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Another graphic novel!!

The Gabriel Dumont Institute has published a graphic novel featuring Metis stories. For more information and to purchase a copy for your library, visit Stories of Our People.


Rabbit and Bear Paws – The Voyageurs

What is bravery? That is a good (and tough) question. Chad Solomon’s latest creation – The Voyageurs – does an excellent job of illustrating the concept in an accessible and entertaining way.

Rabbit and Bear Paws learn about bravery, or aakdehewin in the Ojibway language, as they embark on an adventure with a small group of voyageurs. They learn that bravery can take many shapes, be a private or public affair, and be ignited in oneself to test one’s strengths and limits, and/or out of love for another being. They experience and exhibit bravery throughout the adventure – while confronting a group of bandits, engaging in a playful (yet important) game of lacrosse, and taking a ride in a flying canoe. 

Though the subject of bravery could be presented in a very serious way, Chad Solomon and Christopher Meyer choose to present it with humour and magic, amidst a backdrop that illustrates and presents various Anishinabe and Mohawk traditions, words, important figures (Joseph Brant), and historical situations (trading).

With little time to read for fun right now (as I have an active 8-month old at home), Rabbit and Bear Paws The Voyageurs provided me with a much needed and entertaining break. Its humour made me chuckle and its illustrations were lively and complimented the text. It would be a good addition to any public and school library, or for your own private collection.

New content on the First Peoples’ Libraries Wiki

A substantial amount of new content has been added to the First Peoples’ Libraries Wiki under the “Collections” area. This includes:

The majority of the links listed within each section are based in Canada. If you know of US-based publishers and distributors, news resources, etc., consider signing up to the wiki and contributing!

Some more information about Chad Solomon…the creator of Rabbit and Bear Paws

I’ve been a wee bit remiss lately in reviewing my Bloglines RSS feeds, but FINALLY got down to it (a little) during the few spare moments that I have with our 5-month old son! Anyhow, Wawatay News wrote a great article about Chad Solomon in January 2008. It is good to read for those of you interested in finding out more about “the man behind the graphic novel”.

This is not the first time (or likely the last) that I’ve written about Rabbit and Bear Paws. Earlier in the year I wrote that Volume 2: The Voyageurs was to be released soon. Well, it is now available! Consider purchasing it (and their other resources) for your library! I’m looking forward to seeing it in my mailbox soon!

Rabbit and Bear Paws Volume 2: The Voyageurs

I referred to Rabbit and Bear Paws in a previous post and here’s some more news about them!

Volume 2 of Rabbit and Bear Paws (entitled “The Voyageurs”) will be released soon. As well, they’re issuing a Teacher’s Guide for Volume 1 (entitled “The Sugar Bush”) shortly!

On another note, Little Spirit Bear Productions (the creator of Rabbit and Bear Paws), in partnership with Good Minds, also give back to the community…reciprocity. More recently, Little Spirit Bear Productions commissioned the creation of a social Big Drum to present as a gift at the Canadian Aboriginal Festival (December 2007). More about this is on the Rabbit and Bear Paws blog.

So, lots of activity going on for Chad Solomon and Little Spirit Bear Productions. This is great to see!

Graphic Novels and Comics by Aboriginal peoples

Increasingly, we’re seeing graphic novels and comics authored by Aboriginal writers and illustrators. As a fan of graphic novels in general (and an avid reader of comics as a kid), I am super happy to see this growing body of work. 

Interested in acquiring these for your libraries or just because you want to support Aboriginal writers and illustrators? If so, here are some places to start:

  • Darkness Calls – Available through The Healthy Aboriginal Network (Canada)
    • Illustrated by Steve Sanderson (Cree), Darkness Calls focuses on discussing suicide, particularly as it impacts First Nations’ youth
    • Steve Sanderson was also showcased on Global National’s Everyday Heros program. Here’s the news clip.
  • Rabbit and Bear Paws – Little Spirit Bear Productions (Canada)
  • Sacred Circles (see page 3 of the linked document) – Birchbark Comics (Canada)
    • Sacred Circles and Birchbark Comics were created by Brandon Mitchell (Mi’kmaq), who is from Listuguj, a Mi’kmaq community located in southeastern Quebec
    • The website for Birchbark Comics is no longer active, so I’m not sure if they’re still in business (I hope that they are).

Another place to visit is Blue Corn Comics (United States), which has created the comic Peace Party. The creator of Blue Corn Comics is Rob Schmidt (non-Aboriginal). Blue Corn Comics involves Native American writers and illustrators in its work and has a Board of Advisors that reviews each script for accuracy and/or insensitivity to Native American cultures and peoples.

If you are aware of others that I’ve missed, please feel free to post a comment to the blog. Thanks!