Aboriginal Literacy


The materials on this list are for educators, tutors, practitioners and anyone who works with adult Aboriginal literacy students or is interested in Aboriginal literacy for adults.

Every item on this annotated bibliography is available either online or from the Decoda Literacy Library.

Overview

Aboriginal adult literacy: nourishing their learning spirits. (Online resource) 
By Ningwakwe George. Saskatoon, SK: Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, 2008. Available at fneii.ca/NourishingSpirits_LitReview_en_1_.pdf
» This paper offers a review of current peer-reviewed literature by adult education, science and health professionals on Aboriginal education and literacy. The author identifies and describes an Aboriginal worldview reflected in the literature, and examines the implications of this philosophy for literacy and education. Examples of current Aboriginal literacy programming are discussed, along with lessons learned from their practice.

First Nations 101.
Lynda Gray. Vancouver: Adaawx Pub., 2011.
» Overview of the diverse and complex lives of First Nations people with subjects including veterans, youth, urbanization, child welfare, appropriate questions to ask a First Nations person, feminism, the medicine wheel, Two-spirit (LGBTA), residential schools, the land bridge theory, and language preservation. Aims to leave readers with a better understanding of the shared history of First Nations and non-First Nations people.

The holistic/rainbow approach to Aboriginal literacy: work in progress. (Online resource)
Priscilla George. Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation, ON: Ontario Native Literacy Coalition (ONLC), 2001. Available at en.copian.ca/library/research/abo-hol/abo-hol.pdf
» The author developed the Rainbow Approach to Literacy, which uses each colour to represent a different type of aboriginal literacy.

Literacy and Aboriginal Success. (Online resource) 
Movement for Canadian Literacy, 2002. Available at en.copian.ca/library/research/mcl/factsht/aboriginal/page1.htm
» A source of facts and resources about Aboriginal literacy in Canada.

Moving beyond: understanding the impacts of residential school. 
By Brent Stonefish. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2007.
» This book looks at the intergenerational impacts of residential schools on Aboriginal people in Canada. It highlights positive approaches and paths to healing, particularly developing healthy individuals, families, and communities.

A new vision guiding Aboriginal literacy. 
By Ningwakwe George. Southampton, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010.
» This book explores themes and criteria for best practices that contribute to success in literacy for Aboriginal learners. The book includes examples, factors and information about successful Aboriginal literacy programs across Canada.

Position Paper on Aboriginal Literacy. (Online resource) 
Prepared by the National Aboriginal Design Committee, October 2002. Available aten.copian.ca/library/research/position/position.pdf
» This position paper from the NADC outlines the importance of and need for unique Aboriginal approaches to literacy education.

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Literacy Research

Aboriginal adult literacy assessment tool. (Online resource)
Saskatoon, SK: Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy Network, 2011. Available atwww.economy.gov.sk.ca/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?DocID=9119624f-d69a-46b0-9a7a-e05df91c250e&MediaID=8ce05a92-bbe7-442f-9484-9956136210b9&Filename=aboriginal-adult-literacy-assessment-tool.pdf&l=English
» This brochure describes a culturally relevant assessment instrument that assesses workplace literacy skill development.

An analysis of adult Aboriginal literacy levels in Canada. (Online videos)
T. Scott Murray. Calgary, AB: Bow Valley College, 2011. Available at www.youtube.com/channel/UCH_uE18aPQSDjlS_Z4yNo2w
» A Canada-wide analysis of adult Aboriginal literacy levels reported in videos.  There is one set for Canada, and others for each province or territory.  Each location has multiple parts.

Canadian Indigenous People: workplace literacy and essential skills: a survey of Aboriginal workforce/essential skills development programs and recommendations for implementation and delivery. (Online resource)
OARS Training Inc. Winnipeg, MB: National Indigenous Literacy Association, 2005. Available at en.copian.ca/library/research/indigenous/indigenous.pdf.
» A national survey of Aboriginal Workforce/Essential Skills Development Programs was conducted to identify critical success factors in the development, delivery and evaluation of such initiatives.

Forging partnerships, opening doors: community school case studies from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
By Susan Phillips. Kelowna, BC: Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education, 2008.
» The case studies of six Manitoba and Saskatchewan community schools serving high proportions of First Nations and Métis students provide insights regarding community school approaches and success rates.

Literacy and learning: acknowledging Aboriginal holistic approaches to learning in relation to ‘best practices’ literacy training programs: final report. (Online resource)
By Eileen Antone, Peter Gamlin, and Lois Provost-Turchetti. Toronto, ON: OISE, 2003. Available at //en.copian.ca/library/research/aboriglt/finlrprt/finlrprt.pdf
» This research report describes Native literacy as distinct to Aboriginal peoples and identifies some barriers to Aboriginal literacy.

Literacy as a barrier to employment, addressing the literacy needs of Aboriginal people in Ontario: a literature review and discussion paper. (Online resource)
By the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC), 2005. Available at www.nald.ca/library/research/barrier/barrier.pdf
» With background information on issues and resources regarding Aboriginal literacy in Ontario, this paper offers suggestions on how Friendship Centre programs can offer relevant and necessary programming.

Literacy performance of working-age Aboriginal people in Canada: findings based on the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) 2003 report . (Online resource)
By Bagala Biswal. Ottawa, ON: Human Resources and Social Development Canada, 2008. Available at publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2008/hrsdc-rhdsc/HS28-147-2008E.pdf
» This report describes the literacy, numeracy and problem-solving proficiencies of the Aboriginal population between the ages of 16 and 65 in Canada.

Practitioner standards model development project. (Online resource)
Prepared by Kate Thompson for Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, November 2002. Available atwww.nald.ca/library/research/practstn/practstn.pdf
» This research report identifies training requirements of a Native literacy practitioner, and suggests ways to measure skills, abilities and knowledge required to be an effective Native literacy practitioner.

The state of Aboriginal learning in Canada: a holistic approach to measuring success. (Online resource)
By the Canadian Council on Learning. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Council on Learning, 2009. Available at www.ccl-cca.ca/CCL/Reports/StateofAboriginalLearning/index.html
» This paper presents the Holistic Lifelong Learning Measurement Framework based on CCL’s three Holistic Lifelong Learning models. The Framework has 3 components: sources and domains of knowledge, the lifelong learning journey, and community well-being. Indicators for each component contribute to a complete assessment of Aboriginal learning.

Synthesis report of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre’s literature reviews: responsive educational systems. (Online resource)
By Patricia Kovacs. Saskatoon, SK: University of Saskatchewan, Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre, 2009. Available at  www.en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/responsive_edu_system/responsive_edu_system.pdf
» This report looks at emerging principles and promising practices supporting Aboriginal learners, and offers recommendations to support lifelong learning for Aboriginals through responsive education systems.

The transformative nature of culture-based literacy provision in Native literacy programs. (Online resource)
By Nancy Cooper. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto, 2005. Available atwww.en.copian.ca/library/research/cooper/cooper.pdf
» Cooper conducted open-ended interviews with Native literacy practitioners in Ontario programs where culture and cultural teachings are the starting point. Discusses how this kind of learning approach/environment may transform both the learner and the practitioner.

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Family Literacy

Aboriginal literacy and parenting skills (A.-L.A.P.S.): facilitators’ guide & participants’ material.
By Laureen MacKenzie and Elaine Cairns. Calgary, AB: Bow Valley College, 1998.
» This program includes topics on Aboriginal culture and spirituality along with the curriculum for improving parents’ literacy skills and supporting good literacy practices for their children.

Aboriginal PALS family literacy resource.
Gail Stromquist & Janet Stromquist. Vancouver, BC: 2010 Legacies Now, 2010.
» Adapted from the Parents as Literacy Supporters (PALS) program, this resource presents a framework for developing a family literacy program for families with preschool and kindergarten children in Aboriginal communities. Based on indigenous ways of knowing, and developed in consultation with elders, the resource includes feature poems for each of the seven sessions, as well as suggested learning centres with accompanying support materials. Designed to be used in conjunction with Aboriginal PALS training.

BC First Nations Head Start On-Reserve Program. (Website)
Available at www.bcfnhs.org/
» This website describes the Health Canada funded program to enhance early childhood development, school readiness and overall family health for First Nations preschool children on reserve.

Completing the circle: teaching our first teachers – literacy and learning for Aboriginal families (LLAF).
By the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition. Owen Sound, ON: Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, 2008.
» Based on the A-LAPS Program, this is a flexible course designed for Aboriginal adults who want to help their children’s literacy development and who are interested in talking about their parenting skills. It includes detailed notes and a full set of handouts. Read a review at www.elmoreviews.ca/product_view.php?id=425

Foundational training in family literacy: practitioner’s resource.
Project manager, Maureen Sanders; project co-ordinators, Yvon Laberge, Janet Shively. Edmonton, AB: Centre for Family Literacy Society of Alberta, 2002.
» Appendix: Family literacy through Aboriginal eyes by Priscilla George.

Nurturing the good mind: a discussion paper on aboriginal family literacy & the Friendship Centre Movement.
Produced by the National Association of Friendship Centres. Ottawa, ON: National Association of Friendship Centres, 2006. Also available online at www.en.copian.ca/library/research/nafc/nurturing/nurturing.pdf
» This paper supports the development of family literacy strategies and cross-cultural models for Friendship Centres.

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Workplace & Essential Skills

An Aboriginal Essential Skills journey: planting the seeds for growth: facilitator guide and participant workbook. 
Pam Tetarenko et al. New Westminster, BC: Douglas College, 2010. Also available online atwww.en.copian.ca/library/learning/aboriginal_journey/guide/guide.pdf and
www.nald.ca/library/learning/aboriginal_journey/workbook/workbook.pdf
» This resource contains the materials for presenting a workshop on Essential Skills for Aboriginal participants. It is an attempt to make Essential Skills more relevant to Aboriginal peoples by incorporating an Aboriginal world view (themes, learning styles, contexts and experiences).

Are you ready to mind your own business?
By Narda Kathaleen Iulg. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010.
» The manual is designed to help prepare people so that they know what is involved in opening and running a business.

Canadian Indigenous People: workplace literacy and essential skills: a survey of Aboriginal workforce/essential skills development programs and recommendations for implementation and delivery. (Online resource)
OARS Training Inc. Winnipeg, MB: National Indigenous Literacy Association, 2005. Available atwww.en.copian.ca/library/research/indigenous/cover.htm
» A national survey of Aboriginal Workforce/Essential Skills Development Programs was conducted to identify critical success factors in the development, delivery and evaluation of such initiatives.

Careers in the skilled trades: a resource for Aboriginal people.
By Jennifer David. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2008.
» This handbook is designed as a guide through the information and steps needed to make an informed decision about apprenticeships. It looks at the possible jobs available in skilled trades, how to train for the jobs, and what to expect as part of an apprenticeship program.

A critical analysis of the HRSDC Essential Skills project from an Aboriginal human capital development perspective.
Prepared by Storytellers’ Foundation I partnership with Dr. Adrian Blunt and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. Hazelton, BC: Storytellers’ Foundation, 2006.
» This resource reports on a study to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Essential Skills Research Project (ESRP) as a human capital development strategy to support increased inclusion, participation and advancement of Aboriginal persons in the labour market and local economies. Policy and research recommendations are made.

Essential skills for Aboriginal futures. (DVD)
Marion Wilson-Brown, producer. New Westminster, BC: ACCESS, 2009.
» A program designed to help Aboriginal People gain valuable essential skills, which are the foundation for learning all other skills needed for work, learning and life. The ESAF staff work closely with employer partners to create and emphasize lesson plans specific to job requirements.

Fill it in: working with forms for Aboriginal students.
Christianna Jones. Owen Sound, ON : Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2009.
» The workbook contains paper-based and internet forms that touch on work, personal and school life. A glossary of terms commonly used on forms is included.

Winning in your workplace for Aboriginal employees.
By Ningwakwe (E. Priscilla) George. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2008.
» “The content should interest students that are either transitioning into the workplace or seeking career guidance. The book explains some Aboriginal teachings as they apply to new work situations.” –Intro. Read a review atwww.elmoreviews.ca/product_view.php?id=309 .

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Instructor & Tutor Materials

An Aboriginal Essential Skills journey: planting the seeds for growth: facilitator guide and participant workbook .
Pam Tetarenko et al. New Westminster, BC: Douglas College, 2010. Also available online atwww.en.copian.ca/library/learning/aboriginal_journey/guide/guide.pdf and
www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/aboriginal_journey/workbook/workbook.pdf
» This resource contains the materials for presenting a workshop on Essential Skills for Aboriginal participants. It is an attempt to make Essential Skills more relevant to Aboriginal peoples by incorporating an Aboriginal world view (themes, learning styles, contexts and experiences).

Aboriginal literacy curriculum toolbox: cultural philosophy, curriculum design & strategies for self-directed learning.
By Janice Brant. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2006.
» Intended for literacy practitioners interested in fostering a learner centred approach to literacy learning and curriculum delivery. Chapters provide a cultural philosophy, ideas for increasing the participation of individuals, techniques to help build group cohesion, guidelines for designing culture based curriculum, and evaluation techniques.

Addressing learning disabilities with the medicine wheel. (DVD)
Lisa Fisher & Barb Busalacchi. Mount Currie, BC: Ts’zil Learning Centre, 2011. Also available online at Also available online at decoda.ca/resources/rsc-adults/rsc-adults-barriers/rsc-adults-barriers-learning/addressing-learning-disabilities-with-the-medicine-wheel/
» This DVD shows how the Ts-zil Learning Centre uses the four elements of the medicine wheel to address the needs of First Nations students with learning disabilities.

Annotated bibliography of Aboriginal books : preschool to adult, Vols. I & II.
NWT Literacy Council, 2006 and 2008. Also available online at www.en.copian.ca/library/research/biblio06/cover.htmwww.nald.ca/library/research/biblio08/cover.htm
» This annotated list of selected Aboriginal literature includes symbols identifying the origins of the material, the appropriate age level, language, a brief synopsis of each story, and bibliographic information.

Assessing literacy reading levels: evaluating Aboriginal literacy materials.
By Nancy Cooper. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2009. Also available online atwww.nald.ca/library/learning/ningwakwe/assessing/assessing.pdf
» This manual was developed to provide an easy and versatile tool to assess reading levels of Ningwakwe Learning Press resources.

Catching our breath: Collaborative reflection-on-action in remote-rural BC.
By Anne Docherty. Vancouver, BC: RiPAL-BC, 2006.
» This report is designed for the literacy practitioner who teaches and/or supports literacy in the same remote-rural and/or aboriginal community in which they live. It discusses the usefulness of the collaborative reflection-on-action approach.

Circle works: transforming aboriginal literacy.
By Fyre Jean Graveline. Southampton, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2011.
» The Circle Works Teaching Model is a method of teaching and learning based on ancestral Aboriginal philosophies, meant to be culturally-specific for Aboriginal learners. This manual provides strategies and methods intended for educators in an adult literacy setting. The teacher is seen as the healer, whose role is to make whole or find balance. Learners are encouraged to find their voices and express through ways like storytelling, myth, song, meditation, and art.

Common assessment in the native literacy field.
By Christiann Jones, Kate Thompson and Pat Powell. Owen Sound, ON: Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, 2001. Also available online at www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/comass/comass.PDF
» Material on common methods of assessment, presented at a training conference for Ontario Native Literacy practitioners.

Empowering the learner: native literacy workbook.
Brian Hawker & Kateri Akiwezie-Damm. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Clearing House, 2000.
» Workbook to accompany “Empowering the spirit”.

Empowering the learner 2: native literacy workbook. New edition.
Brian Hawker. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Clearing House, 2005.
» The 30 lessons provide exercises in writing and grammar that are coordinated with the readings from Empowering the spirit II: native literacy curriculum.

Empowering the spirit: native literacy curricula.
Developed by Kateri Akiwenzie Damm. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwangke Clearinghouse, 1997.
» The curriculum was developed to assist Native Literacy Coordinators and tutors in providing appropriate materials for native learners at various ages and levels of literacy.

Empowering the spirit II: native literacy curriculum.
Mary Elliott, Deana Halonen, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm; edited by Suzanne Methot, Priscilla George. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Clearing House, 2004.
» Updated in 2004, this edition contains more cultural support for teachers and practitioners.

Feathers of freedom: adult literacy workbook.
Written by Sharon Bannon. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2002.
» This workbook combines Aboriginal legends, cultural teaching and biographies with literacy lessons. Focuses on issues and concerns that may be relevant to Aboriginal inmates and parolees of correctional institutions.

Fill it in: working with forms for Aboriginal students.
By Christianna Jones. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2009.
» The workbook contains paper-based and internet forms that touch on work, personal and school life. A glossary of terms commonly used on forms is included.

Fire and water: original teachings & today’s duties: Ojibwe creation story literacy companion.
By Nancy Cooper. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2009.
» This resource will encourage learners to be self directed learners and take initiative for interviewing each other and various members of the community. It is assumed that the learner will be working individually with a tutor who is familiar with the skills and challenges of the learner, or with a group working on skills development.

First Nations literacy theme units: an instructor’s guide.
Written by Carmen Rodrigues, et al. Burnaby, BC: Open Learning Agency, 1996. Also available online atwww.nald.ca/library/learning/firstnat/cover.htm
» A workbook designed for B.C First Nations groups involved in projects to raise literacy skills.

Listening to Mother Earth & Father Sky: teachings for urban aboriginals.
Michele Graveline. Southampton, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2012.
» This book describes the relationship between people and the Natural World as one family, in which all of earth’s creatures share the same Mother (Nature) and Father (Sky). Teachings from the Inuit, First Nation, and Métis groups are referred to in the book, including the acknowledgement of the four elements (air, fire, water, earth) and four gifts (of mind, spirit, heart, and body).

Practitioner’s Aboriginal literacy resource: a program for a holistic ecology of aboriginal literacy. (Online resource)
Kristian Ursta & Marla M. Pryce. Merritt, BC: Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, 2009. Available atwww.nvit.ca/docs/3%20practitioners%20resource.pdf
» Based on the “Indigenizing Framework for Aboriginal Literacy”, this guide gives a brief overview of literacy, educational strategies and learning outcomes. It outlines eight indigenization strategies for teaching literacy to Aboriginal learners, illustrated by examples. And, it explains the components of an integrated program of a holistic ecology of Aboriginal literacy.

Reaching the rainbow: Aboriginal literacy in Canada. (Kit)
By Priscilla George. Yorkton, SK: Parkland Regional College, 1998.
» An information kit to serve as a starting point when planning to set up an Aboriginal literacy program, or adding Aboriginal literacy to existing programs.

Real math for real people: Workbook 2 & Teacher’s guide
Lesa Mt. Pleasant. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2001.
» These two items contain mathematical problems and exercises that focus on Aboriginal culture and traditions.

Sinew & sage: aboriginal literacy workbooks 1, 2, 3 & 4.
Melanie Ferris. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2007.
» These four workbooks offer exercises to help learn literacy skills while focusing on themes of Aboriginal culture.

The story of the seven fires. (Video and manual)
By Sally Gaikezheyongai. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2002.
» The video is an edited version of the Seven Fires story as told to a live audience. The manual contains extra materials and suggestions for learning activities.

Unipkausivut: building language and literacy skills through oral history. 
By Nunavut Literacy Council, 2004. Also available atwww.nunavutliteracy.ca/english/resource/unipkausivut/unip.pdf
» Primarily a resource for educators, Unipkausivut also contains many insights from various people, including Elders, on the importance of: storytelling and culture, language and literacy, and building language and literacy skills.

A whole-system approach to designing and developing aboriginal culture-based literacy curriculum program lesson plans.
Compiled and written by Ken Hill. East Owen Sound, ON: Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, 2001. Also available online at www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/onlc/cover.htm
» The purpose of the manual is to assist Native literacy practitioners in the design and development of their own educational systems that are holistic, culture-based and community-based.

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Learner Materials

As long as the rivers flow.
Larry Loyie ; with Constance Brissenden ; illustrations by Heather D. Holmlund. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books, 2002.
» The writer describes his childhood during the summer of 1944, just prior to entering a residential school.

B is for basketball: an all Native alphabet book.
By the teachers and students of School District 50; illustrated by Judy Hilgemann. Vancouver, BC: McKelllar & Martin, 2011.
» This is the official book of the 2011 All Native Basketball Tournament. Created in collaboration with the students and teachers of School District No. 50 on Haida Gwaii.

Creations from the heart: Native crafts and learning activities.
By Jameson C. Brant. Owen Sound, ON : Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2006.
» Provides interesting and straightforward “how-to” learning activities based on traditional arts and crafts of several First Nations in different regions of Ontario. Each craft requires learners to use and build both literacy and numeracy skills.

The gathering tree.
By Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden. Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 2005.
» This book is a gentle positive story of a family facing HIV, told in a rural First Nations setting.

Glimpses of who we are: a collection of Aboriginal writings, Vol. 1.
Edited and managed by Phyllis Steeves. Edmonton, AB: Learning at the Centre Press, 2002.
» This is an easy to read collection of stories, songs and poems written by Aboriginal Canadians. “Points of departure for teaching and learning with Glimpses of who we are” is a separate study manual.

The Haida.
By Jennifer Nault. Calgary, AB: Weigl, 2008.
» This book recounts the history of the Haida people, including traditional ways of life, religious beliefs, celebrations and artwork through words, recipes, and activities. Intended for adult readers. Read a review atwww.elmoreviews.ca/product_view.php?id=310

Healthy Aboriginal Network graphic novels.

  • Darkness calls. (Graphic novel)
    By Steven Keewatin Sanderson. Vancouver, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2008.
    » Even though Kyle has tremendous artistic talent and the support of a good friend, he finds life overwhelming and considers taking his own life.
  • Drawing hope. (Graphic novel)
    By Brandon Mitchell. Vancouver, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2011.
    » A collection of five stories about living with FASD, based on stories told by members of the Whitecrow Village community.
  • Droppin’ the flag. (Graphic novel)
    By Steven Keewatin Sanderson et al. Courtenay, Bc: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2011.
    » This is the story of Gary, his difficult early years, his gang involvement, and his experience leaving the gang and integrating back into the community. The graphic novel was tested with gang youth who found it credible. Library holdings are the school version.
  • An invited threat: diabetes prevention comic book. (Graphic novel)
    By Steven Keewatin Sanderson. Vancouver, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2008.
    » This diabetes prevention comic book is about a young boy and what he likes to eat more than anything – junk food. The story was focus group tested with youth and health professionals for its ability to convey the idea of what is, and what is not, healthy food.
  • Just a story. (Graphic novel)
    By Steven Keewatin Sanderson. Vancouver, BC : Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2009.
    » This is a story about Wendy and Adam, two kids who learn through the support of others to manage their stress and anger despite their parents fighting.
  • Kiss me deadly. (Graphic novel) 
    Richard Van Camp, writer; Chris Auchter, pencils, inks, lettering and front cover. Courtnay, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2011.
    » This graphic novel focuses on a variety of issues around sexual health, discussed from the point of view of a diverse group of First Nations friends, lovers, and relatives. Topics range from respect and communication in relationships, to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, two-spirit people and sexual health as a career or youth led project.
  • It takes a village. (Graphic novel)
    By Zoe Hopkins, Amancay Nahuelpan, ill. Courtenay, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2012.
    » This graphic novel tells the story of Lara, a young pregnant woman. She learns about how to take care of herself and provide the best possible start for her baby when the woman Danis comes to visit. Lara learns about eating healthy foods, avoiding alcohol, breastfeeding, keeping the baby’s father involved, and bonding with her baby.
  • Level up. (Graphic novel)
    By Steven Keewatin Sanderson. Vancouver, BC : Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2008.
    »  Terry is not interested in school. His family does not react well when he announces his decision to quit, and a trip to visit his cousin, a video game designer, changes his mind.
  • Lighting up the darkness. (Graphic novel)
    By Steve Keewatin Sanderson. Vancouver, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2011.
    » A youth in care comic. Jenny returns to her community after living in the city with her aunt and uncle. While visiting family, she has a series of painful flashbacks to when she was a little girl.
  • On the turn. (Graphic novel)
    By Jay Odjick and Patrick Tenascon. Vancouver, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2007.
    » This is the story of a teenaged girl who, after moving from the reserve to a strange city, becomes addicted to gambling. She seeks help through the friendship centre where she finds acceptance and guidance. Read a review at elmoreviews.ca/product_view.php?id=427
  • Path of the warrior. (Graphic novel)
    Richard Van Camp, writer; Steven Keewatin Sanderson, artist. Vancouver, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2009.
    » A sports/gang awareness comic. In Path of the Warrior, Cullen gets rolled out of his gang and is forced to reconnect with his family and community. Team sports, his community and culture become his new support system.
  • River run. (Graphic novel)Brandon Mitchell. Vancouver, BC: Healthy Aboriginal Network, 2010.
    » The story of a group of youth that learn the traditional use of tobacco while on a canoe trip. One of the youth, who smokes, gets her world opened up along the way.

Healthy life series.
Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Press.

  • Choosing life: Bobby’s story.
    By Gilles Pinette, 2002.
    » This is an emotional story about a First Nations youth struggling with his friend’s suicide. It includes warning signs and what to do if you know someone is suicidal. The story was written and field tested to be believable. This learning resource is told in the form of a story, according to First Nation tradition.
  • Diabetes and diet: Ivan’s story.
    By Gilles Pinette, 2002.
    » Ivan is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He learns with help from a number of people to successfully manage his diabetes.
  • Emotional wellness: Mary’s story.
    By Dr. George S. Renfrey, 2007.
    » Mary starts to recognize the signs of stress creeping into her life once more. This learning resource about emotional well-being is told in the form of a story, according to First Nations tradition.
  • Healthy pregnancy: Jenny’s story.
    By Gilles Pinette, 2002.
    » A young couple wants to have a healthy baby. Jenny learns to stay healthy in all areas of the Medicine Wheel in order to give their baby the best start in life. The story was written and field tested to be believable. This learning resource is told in the form of a story, according to First Nations tradition.
  • HIV/AIDS awareness: Sage’s story.
    Martha Troian, 2011.
    » This book teaches about HIV/AIDS through the fictional story of Sage, a young woman who is tested positive for HIV. Facts about HIV/AIDS are included throughout the book. This learning resource is told in the form of a story, according to First Nation tradition.
  • Understanding cancer: Mishoo’s story.
    By John Rice, 2008.
    » A grandfather explains to his granddaughter the dangers of cancer and ways to cope. It was written and field tested to be an authentic learning story. This learning resource is told in the form of a story, according to First Nations tradition.

Journeys of the spirit III: a collection of writings by Aboriginal literacy students.
Southampton, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2007.
» This book is a compilation of works aiming to enhance and promote a greater understanding of the issues facing Aboriginal people. A teacher’s guide www.nald.ca/library/learning/ningwakwe/spirit_teacher/spirit_teacher.pdfand student activities www.nald.ca/library/learning/ningwakwe/spirit_student/spirit_student.pdf are available online.

Just reach out: back to high school transition guide for Aboriginal students.
By Fyre Jean Graveline, Michele Graveline and Amber Graveline. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2009.
» This guide is for high school students who are continuing through high school, returning to high school, or relocating to a new program outside of their home community. It is based on bringing Aboriginal ways of life, learning, and sharing into everyday life.

Laughter is good medicine: Don Burnstick.
By Waubgeshig Rice. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2009.
» This book is a biography of Don Burnstick, an Aboriginal comedian who uses humour and performance to provide a holistic approach to healing.

Meet a dentist: Dennis Hewitt.
Meet a journalist: Waubgeshig Rice.
Meet a music industry professional: Alan Greyeyes.
Meet a musician: Derek Miller.
Meet a police officer: the Mueller sisters.
Meet a veterinarian: Candace Grier-Lowe.
By Kim Ziervogel. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Leaning Press, 2007.
» This series of booklets showcases young Canadian Aboriginals engaged in interesting careers. Read a review atwww.elmoreviews.ca/product_view.php?id=285 .

Ningwakwe’s ABC book: Aboriginal illustrations of the alphabet.
Illustrated by Doug Maracle. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2001.
» The alphabet is illustrated with images significant to Aboriginal culture.

A place all my own.
By the Ontario Native Literacy Coalition. Owen Sound, ON: Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, 2007. Also available online at www.nald.ca/library/learning/place/cover.htm
» A collection of creative work by Aboriginal youth from Inuvik, Northwest Territories

Roast moose & rosaries: Fred & Mary’s story.
Written by Fred and Mary Courtoreille, with Terrance Armstrong. Moberly Lake, BC: Twin Sister Publishing, 1997.
» This book reveals the life experiences of two Cree elders, Mary and Fred Courtoreille, between 1910 and 1930. Reminiscences include experiences in residential schools and the experience of growing up on the land. A separate teacher’s guide is available.

The Salish.
By Christine Webster. Calgary, AB: Weigl, 2008.
» This book recounts the history of the Salish people of Canada, including traditional way of life, religious beliefs, celebrations, and artwork. Intended for young adult or new adult readers, this book is written at approximately a grade four level. Read a review at www.elmoreviews.ca/product_view.php?id=311

SGang Gwaay.
By Annalise Bekkering. Calgary, AB: Weigl, 2008.
» This book offers a look into the BC island village SGang Gwaay Linagaay, home to the Kunghit Haida people for more than 2,000 years.

Shishalh stories : a literacy reader.
Collected and edited by Kelly Toneatto ; illustrated by Roman Joe. Victoria, B.C.: BC Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1997.
» An English language collection of the Shishalh (Sechelt) Nation’s myths, legends, and traditional stories. Seventeen story segments are divided into 4 sections: a word list, vocabulary, story, and story questions.

Stray dog moccasins.
Marilyn Dumont. Southampton, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2009.
» This is the story of Wryly, a young Métis man surviving on the streets of Edmonton while chasing his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Wryly’s easy to read story brings you inside a contemporary urban Aboriginal world.

Stepping up: a personal guide to being an involved citizen in a First Nation community.
Written by Jody Kechego, edited by Marilyn Dumont and Jo Calvert. Southampton, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2011.
» The author shares his personal journey to becoming an effective citizen in a First Nation community.

Sweetness in life: the diabetes story. (4 DVDs)
By Doug Cuthand and Tasha Hubbard. Kelowna, BC: Filmwest Associates, 2007.
» This series features knowledgeable and enthusiastic hosts, healthy eating, physical activities, community profiles, and interviews. Series has 13 episodes, 24 minutes each.

Success in your studies for Aboriginal students: a reference for the Rez-ed of us!
By Brent Stonefish. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2007.
» This handbook, aimed at First Nations post-secondary students, discusses student life. Topics include academics, techniques for managing time and stress, financial aid, and social, family, health and personal well-being.

Zaagidiwin is a many splendoured thing: love, laughter, and learning stories from Aboriginal writers.
Forward by Drew Hayden-Taylor. Owen Sound, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2008.
» This is a collection of writings by Aboriginal writers that highlights some of the joys and pains of love.

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Last updated: July 2012