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Reading Challenge: A Book by an Indigenous Woman

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Our pick for the June book club meeting can also work for this Reading Challenge category. Fatty Legs is the true story of an Inuvialuk girl's experience in a residential school.

Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Liz Amini-Holmes
Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Liz Amini-Holmes

Born Olemaun, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton passed away on April 21, 2021. She was 84 years old. Through this book, readers can learn about what happened to her when she was eight. (When I Was Eight is the edition for younger readers.) Olemaun was determined to learn to read, even though it meant leaving her home in the high Arctic. We'll be discussing her story on June 24 and you're welcome to tune in with your family! You might like to read this tribute to Margaret-Olemaun from the Canadian Children's Book Centre before the meeting.

 

47,000 Beads by Koja Adeyoha, Angel Adeyoha and Holly McGillis
47,000 Beads by Koja Adeyoha, Angel Adeyoha and Holly McGillis 

You can also read a book by a Two-Spirit Indigenous person for this Reading Challenge category. In this picture book, Peyton's family helps her understand what being Two-Spirit means.

 

Blueberry Patch / Meennunyakaa by Jennifer Leason and Norman Chartrand
Blueberry Patch / Meennunyakaa by Jennifer Leason and Norman Chartrand

Collecting blueberries is a traditional gathering that takes place every summer. A delicious dual-language story in English and Anishinaabemowin.

 

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis, Kathy Kacer and Gillian Newland
I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis, Kathy Kacer and Gillian Newland

Jenny Kay Dupuis tells the story of her grandmother's terrible childhood experience. In the 1930s, Irene was forced to leave her family and attend a residential school.

 

The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad and Brock Nicol
The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad and Brock Nicol

A story about the origin of Orange Shirt Day, an important day of remembrance. On her first day at school, Phyllis wore an orange shirt that her Granny had bought for her. But when she got to the school, it was taken away from her and never returned.

 

Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane
Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane

Journey through the history of powwow culture! Discover the meaning of the regalia, songs, dances and food in this nonfiction book.

 

Siha Tooskin Knows the Strength of His Hair
Siha Tooskin Knows series by Charlene Bearhead, Wilson Bearhead and Chloe Bluebird Mustooch

Siha Tooskin learns about growing up in a modern world while staying true to the teachings of his elders.

 

Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith
Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith

This nonfiction book is a good starting point to learn more about residential schools. The past continues to affect the present in awful ways, and we need to understand how and why.

 

The Spirit Trackers by Jan Bourdeau Waboose and François Thisdale
The Spirit Trackers by Jan Bourdeau Waboose and François Thisdale

Tom and Will want to become great trackers like their uncle. One night, loud noises outside wake them and they spot a shadow in the window. Could it be the Windigo, the wandering night spirit of winter?

 

Treaty Words by Aimée Craft and Luke Swinson
Treaty Words by Aimée Craft and Luke Swinson

How do you learn to listen and find your place in the world? What does it mean to honour an agreement to work together? Learn about the importance of treaties from an Indigenous perspective.

 

For more great books by Indigenous writers and illustrators, check out our Read Indigenous list for kids!