhurst. The Raven Steals the Light. 2nd ed. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996.

Legends -Haida Gwaii.

Schultz, James Willard. With the Indians in the Rockies. Saskatoon: Fifth House, 1995.

Fiction- Juvenile/Siksika/Alberta

Silvey, Diane. The kids book of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2005.


Snow, John. These Mountains are Our Sacred Places. Toronto: Samuel Stevens, 1977.

Non-fiction - History of the Nakota/Stoney Indians

Spry, Irene M. The Palliser Expedition. 2nd ed. Calgary: Fifth House Ltd., 1995.

Non-fiction – grades 7-12

Stonechild, Blair. Loyal Till Death. Calgary: Fifth House Ltd., 1997.

Non-fiction - High School resource

The Story of the Blackfoot people. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2001. Glenbow


Non-fiction – grades 1-12
Taylor, Cora. Angelique : Buffalo Hunt. Toronto: Penguin, 2002.

Fiction - Grade 4/Métis

Taylor, Cora. Angelique : The Long Way Home. Toronto: Penguin, 2005.

Fiction - Grade 4/Métis

Taylor, Cora. Victoria Callihoo : an amazing life. Eschia Books, 2008.

Non-fiction – grades 5-8 Early Métis life in Alberta

Tehanetorens (Ray Fadden). Legends of the Iroquois. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Company, 1998.
Tehanetorens(Ray Fadden). Wampum belts of the Iroquois. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Company, 1999.
Tingle, Tim. Crossing Bok Chitto. Cinco Puntos Press, 2006.

In the 1880’s, a Chowtaw girl becomes friends with a slave boy from a plantation across the river, and she learns that his family is in trouble, she helps them cross to freedom.

Picture book - Chawtaw
Trottier, Maxine. By the Standing Stone. Toronto: Stoddard Kids, 2000.

Fiction – grade 7

Yolen, Jane. Encounter. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.

Fiction- Picture book

Picture book - Aboriginal perspective on the arrival of Columbus to San Salador.


  • Guidelines for Recognizing Diversity and Promoting Respect

  • Aboriginal Content Validation

  • American Indians in Children's Literature

  • How to tell the difference – A guide

What To Look For

  1. Is the vocabulary demeaning?
    Are terms like "squaw", "papoose", "chief", "redskin", "savage", "warrior" used?

  1. Do the Indians talk like Tonto or in the noble savage tradition?
    See Indian in the Cupboard and The Legend of Jimmy Spoon for examples.

3. Are the Indians all dressed in the standard buckskin, beads and feathers?

Again, see Indian in the Cupboard, and any book in which any character "dresses

like an Indian".

  1. Are Indians portrayed as an extinct species, with no existence as human beings in contemporary America?
    This is the whole "vanishing Indian" concept.

  1. Is Indian humanness recognized?
    Do animals "become" Indians simply by putting on "Indian" clothes and carrying a bow and arrow? Do children "dress up like Indians" or "play Indian" as if "Indian" was a role that one could assume as one can dress up like doctors or cowboys or baseball players? For comparison, do animals or children also dress up as African- Americans or play Italian?

  1. Do Native Americans appear in alphabet and counting books as objects that are counted?

  1. Do Native American characters have ridiculous imitation "indian" names, such as "Indian Two Feet" OR "Little Chief"?

  1. Is the artwork predominated by generic "Indian" designs? or has the illustrator taken care to reflect the traditions and symbols of the particular people in the book?

  1. Is the history distorted, giving the impression that the white settlers brought civilization to native peoples and improved their way of life? Are terms like massacre, conquest, civilization, customs, superstitions, ignorant, simple, advanced, dialects (instead of languages) used in such a way as to demean native cultures and achievements to indicate the superiority of European ways?

  1. Are Indian characters successful only if they realize the futility of traditional ways and decide to "make it" in white society?

  1. Are white authority figures - teachers, social workers - able to solve the problems of native children that native authority figures have failed to solve? (Are there any native authority figures?)

  1. Are the perceptions of women as subservient drudges present? Or are women shown to be the integral and powerful part of native societies that they are?

  1. Finally and most importantly, is there anything in the book that would make a native American child feel embarrassed or hurt to be what he is? Can the child look at the book and recognize and feel good about what he sees?

List adapted from Stedman, 1982 and Slapin, 1988.

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