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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.


Some Canadian public library Aboriginal services updates

It seems that I have no time to blog since returning to work from maternity leave. Our organization isn’t core funded, so I’m busy with proposal writing, planning, and budget development. I come home and want to spend time with our 15-month old son, and before I know it, it is time for bed!

When I catch a spare moment, I take steps to remain current on where things are at regarding Aboriginal librarianship in Canada and/or librarianship for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. I’ve recently found the following items that identify some of the activities going on in urban, public libraries. Here they are:

Thanks go out to these libraries for sharing this information. It can be challenging to find out what libraries are doing (if you don’t ask each of them directly). Reporting on these activities and making this information publicly accessible is an important part of the process. These reports provide guidance to others, contribute to the generation of new ideas, and provide necessary information for analyzing trends in this area of librarianship.

If your library has a similar summary to share, please let me know and I’d be happy to add it to the list. As Kokum Mary from Wapos Bay might say, “Inquiring minds want to know, you know”. By the way, season 2 of Wapos Bay is now available for purchase. I highly recommend this program for all public libraries in Canada. It is an absolute gem.

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.

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs Resource Centre is seeking feedback on digital project

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Resource Centre is seeking feedback on its Our Homes Are Bleeding digital collection. This collection “has grown out of the stories of cut-off lands in British Columbia […] and are a part of the history of the reserve system in Canada, aboriginal title and rights and First Nations resistance to colonial assertion of land title.”

Our Homes are Bleeding includes a range of primary materials:

  • Records of the McKenna McBride Royal Commission (1913 – 1916) include transcripts of testimonies given to the Commission, photographs and maps
  • Maps
  • Newspaper articles
  • Photographs
  • Audio and video clips
The UBCIC Resource Centre has also developed resource lists, narrative essays and student and teacher’s resources to support the collection.
Currently, they are seeking feedback on the collection and its resources via an online survey. The results of this survey will be used to refine and develop current and future digital collections.

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!

There’s still time to register!

I’ll be presenting “Creating Living Library Collections for Aboriginal Peoples” via a webinar hosted by The Partnership – Education Institute on June 2, 2008 at 3pm EST. To register, please visit The Education Institute site. 

I hope to “see” you there!!