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Monthly Resources

September, October, November

September  

Indigenous Resources

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This Place: 150 Years Retold 

Graphic Novel that can be used with Div 2-4. Students enjoy this as a silent reading book or can be used for guided lessons. 
 

Excerpt: 

Explore the last 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in the graphic novel anthology, This Place: 150 Years Retold.
Watch for new stories and familiar characters:

  • Métis businesswoman Annie Bannatyne and Louis Riel

  • Oka Crisis, Meech Lake Accord, and Kelowna Accord

  • the Berger Inquiry into the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline

  • Jack Fiddler, an Anishinaabe shaman charged as a serial killer

  • Rosie, an Inuk girl coming of age during WWII

  • wâpanacâhkos, an Indigenous woman sent back from the future to the early 2000s

  • fishing raids and salmon wars in Listuguj, Quebec

  • Francis Pegahmagabow, WWI sniper and veterans' rights activist

  • the impact of the Sixties Scoop and the child welfare system

  • Chief Billy Assu and the potlatch bans in British Columbia

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts' New Chapter initiative. With this $35M initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

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The Outside Circle By: Patti LaBoucane-Benson

This Graphic novel is a deep look at the dark world of gang violence and how balance can be found by following the sacred teachings. Due to the mature content, it would be recommended for mature Div 3 students and Div 4 students. ** There is some violence and profanity. 

Excerpt: 

Winner, CODE’s 2016 Burt Award for First Nation, Inuit and Métis Literature

In this important graphic novel, two Aboriginal brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.

Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional Aboriginal healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author’s twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Aboriginal men.

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The Inconvenient Indian By: Thomas King

Adult reading or Div 4 student independent reading. 

Excerpt: The Inconvenient Indian is at once a “history” and the complete subversion of a history—in short, a critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be “Indian” in North America.
 
Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, this book distills the insights gleaned from that meditation, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.
 
This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope -- a sometimes inconvenient, but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.

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Potlach as Pedagogy: Learning Through Ceremony

Sara Florence Davidon and Robert Davidson

Teacher PD Resource

Excerpt: In 1884, the Canadian government enacted a ban on the potlatch, the foundational ceremony of the Haida people. The tradition, which determined social structure, transmitted cultural knowledge, and redistributed wealth, was seen as a cultural impediment to the government’s aim of assimilation.

The tradition did not die, however; the knowledge of the ceremony was kept alive by the Elders through other events until the ban was lifted. In 1969, a potlatch was held. The occasion: the raising of a totem pole carved by Robert Davidson, the first the community had seen in close to 80 years. From then on, the community publicly reclaimed, from the Elders who remained to share it, the knowledge that has almost been lost.
 
Sara Florence Davidson, Robert’s daughter, would become an educator. Over the course of her own education, she came to see how the traditions of the Haida practiced by her father—holistic, built on relationships, practical, and continuous—could be integrated into contemporary educational practices. From this realization came the roots for this book.

Some Classroom Ideas

 October: Mental Health

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Self-Reg: How to help your child (and you) break the stress cycle and successfully engage with life By: Dr. Stuart Shanker

This is a resource for both teachers and parents as it walks you through the importance of self regulation and mindfulness. 

Excerpt: There’s no such thing as a bad kid. That’s what a lifetime of experience has taught Dr. Stuart Shanker. No matter how difficult, out of control, distracted, or exhausted a child might seem, there’s a way forward: self-regulation. Overturning decades of conventional wisdom, this radical new technique allows children and the adults who care for them to regain their composure and peace of mind.

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Project Semicolon: your story isn't over With Amy Bleuel

This is a collection of essays and photos for adults and students alike. It is recommended to be used with Div 3 and higher. It focuses real-life stories of those who suffered mental health issues and on suicide awareness.

Excerpt: For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If You Feel Too Much, this collection from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon features stories and photos from those struggling with mental illness.

Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on.

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Ish By: Peter Reynolds

Picture Book that can be used in Div 1 and some Div 2 classes. Encourages students to not worry about being perfect. 

Excerpt: A creative spirit learns that thinking "ish-ly" is far more wonderful than "getting it right" in this gentle new fable from the creator of the award-winning picture book THE DOT.

Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere.

Drawing is what Ramon does. It¹s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon's older brother, Leon, turns Ramon's carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just "right." Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.

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The Most Magnificent Thing By: Ashley Spires

A picture book that can be used with Div 1, 2, and some 3 classes. This book follows the trials and tribulations of creating something new and shows some healthy coping strategies such as deep breath and taking a break. 

Excerpt:Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

November Resources - Poverty

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Those Shoes By: Maribeth Boelts

A picture book that can be used with Div 1, and 2 classes. This book shares the struggles of poverty in an approachable way for children.

Excerpt:

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes like the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy's grandma says they don't have room for "want," just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that's the wrong size. But sore feet aren't much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has - warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend - are worth more than the things he wants.

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Milo Imagines the World By: Matt de La Pená

A picture book that can be used with Div 1, 2 and 3 classes. This book shares the perspective of Milo on the way to visit his dad. During his trip he imagines the lives of the people he sees including an affluent-looking boy who is the same age. In the end, it turns out the kids are going to the same place, to visit a love one who is incarcerated. It will be a good conversation starter for not judging a book by its cover. 

Excerpt:

The team behind the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book Last Stop on Market Street and the award-winning New York Times bestseller Carmela Full of Wishes once again delivers a poignant and timely picture book that’s sure to become an instant classic.

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There’s the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There’s the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there’s the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo–walking the same path, going to the exact same place–Milo realizes that you can’t really know anyone just by looking at them.

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The Impacts of Poverty By: Inspiring Educators

A podcast for educators based in the United States. 

Excerpt:

Approximately one in five children in the United States live in poverty, according to the American Psychological Association, a status that affects more than housing status and food supply. Children from low-income families face increased risk factors in their educational life. Poverty affects student brain development, relationships with peers and the ability to complete a formal education. All of this means that teachers are faced with instructional challenges that go beyond students' desires to learn. On this episode we discuss the impacts of poverty.

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No Fixed Adress* By: Susin Nielsen

A novel for Div 2-4 about the life of student who faces homelessness and coping with attending school. 

Excerpt:

12-and-three-quarter-year-old Felix Knutsson has a knack for trivia, and his favorite game show is Who What Where When; he’s even named his gerbil after the host. His mom Astrid is loving, but can’t hold onto a job. When they get evicted from their latest apartment, they move into a Westfalia van. Astrid swears him to secrecy; he can’t tell anyone about their living arrangement, not even Dylan and Winnie, his best friends at his new school. If he does, she warns him, he’ll be taken away from her and placed into foster care.

As their circumstances go from bad to worse, Felix gets a chance to audition for a junior edition of Who What Where When. He is determined to get a spot on the show. Winning the cash prize could make everything okay again. But what happens isn’t what he expects…