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MUSKRAT’s new release picks from Indigenous authors for your summer reading list.

1.    LEGACY by Waubgeshig Rice (Theytus Books) *summer 2014
Legacy is the first novel by Waubgeshig Rice, whose collection of stories— Midnight Sweatlodge—was the Gold Medal Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2012 for Adult Multicultural Fiction. Set in the 1990s, Legacy deals with violence against a young Indigenous woman and its lingering after-shocks on an Anishnawbe family in Ontario. Its themes of injustice, privilege, reconciliation and revenge, are as timely as today’s headlines. Check out MUSKRAT Magazine’s interview with Waub Rice!


2.    MEDICINE WALK by Richard Wagamese (McClelland)
Celebrated author and Canada Reads’ Finalist for Indian Horse, Wagamese has a stunning new novel that has all the timeless qualities of a classic. Fresh and utterly memorable, Medicine Walk unveils a universal father and son struggle set in the dramatic landscape of the BC Interior.


3.    ISLANDS OF DECOLONIAL LOVE by Leanne Simpson (ARP Books)
When well written, poetic prose has special power, and the pages of Islands of Decolonial Love read like a salve for wounds from colonial hurts. Check out our review of the book!


4.    BRAIDING SWEETGRASS Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed)
Drawing on her life as an Indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten our existence today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.


5.    WAYS OF WIELDING THE FORCE: 13 Exercises in Collective Care & Effectiveness by Zainab Amadahy (Swallow Songs)

Exercises you’ll find in the book:

Create A Tactile Collage

Feast Your Ancestors

Create A Social Justice Singularity

Spiritual Show & Tell

Clarify And Conjure

Embody An Ancestor

Transition Ceremony

Embody Our Relations

Cedar Cleaning

Sound Tapestry

Wishing Well

Charge Your Water

From Movement To Ceremony


6.    THE MOONS SPEAKS CREE A Winter Adventure by Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden (Theytus Books)
Learning the universal lessons of Aboriginal culture, young Lawrence rides his father’s long toboggan pulled by four eager dogs, invents a sliding machine that really works from his grandfather’s old steamer trunk, reconnects with his older brother and learns the secrets of winter survival from his parents and grandparents. Based on Larry Loyie’s traditional Cree childhood, the story teaches deeper lessons: respect for culture and history, the effect of change on Aboriginal people and the importance of being good to animals.


7.     HALFLING SPRING: An Internet Romance by Joanne Arnott (Kegedonce Press)
A book of poetry, tracking the transformative aspects of desire through updates or notes posted through a variety of virtual and real landscapes. Traditional stories, electronic metaphors, bird life and geographic observations, literary and song references combine with dream imagery and conversational turns, tracking the early stages of a love affair. *Stay tuned for MUSKRAT’s review of HALFLING SPRING!


8.     WALKING IN BALANCE: MEEYAU-OSSAEWIN by Basil Johnson (Kegedonce)

We have, according to our beliefs, five essential parts: body, soul, spirit, heart, and mind, which all have to be satisfied equally.

When you are in balance you are walking on the right road, following the right path of life.” – Basil Johnston.

Eight traditional Anishinaabe stories are told in both Anishinabemowin and English languages for adults.


9.     THE TRUTH THAT WAMPUM TELLS: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims Process by Lynn Gehl (Fernwood Publishing)
In commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Treaty at Niagara, The Truth that Wampum Tells offers readers a first-ever insider analysis of the contemporary land claims and self-government process in Canada. Incorporating an analysis of traditional symbolic literacy known as wampum diplomacy, Lynn Gehl argues that despite Canada’s constitutional beginnings, first codified in the 1763 Royal Proclamation and ratified during the 1764 Treaty at Niagara, Canada continues to deny the Algonquin Anishinaabeg their right to land and resources, their right to live as a sovereign nation and consequently their ability to live mino-pimadiziwin (the good life).


10. THE WINTER WE DANCED Voices from the Past, the Future and Idle No More Movement by The Kino-nda-niimi Collective (ARP Books)
A collection of writing, poetry, lyrics, art, and images from some of the voices that make up the past, present, and future of the Idle No More movement. The Winter We Danced draws from a wide-ranging body of narratives, journalism, editorials and creative pieces, calling for pathways into healthy, just, equitable, and sustainable communities. This collection consolidates some of the most powerful, creative and insightful moments from the winter we danced and gestures towards next steps in an on-going movement for justice and Indigenous self-determination.


11.  LIGHTFINDER by Aaron Paquette (Kegedonce)
Aisling is a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows. They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own.


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