People of the Land: Legends of the Four Host First Nations

Contributors:  Aaron Nelson-Moody, Debbie Sparrow, Deborah Jacobs, Gary Fiegehen, Johnny Abraham, and Zach George

Synopsis

The sacred legends of the four host First Nations, the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh, have been passed down from generation to generation through the Elders and are integral to the teachings and oral traditions of First Nations peoples. These stories link people to the land and to each other and pass on traditional knowledge and history. For the first time, these sacred teachings are collected in an anthology of stories willingly shared by the respected storytellers of each nation. These legends, which range from creation stories to naming stories, add to our knowledge of ourselves and each other.

Four maps accompany numerous photos of the lands of the Lil’Wat, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish nations. In addition, works of art by four First Nations artists, Johnny Abraham, Glenn George, Zach George and Aaron Nelson-Moody, appear in this collection. The art, which is beautifully rendered in wood, acrylic, and oil, captures the ancestral voices of these legends and pays tribute to each nation.

Buy Online:  Strong Nations (Gifts, Books, Publishing)

Note: All book synopses are taken from the respective publisher’s website.

The Gift is in the Making: Anishinaabeg Stories

Retold by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Her work breaks open the intersections between politics,  story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. Working for two decades as an independent scholar using Nishnaabeg intellectual practices, Leanne has lectured and taught extensively at universities across Canada and the United States and has twenty years experience with Indigenous land based education. She holds a PhD from the University of Manitoba, and teaches at the Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning in Denendeh.

Synopsis

The Gift Is in the Making retells previously published Anishinaabeg stories, bringing to life Anishinaabeg values and teachings to a new generation. Readers are immersed in a world where all genders are respected, the tiniest being has influence in the world, and unconditional love binds families and communities to each other and to their homeland. Sprinkled with gentle humour and the Anishinaabe language, this collection of stories speaks to children and adults alike, and reminds us of the timelessness of stories that touch the heart. 

Buy Online:  Strong Nations (Gifts, Books, Publishing)

Note: All book synopses are taken from the respective publisher’s website.

Legends and Teachings of Xeel’s, the Creator

Authors:  Dr. Ellen White and Dr. Jo-ann Archibald

Dr. Ellen White, or Kwulasulwut, was a celebrated educator, author, storyteller and medicine woman who believed education is the key to social change and community building. Fittingly, this Snuneymuxw Elder was known as Kwulasulwut, which translates as “many stars.” She was raised by her grandmother on a small Gulf Island outside the residential-school-system catchment. She was taught traditional Coast Salish spirituality and medicine and started to learn midwifery at a young age, at a time when other Indigenous children were being separated from their culture.

A member of the Stó:lo Nation, Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, or Q’um Q’um Xiiem, is described as a visionary and an agent of change and is nationally recognized for creating culturally relevant teacher education and graduate programs for Aboriginal students. During her career of more than 40 years, her work transformed the learning landscape through curriculum and program development, policy, teaching and research.

Synopsis

Snuneymuxw Elder and storyteller Ellen White shares four stories handed down to her from her grandparents and their ancestors. Legends and Teachings of Xeel’s, the Creator contains four short stories centering around themes such as communication, connection, teaching and respect. The stories featured include: “The Creator and the Flea Lady, The Boys Who Became a Killer Whale, The Sockeye That Became a Rainbow, and The Marriage of the Seagull and the Crow.” Each story is accompanied by a companion piece developed by the storyteller Ellen Rice White (Kwulasulwut) which provides cultural context and an explanation of some of the lessons found in each story. 

Buy Online:  Strong Nations (Gifts, Books, Publishing)

Note: All book synopses are taken from the respective publisher’s website.

Coyote Tales of the Northwest

Author:  Thomas George

Thomas George was born in the far north, and raised in BC, George spent each summer on the reserve with his grandmother. From her he gleaned the lore of edible and medicinal plants as well as the stories of spirits and people that inhabit her landscape. He went to live in coastal BC where he gathered stories of the Coast Salish.

Synopsis

Coyote has long been an important symbol and creature in the stories and literature of the Indigenous peoples of BC, WA and OR. A creature of myth and magic emerging from the mist-shrouded forests of the Northwest, Coyote appears as a creator, messenger, hero, trickster, fool or shapeshifter. Always on the lookout for fun, mischief or the opportunity to help humans, Coyote’s encounters with gods, demons and the supernatural bring to life the rich cultural traditions of the Northwest peoples: * Coyote pierces the sky with his arrow and, with the help of Fox, steals fire from the people in the clouds * Trapped inside a large cedar tree, Coyote takes himself apart, putting each body part through an opening in the bark of the tree, then reassembles himself outside * Coyote helps Wolf rescue his wife from her kidnapper, the Great Whale * Once Coyote finished his work on earth, the Great Spirit placed him in a deep slumber; when the world needs him again, he will reappear and render his unique brand of mischief and spiritual rescue. 

Buy Online:  Strong Nations (Gifts, Books, Publishing)

Note: All book synopses are taken from the respective publisher’s website.

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