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Cleaver, Elizabeth; Cleaver, Elizabeth, illus. The Enchanted Caribou. New York, NY: Atheneum; 1985. 31 pages. (lower elementary).

In this retelling of a traditonal story, a young woman is transformed into a white caribou and then back into a human being. No source for the legend or specific tribe is cited in this work. Included in the book are patterns for puppet figures and instructions for a theater. Illustrated with photographs of a shadow-puppet screen.


Ashwell, Reg; Thorton, J. M., illus. Indian Tribes of the Northwest. North Vancouver, B.C.: Hancock House; 1989, 1977. 64 pages. (secondary).

This book consists of one- and two-page descriptions of traditional lifeways and cultures of various American Indian groups in British Columbia. Illustrated with archival photographs and line drawings.

Boiteau, Denise; Stansfield, David. Early Peoples: A History of Canada. Markham, Ontario, Canada: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd.; 1988. 64 pages. (upper elementary) *.

Based on the first three programs of the Canadian television series, "Origins," which explores the history of the peoples of Canada up to 1885, the book is divided into three chapters: "A New World," "The First Nations," and "Lost Civilizations." Each chapter includes several units that begin with questions to consider and end with creative research activities and discussion questions. This book clearly explains the differences between evolution and creation, and asserts that these theories do not oppose one another.

Brandt, Keith; Guzzi, George illus. Indian Homes. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates; 1985. 30 pages. (lower elementary).

This book describes the house types of various regions (Plains, Woodlands, Southeast, Southwest) and the factors that influenced the types of housing: climate; building materials; length of time dwelling was used; tribal customs; and lifeways. There is no discussion on contemporary housing nor the roles of the above factors for Indians today. The book contains generalizations such as: "A belief shared by all tribes was...."

Brandt, Keith; Guzzi, George, illus. Indian Festivals. Mahwah, NJ: Troll Associates; 1985. 30 pages. (lower elementary) ?

This book gives brief descriptions the festivals held by Amereican Indians in the Eastern Woodlands (Iroquois, Algonquian), Southeast (Muskogee), Plains, Southwest (Pueblo), California and Northwest Coast regions. The book uses the term "braves," and includes generalizations and stereotypes about Native peoples, such as "The Indians who lived in California did not hunt or farm. They lived entirely on acorns that were gathered from trees. But while their lives were easy and peaceful, their festivals were almost totally concerned with death."

Brown, Vinson. Native Americans of the Pacific Coast. Published as Peoples of the Sea by MacMillan (1977) ed. Happy Camp, CA: Naturegraph Publishers; 1985. 272 pages. (secondary).

The book describes lifeways (social organization, economy, religion) of selected tribes from the four culture areas along the Pacific Coast (Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, and California) during the period 1500--1700. Nine of the eighteen descriptions are followed by fictional stories intended to give the spirit and essence of the people. The author runs a risk inherent to fictionalizing about past societies---that of attributing thoughts and actions to the characters that may be alien or unlikely for people in that society. In one story, a young Kwakuitl girl questions the violence of one of her tribe's rituals. This pairing of fictional opinion with fact might lead the reader to feel that all aspects of the story are culturally accurate. Unfortunately, this combination of lists of facts with fictional stories fails to coalesce into a comprehensible introduction to the many cultures described. Lengthy appendices list Pacific Coast languages, material culture, and religious and social elements of each group. Includes a useful bibliography.

Lund, Annabel; Kelley, Mark, photog. Heartbeat: World Eskimo Indian Olympics. Juneau, AK: Fairweather Press; 1986. 120 pages. (secondary) *

The World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO) are competitions and demonstrations of Alaska Native music, dances, and games that have been held annually for over 30 years. In this unique festival, six Alaska Native groups are represented as they demonstrate and compete in traditional activities such as seal skinning, the blanket toss, the high kick, kayak races, and dances. This book documents the 1985 games---focuses on many individuals involved in organizing and participating in the games---and includes descriptions of each of the sporting events and dances. Much information on contemporary Alaska Indians and Eskimos is included in descriptions of people and places involved. The many black-and-white photographs of participants evoke the atmosphere of the games.

Morgan, Lael ed.; Morgan, Lael, photog. Alaska's Native People. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Geographic Society; 1979. 302 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).

This lavishly illustrated book from the Alaska Geographic Society "attempts to explain, in a few words, a few maps, and a lot of pictures, just who and where are the many vastly differing 'Native peoples' of Alaska." Organized into sections on the Inupiat; the Yup'ik; the Aleut; the Koniag, Chugach, and Eyak; the Athabascan; the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, the book also includes a section on urban Natives. The book gives useful background information and encourages the reader to seek more information on contemporary Alaskan Natives. Beautifully illustrated with many full-page color photographs of the Alaskan land and people, giving a good sense of contemporary life in the Arctic. Includes "Important Dates in Native History," a separate wall map on "Alaska's Native Peoples," and an extensive bibliography.

Muckle, Robert J. The First Nations. Vancouver, B.C.: UBC Press, 1998. 146 pages. (secondary).

This readable, general introduction to the native peoples of British Columbia describes who the First Nations are, what archaeological records reveal about their past, their traditional lifeways (religion and mythology, healing practices, language, etc.), and how outside influences and events (the fur trade, gold rush, residential schools) have brought about culture change and modernization. The book is well illustrated with black and white photographs and maps. Appendices list the First Nations and major ethnic groups as well as provide excerpts of significant political issues. The book also contains a glossary and selected bibliography.

Richardson, Boyce ed. Drumbeat: Anger and Renewal in Indian Country. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Summerhill Press Ltd.; 1990. 302 pages. (secondary) *.

This well-written, candid book, by people of the First Nations of Canada, describes recent confrontations with the Canadian government over the government's refusal to recognize the rights of the aboriginal people of Canada. "This is a Canadian history as we have lived it, not the version of it that finds its way into Canadian textbooks or schoolrooms. This book is about what the aboriginal people have endured and continue to we grapple with the colonizers' voracious appetite for land and resources, and their increasingly omnipotent industry and technology." The book expresses hope for the future and provides solutions for change.

Ridington, Robin and Jillian; Bateson, Ian, illus. People of the Trail: How the Northern Forest Indians Lived. Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre; 1978. 41 pages. (upper elementary).

This description of the traditional lifeways of the Indians of the northern part of North America covers Athapaskan-speaking tribes living west of Hudson's Bay, and Algonkian speakers living east of Hudson's Bay. Topics include the family, games, hunting and fishing, housing, clothing, beliefs, education, and the coming of whites. There is little mention of contemporary Indians, and the writing contains generalizations and stereotypes. The book declares: "All northern forest Indians continue to feel close to their land and see the land as a renewable resource that can continue to support future generations as it has supported their ancestors...they want to make their living in the same way their ancestors did, from the land and its animals." Illustrated with effective black-and-white drawings.

Shemie, Bonnie; Shemie, Bonnie, illus. Houses of Snow, Skin and Bone: Native Dwellings of the Far North. Plattsburgh, NY: Tundra Books; 1989. 24 pages. (elementary/secondary) *.

This is a well-researched description of arctic dwellings made of snow (igloos), whalebone, skin, and sod, with step-by-step diagrams of their construction. An introductory note on climate and ecology indicates the types of material available. The book explains the ingenuity of these shelters and their biodegradability, with a brief mention of the types of housing in use today and the problems of pollution. Includes a list of sources.

Younkin, Paula. Indians of the Arctic and Subarctic. New York: Facts on File; 1991. 96 pages. (The First Americans). (upper elementary).

This book describes Native cultures from the Arctic and Subarctic regions. Illustrated with maps, drawings, and large colorful photographs, it covers such topics as the history, rituals and religions, traditional stories, hunting and fishing, family life, travel, the role of women, music and poetry and art. A section on modern life describes how old and new lifeways coexist, and how Arctic and Subarctic cultures continue to thrive. Includes an index.

Yue, Charlotte and David. The Igloo. Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin; 1988. 107 pages. (elementary/secondary).

The title of this volume is a bit misleading since it provides information not only on igloos but also on the arctic environment, traditional Eskimo clothing, food, games, transportation, family, and community life. The final chapter, "Eskimo Today," notes the changes that have contributed to some erosion of traditional Native values and have introduced a lifestyle and products less suited to the rigors of the arctic environment. The information is well-researched and well-presented, with excellent diagrams showing the construction of houses and boats. Material culture is illustrated with black-and-white drawings.


Morey, Walt. Scrub Dog of Alaska: Blue Heron; 1989, (E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc, 1971) 160 pages. (upper elementary).

This canine adventure story, set in contemporary Alaska, is only marginally about American Indians. The hero, David Martin, is part Indian, and he and his family suffer some prejudice from their neighbors and his father's relatives. The main story, however, revolves around the relationship between David and his dog, describing their many adventures and their triumph over adversity.

Parsons, Elsie Clews (ed ).; La Farge, C. Grant ,. illus. North American Indian Life, Customs and Traditions of 23 Tribes. Reprint of B.W. Huebsch Inc. 1922 ed. New York, NY: Dover Publications Inc.; 1992. 419 pages. (secondary).

Reprinted from the original 1922 edition, this book includes twenty-seven fictional narratives, written by anthropologists, about various North and Central American Indian cultures. The editor attempts to provide a more realistic view of American Indians than was currently available from popular literature; the resulting collection is uneven. Most of the stories present the culture from the inside; two drawn directly from American Indian sources are particularly successful. Others may leave the reader more confused than informed. Some of the attitudes and concepts are outmoded. The introduction, by A.L. Kroeber, refers to the cultures described in this collection as representing "a ladder of culture of advancement," and speaks of an anthropologist and "his Indians." Notes on the various tribes give 1922 statistics, and accompanying bibliographies have not been updated.



Harrison, Ted; Harrison, Ted, illus. Children of the Yukon. Montreal, Ontario: Tundra Books; 1977. 23 pages. (elementary).

This artist's interpretation of life in a Yukon village is based on his experiences living in the Yukon while teaching school: "What I have painted in this book are scenes that have impressed me. It is not a complete picture. Children in the towns do many things other North American children do: they go to school, watch TV, play basketball in winter and baseball in summer. But they also do things children further south never have a chance to do, and this is what I have painted. Not how the Yukon is the same, but how it differs." Full-page, full-color paintings depict childrens' activities, with accompanying text.


Calvert, Patricia. The Hour of the Wolf. New York, NY: New American Library; 1983. 159 pages. (secondary).

After the death of Danny Yumiat, an Athabaskan high school senior from the village of Nyotek in Alaska, Jake Mathiessen decides to compete in the Iditarod, Alaska's annual dog-sled race, in his friend's memory. Like Danny, Jake also found it difficult to live of up to his family's expectations of him. Training and competing for the race gives Jake a new sense of self-worth and courage to choose his own path in life.

Hill, Kirkpatrick. Toughboy and Sister. New York, NY: Margaret K. McElderry Books (Macmillan Publishing Co.); 1990. 121 pages. (upper elementary).

In this entertaining novel set in the modern-day Yukon Valley, eleven-year-old Toughboy and his nine-year- old sister are left alone at a remote summer fishing site when their father unexpectedly dies. This coming-of-age story describes how the children learn to fend for themselves---chopping wood, building a fire, baking bread, fishing, and eventually dealing with a prowling bear. Well-written in a straightforward, simple style suitable to the harsh realities of the lives of the two protagonists, the novel does not gloss over such modern-day problems as alcoholism or poor schooling. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings.


Blades, Ann. A Boy of Tache. Plattsburgh, NY: Tundra Books; 1973. 17 pages. (lower elementary) *.

In this contemporary story set in the Tache Indian Reserve (of the Carrier Indians) in northern British Columbia, a young boy named Charlie accompanies his grandparents on a hunting trip. When his grandfather becomes seriously ill, Charlie must operate the riverboat alone for the first time to summon a seaplane for medical help. An afterword provides ethnohistorical information on the Tache band in the 1800s. Beautiful full-color illustrations.

CHIPPEWA (See OJIBWA/ANISHINABE; Chippewa in the U.S. and southern Ontario; Ojibwa for rest of Canada)


Connolly, James E., comp; Adams, Andrea, illus. Why the Possum's Tail is Bare and Other North American Indian Nature Tales. Owings Mills, MD: Stemmer House; 1985. 64 pages. (upper elementary) *.

Sources are cited for these thirteen animal legends collected from eight tribes. The introduction provides a brief overview of the lifeways of the eight tribes represented, and each story is preceded by a paragraph discussing some of the characteristics of the animals and supernatural beings in the tales. The language of the stories is simple and accessible for young readers. Includes appealing, realistic drawings.

Norman, Howard; Young, Ed, illus. Who-Paddled-Backward-With-Trout. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co.; 1987. 20 pages. (lower elementary).

The young hero's efforts to earn himself a new name are humorously recounted in this imaginative and engaging Cree story. Sources are cited. Includes black-and-white silhouette illustrations.

Oliviero, Jamie; Morrisseau, Brent Saulteaux ), illus. The Fish Skin. New York, NY: Hyperion Books for Children; 1993. 37 pages. (elementary).

This is a story of a Cree community that tires of shade and rain and asks Cloud to stay away. After a long period of relentless heat caused by Grandfather Sun, a young boy in the camp travels to a distant forest in search of assistance from Wisahkecahk. The Great Spirit gives the boy a magical fish skin that the boy uses to bring rain to save the ailing people. The source for this legend is not cited. Illustrated with beautiful, full-color drawings.

Scribe, Murdo; Gallagher, Terry, illus. Murdo's Story, A Legend from Northern Manitoba. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Pemmican Publications; 1985. 42 pages. (lower elementary).

A charming, clearly written legend about the origin of the summer and winter seasons and of the Big Dipper. The foreword notes that the author recorded this story to give today's generation a sense of pride in the contribution of their Cree and Ojibwa ancestors. Includes beautiful black-and-white illustrations.

Tales from the Wigwam. Markham, Ontario, Canada: Fitzhenry & Whiteside; 1989. 120 pages. (lower elementary).

In this collection of five legends of the Algonkian, Cree, and Ojibway, different authors retell each story. Includes large illustrations by different artists.


Crow, Allen; Beyer, David, illus. The Crying Christmas Tree. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Pemmican Publications, Inc.; 1989. 15 pages. (elementary).

This is a touching story about the meaning of Christmas for a family living on the Whitefish Bay Indian Reserve in Canada. Large color illustrations.


Armitage, Peter. The Innu (The Montagnais-Naskapi). New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishers; 1991. 104 pages. (Frank W. Porter, III, Gen. Ed. Indians of North America). (secondary) *.

This comprehensive guide examines the history of the Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi) from their paleo-origins to the present. Traditional Innu culture developed in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula encompassing portions of the present-day Canadian provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland. The Innu experienced contact with various groups throughout their history, first the Vikings in the 9th century, and then the French 500 years later. Much information is given about relations between the Innu and Europeans during the 17th-, 18th-, and 19th- centuries, and a relatively comprehensive section explores the contemporary lives of the Innu, including information on hunting and fishing, traditional crafts, survival skills, and the use of modern technology in traditional activities. Information is supplemented by black-and-white archival and contemporary photographs, maps, and illustrations. Includes a bibliography, "Innu-at-a-Glance," a glossary, and an index.

Tooker, Elizabeth, ed. Native American Spirituality of the North East: Sacred Dreams, Visions, Speeches, Healing Formulas, Rituals and Ceremonials. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press; 1979. 320 pages. (secondary).

This book presents the religious traditions, translated directly from written or audiotaped sources, of several Eastern tribes. Extensive footnotes help clarify difficult passages. Each section is introduced by explanatory notes. Includes a bibliography and an index.


Benton-Banai, Edward (Ojibway).; Liles, Jo ed. and illus. The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway. St. Paul, MN: Indian Country Press, Inc.; 1979. 114 pages. (upper elementary/secondary).

This book for Ojibwa children presents traditional teachings of the Ojibwa that include the creation story, acquisition of fire and tools, the creation of the clans, and the migration of the group from the Atlantic Coast north along the St. Lawrence River. The final chapter covers modern history. The author states that he has attempted to keep the sacred teachings intact. "The major intent provide an accurate and undistorted account of the culture, philosophy, and history of the Ojibwa Nation in order that people of all nations can also benefit from the education the author absorbed from his elders." Includes line drawings.

Connolly, James E., comp; Adams, Andrea, illus. Why the Possum's Tail is Bare and Other North American Indian Nature Tales. Owings Mills, MD: Stemmer House; 1985. 64 pages. (upper elementary) *.

See annotation under Cree Traditional Stories.

Esbensen, Barbara Juster; Davie, Helen K., illus. Ladder to the Sky: How the Gift of Healing Came to the Ojibway Nation. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co.; 1989. 30 pages. (lower elementary) *.

This Ojibwa story explains how sickness and death were introduced, and describes healing plants and the art of healing sickness. Romantic full-color illustrations enhance this charming tale.

Esbensen, Barbara Juster; Davie, Helen K., illus. The Star Maiden: An Ojibway Tale. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co.; 1988. 29 pages. (lower elementary) *.

This story, beautifully told and illustrated, explains the origin of waterlilies. An introductory note provides the source of this story and explains that different versions exist.

McLellan, Joe; Brynjolson, Rhian, illus. Nanabosho Dances. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Pemmican Publications; 1991. 45 pages. (elementary).

In this retelling of an Ojibwa story, the trickster and teacher character Nanabosho receives the gift of tobacco from the Creator. The origin of the hoop dance is explained, as a grandfather tells this story to his grandchildren while they are preparing their dance outfits for an upcoming powwow. Illustrated with full-color drawings bordered by traditional Ojibwa designs patterns.

McLellan, Joseph; Kirby, Jim, illus. The Birth of Nanabosho. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Pemmican Publications, Inc.; 1989. 36 pages. (elementary).

In this story, two contemporary Ojibwa children ask their grandfather to tell them the story of how the legendary trickster and protector Nanabosho was born. No source is cited for the legend. Full-color and black-and-white drawings illustrate this touching tale.

McLellan, Joseph; Monkman, Don, illus. Nanabosho Steals Fire. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Pemmican Publications, Inc.; 1990. 27 pages. (elementary).

In this retelling of an Ojibwa story, the trickster and teacher Nanabosho steals fire from an old man who is keeping it for himself. Full-page color pencil drawings illustrate the story as it is retold to a boy and girl by their grandparents while on a winter camping trip. The source of the legend is not cited.

Scribe, Murdo; Gallagher, Terry, illus. Murdo's Story, A Legend from Northern Manitoba. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Pemmican Publications; 1985. 42 pages. (lower elementary).

See annotation in Cree Traditional Stories.

Tales from the Wigwam. Markham, Ontario, Canada: Fitzhenry & Whiteside; 1989. 120 pages. (lower elementary).

See annotation under Cree Traditional Stories.


Martinson, David ed.; Savage, J. P. ,photog; Peyton, John illus. A Long Time Ago is Just Like Today. Duluth, MN: Duluth Indian Education Advisory Committee; 1976. 69 pages. (upper elementary/secondary) *.

Conversations with and recollections of fifteen senior members of the Chippewa tribe include such topics as traditional tales, memories of trapping, maple syrup collecting, rice gathering, cooking methods, herbal medicine, beadwork, quilting, powwows, names of months, old sayings, and earning feathers.

Osinski, Alice. The Chippewa. Chicago, IL: Children's Press; 1987. 48 pages. (A New True Book). (lower elementary).

This brief history of the Chippewa covers traditional lifeways, contact with whites (fur trade), and contemporary life, both on and off the reservation. The information is clearly presented with separate chapters for each topic. The word "Americans" is used to refer to only non-Native Americans. The pronunciation guide (TRYBE for "tribe") is confusing. Illustrated with modern and archival photographs and reproductions of paintings.

Tanner, Helen Hornbeck. The Ojibwa. New York, NY: Chelsea House; 1992. 119 pages. (Porter, Frank W. III, Gen. Ed. Indians of North America). (upper elementary/secondary) *.

This comprehensive history of the Ojibwa stresses their resilience in the face of geographical dispersion and the federal government's attempts to eradicate their traditional culture. Topics covered include the their creation myth, early history, pre-Contact life, relationship with the French, treaties, intra-tribal factions, and contemporary issues. A center section includes full-page, color photographs of traditional designs in quill and beadwork. Illustrated with historical photographs, prints, and maps, the book includes a bibliography, index, and "Ojibwa-At-A-Glance."


Plain, Ferguson (Ojibwa).; Plain, Ferguson, illus. Eagle Feather: An Honour. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Pemmican Publications, Inc.; 1988. 19 pages. (elementary).

This tender story is about the special relationship between a grandfather and his grandson. In honor of this bond, the boy receives an eagle feather from his dying grandfather. The book contains little specific cultural information. Includes full-page monochromatic illustrations with animal imagery, whose significance is unclear, and a glossary.

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