Fiction

Take Us to Your Chief | ,

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A forgotten Haudenosaunee social song beams into the cosmos like a homing beacon for interstellar visitors. A computer learns to feel sadness and grief from the history of atrocities committed against First Nations. A young Native man discovers the secret to time travel in ancient petroglyphs. Drawing inspiration from science fiction legends like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, Drew Hayden Taylor frames classic science-fiction tropes in an Aboriginal perspective. The nine stories in this collection span all traditional topics of science fiction--from peaceful aliens to hostile invaders; from space travel to time travel; from government conspiracies to connections across generations. Yet Taylor's First Nations perspective draws fresh parallels, likening the cultural implications of alien contact to those of the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, or highlighting the impossibility of remaining a "good Native" in such an unnatural situation as a space mission. Infused with Native stories and variously mysterious, magical and humorous, Take Us to Your Chief is the perfect mesh of nostalgically 1950s-esque science fiction with modern First Nations discourse..

Humor

Me Funny | ,

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Humor has always been an essential part of North American aboriginal culture. This fact remained unnoticed by most settlers, however, since non-aboriginals just didn’t get the joke. For most of written history, a stern, unyielding profile of “the Indian” dominated the popular mainstream imagination. Indians, it was believed, never laughed. But Indians themselves always knew better. As an award-winning playwright, columnist, and comedy-sketch creator, Drew Hayden Taylor has spent 15 years writing and researching aboriginal humor. For Me Funny, he asked a noted cast of writers from a variety of fields — including such celebrated wordsmiths as Thomas King, Allan J. Ryan, Mirjam Hirch, and Tomson Highway — to take a look at what makes aboriginal humor tick. Their hilarious, enlightening contributions playfully examine the use of humor in areas as diverse as stand-up comedy, fiction, visual art, drama, performance, poetry, traditional storytelling, and education..

Fiction

The Path of Most Resistance | Russell Wangersky

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A humorous and vivid collection of stories about the struggle for human connection by two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee Russell Wangersky. As entertaining as they are insightful, the stories in The Path of Most Resistance are anchored by the concept of passive aggression in our everyday lives: ordinary people who are quietly, desperately, and indirectly trying to impose their will on the uncaring world around them. From a woman who compulsively shops for luggage in order to sublimate her desire for a divorce to a senior citizen who tries to force his family to visit by refusing to eat, the characters in this collection try to change their lives through oblique resistance. The Path of Most Resistance is an observant and compassionate look at the feelings of powerlessness that we all share, and will have readers silently cringing and nodding in recognition of their own bad behaviour..

Fiction

Chasing Painted Horses | Drew Hayden Taylor

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When Ralph Thomas comes across graffiti of a horse in an alleyway in the early hours of the morning, he is stopped in his tracks. He recognizes this horse. A half-asleep Indigenous homeless man sees Ralph’s reaction to the horse and calls out to him. Over the course of a morning’s worth of hot coffee on a bitterly cold day, Ralph and the homeless man talk and Ralph remembers a troubling moment from his childhood when an odd little girl, Danielle, drew the most beautiful and intriguing horse on his mother’s Everything Wall, winning the competition set up for children on the Otter Lake Reserve. Ralph has lived with many questions that arose from his eleventh winter. What did the horse mean — to him, his sister, his best friend, and, most importantly, the girl who drew it? These questions have never left him. Chasing Painted Horses has a magical, fablelike quality that will enchant readers, and haunt them, for years to come..

Fiction

Motorcycles & Sweetgrass | Drew Hayden Taylor

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A story of magic, family, a mysterious stranger . . . and a band of marauding raccoons. Otter Lake is a sleepy Anishnawbe community where little happens. Until the day a handsome stranger pulls up astride a 1953 Indian Chief motorcycle – and turns Otter Lake completely upside down. Maggie, the Reserve’s chief, is swept off her feet, but Virgil, her teenage son, is less than enchanted. Suspicious of the stranger’s intentions, he teams up with his uncle Wayne – a master of aboriginal martial arts – to drive the stranger from the Reserve. And it turns out that the raccoons are willing to lend a hand..

Social Science

Me Sexy | Drew Hayden Taylor

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Is Cree really the sexiest of all languages? Do Native people have less or more public hair? Does Inuit sex have a dark side? These are some of the questions answered in this witty, thoughtful collection. Twelve important voices in the Native culture — including Joseph Boyden, author of Three Day Road, and Marissa Crazytrain, a descendant of Chief Sitting Bull — tackle a variety of previously taboo subjects with humor and insight. Noted comic writer and editor Drew Hayden Taylor wraps it up with an original contribution of his own..

Social Science

Up Ghost River | Edmund Metatawabin,Alexandra Shimo

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A powerful, raw yet eloquent memoir from a residential school survivor and former First Nations Chief, Up Ghost River is a necessary step toward our collective healing. In the 1950s, 7-year-old Edmund Metatawabin was separated from his family and placed in one of Canada’s worst residential schools. St. Anne’s, in north­ern Ontario, is an institution now notorious for the range of punishments that staff and teachers inflicted on students. Even as Metatawabin built the trappings of a successful life—wife, kids, career—he was tormented by horrific memories. Fuelled by alcohol, the trauma from his past caught up with him, and his family and work lives imploded. In seeking healing, Metatawabin travelled to southern Alberta. There he learned from elders, par­ticipated in native cultural training workshops that emphasize the holistic approach to personhood at the heart of Cree culture, and finally faced his alcoholism and PTSD. Metatawabin has since worked tirelessly to expose the wrongdoings of St. Anne’s, culminating in a recent court case demanding that the school records be released to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Now Metatawabin’s mission is to help the next generation of residential school survivors. His story is part of the indigenous resurgence that is happening across Canada and worldwide: after years of oppression, he and others are healing themselves by rediscovering their culture and sharing their knowledge. Coming full circle, Metatawabin’s haunting and brave narrative offers profound lessons on the impor­tance of bearing witness, and the ability to become whole once again..

Biography & Autobiography

The Chief | Joan Biskupic

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An incisive biography of the Supreme Court's enigmatic Chief Justice, taking us inside the momentous legal decisions of his tenure so far. John Roberts was named to the Supreme Court in 2005 claiming he would act as a neutral umpire in deciding cases. His critics argue he has been anything but, pointing to his conservative victories on voting rights and campaign finance. Yet he broke from orthodoxy in his decision to preserve Obamacare. How are we to understand the motives of the most powerful judge in the land? In The Chief, award-winning journalist Joan Biskupic contends that Roberts is torn between two, often divergent, priorities: to carry out a conservative agenda, and to protect the Court's image and his place in history. Biskupic shows how Roberts's dual commitments have fostered distrust among his colleagues, with major consequences for the law. Trenchant and authoritative, The Chief reveals the making of a justice and the drama on this nation's highest court..

Juvenile Fiction

Orca Chief | Robert Budd

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Orca Chief is the third in a series of Northwest Coast legends by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd. Their previous collaborations, Raven Brings the Light (2013) and Cloudwalker (2014), are award-winning national bestsellers. Thousands of years ago in the village of Kitkatla, four hunters leave home in the spring to harvest seaweed and sockeye. When they arrive at their fishing grounds, exhaustion makes them lazy and they throw their anchor overboard without care for the damage it might do to marine life or the sea floor. When Orca Chief discovers what the hunters have done, he sends his most powerful orca warriors to bring the men and their boat to his house. The men beg forgiveness for their ignorance and lack of respect, and Orca Chief compassionately sends them out with his pod to show them how to sustainably harvest the ocean’s resources. Accompanied by almost exclusively new illustrations by Roy Henry Vickers, this next installment of the Northwest Coast Legends will captivate readers young and old with its vivid imagery and remarkable storytelling..

Biography & Autobiography

Fight or Submit | Grand Chief Ronald M. Derrickson

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In the opening to his memoir, Grand Chief Ron Derrickson says his “story is not a litany of complaints but a list of battles” that he has fought. And he promises he will not be overly pious in his telling of them. “As a businessman,” he writes, “I like to give the straight goods.” In Fight or Submit, Derrickson delivers on his promise and it turns out he has a hell of a story to tell. Born and raised in a tarpaper shack, he went on to become one of the most successful Indigenous businessmen in Canada. As a political leader, he served as Chief of the Westbank First Nation for a dozen years and was made a Grand Chief by the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. Along the way, he has been the target of a full Royal Commission and an assassination attempt by a hitman hired by local whites. As Chief, he increased his community’s revenues by 3500% and led his people into a war in the forest over logging rights. In 2015, he became an award-winning author when Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call, a book he co-authored with Arthur Manuel, won the Canadian History Association Literary Award. His second book co-authored with Manuel, Reconciliation Manifesto, won the B.C. Book Prize for non-fiction..

Fiction

The Wild Heavens | Sarah Louise Butler

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It all starts with an impossibly large set of tracks, footprints for a creature that could not possibly exist. The words sasquatch, bigfoot and yeti never occur in this novel, but that is what most people would call the hairy, nine-foot creature that would become a lifelong obsession for Aidan Fitzpatrick, and in turn, his granddaughter Sandy Langley. The novel spans the course of single winter day, interspersed with memories from Sandy’s life—childhood days spent with her distracted, scholarly grandfather in a remote cabin in British Columbia’s interior mountains; later recollections of new motherhood; and then the tragic disappearance that would irrevocably shape the rest of her life, a day when all signs of the mysterious creature would disappear for thirty years. When the enigmatic tracks finally reappear, Sandy sets out on the trail alone, determined to find out the truth about the mystery that has shaped her life. The Wild Heavens is an impressive and evocative debut, containing beauty, tragedy and wonder in equal parts..

Art

Me Artsy | Drew Hayden Taylor

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There are a few questions that professional artists get asked regularly: Where do you get your ideas? How did you get started? And be honest—are you really in it for the money? Following the highly successful Me Funny and Me Sexy anthologies, Me Artsy answers these eternal questions and more. With essays from fourteen First Nations artists from a variety of disciplines, the collection provides insight into the paths that led each artist to pursue and develop his or her craft. The essays explore many common themes around the role of art in First Nations communities, including the importance of art for creating social change, the role of art in representing Native culture and the fusion of traditional and contemporary techniques. On a more personal level, the essays describe the significance of art in the lives of the contributors, along with their sometimes unlikely journeys to success, stories which are often touched with humour and humility. Chef David Wolfman describes gruelling years of prep work in the kitchens of the exclusive National Club; filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk discusses leaping into his first feature film without knowing how to finance it; fashion designer Kim Picard describes making a dress inspired by coffee beans; and playwright Drew Hayden Taylor tells the story of putting a bullet through his first play and burying it in his yard. Other contributors include actor/playwright Monique Mojica, painter Marianne Nicolson, painter Maxine Noel, blues pianist Murray Porter, scholar Karyn Recollet, dancer/choreographer Santee Smith, director/actor Rose Stella, drummer Steve Teekens, writer Richard Van Camp and manga artist Michael Nicholl Yahgulanaas..

Fiction

The Lesser Blessed | Richard Van Camp

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Over 10,000 copies sold in Canada! The 20th-anniversary edition of Richard Van Camp’s best-selling coming-of-age story, with a new introduction and story by the author Larry is a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. His tongue, his hallucinations and his fantasies are hotter than the center of the sun. At sixteen, he loves Iron Maiden, the North and Juliet Hope, the high school “tramp.” In this powerful and very funny first novel, Richard Van Camp gives us one of the most original teenage characters in Canadian fiction. Skinny as spaghetti, nervy and self-deprecating, Larry is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His past holds many terrors: an abusive father, blackouts from sniffing gasoline, an accident that killed several of his cousins and he’s now being hunted and haunted by a pack of blue monkeys. But through his new friendship with Johnny, a Metis who just moved to town, he’s now ready to face his memories—and his future. The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening depiction of what it is to be a young Dogrib man in the age of AIDS, disillusionment with Catholicism and a growing world consciousness..

Fiction

Primary Obsessions | Charles Demers

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The endearing and unflappable Dr. Annick Boudreau regularly confronts a myriad of mental health issues in her psychology practice at the West Coast Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia. But even Annick is stunned when Sanjay, a young patient who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is arrested for the brutal murder of his roommate. While Sanjay is tortured by repeated violent thoughts, everything Annick knows about her patient and his illness has her convinced that he’s innocent. But the police and prosecutor are convinced that they have caught the perpetrator and aren’t interested in looking very hard. Unable to talk to the authorities because of doctor-patient confidentiality, Annick feels compelled to investigate on her own, finding herself drawn into the darker side of her postcard-perfect city in the process. Primary Obsessions is the first book in a series of mysteries starring Dr. Annick Boudreau and involving themes of mental health. Author (and longtime CBT patient) Charles Demers deftly reveals a particular aspect of psychology practice in each book, illuminating shadowy subject matter with masterful sensitivity and sharp wit. Primary Obsessions is an engrossing page-turner and a refreshing reboot of the sleuth genre..

Fiction

The Golden House | Salman Rushdie

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One of the truly great writers of the century reaches beyond the very top of his game in this uncannily timely knockout of a novel. In quality and compelling scope, this is Rushdie's The Godfather meets The Great Gatsby--an unparalleled modern-day American thriller, with wonderful, moving characters and a grippingly entertaining story straight out of today's headlines, set against the panorama of American culture and politics from the inauguration of Obama to post-election Trump. When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities, reinventing themselves as emperors living in a lavish house in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons, each extraordinary in his own right, quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society, even as Nero Golden continues to raise huge buildings carrying his name in gold letters. The story of the powerful Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. René chronicles the undoing of the house of Golden: the high life of money, of art and fashion, a sibling quarrel, an unexpected metamorphosis, the arrival of a beautiful former model, betrayal and murder, and far away, in their abandoned homeland, some decent intelligence work that could ruin Nero Golden forever. Invoking literature, pop culture and the cinema, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years, hitting every beat: the rise of the birther movement, the Tea Party, and identity politics; Gamergate; the backlash against political correctness; the ascendancy of Superman and Batwoman and the superhero movie; and, of course, the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic villain with painted skin and coloured hair..

Business & Economics

Bullshit Jobs | David Graeber

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From bestselling writer David Graeber—“a master of opening up thought and stimulating debate” (Slate)—a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs…and their consequences. Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay titled “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs.” It went viral. After one million online views in seventeen different languages, people all over the world are still debating the answer. There are hordes of people—HR consultants, communication coordinators, telemarketing researchers, corporate lawyers—whose jobs are useless, and, tragically, they know it. These people are caught in bullshit jobs. Graeber explores one of society’s most vexing and deeply felt concerns, indicting among other villains a particular strain of finance capitalism that betrays ideals shared by thinkers ranging from Keynes to Lincoln. “Clever and charismatic” (The New Yorker), Bullshit Jobs gives individuals, corporations, and societies permission to undergo a shift in values, placing creative and caring work at the center of our culture. This book is for everyone who wants to turn their vocation back into an avocation and “a thought-provoking examination of our working lives” (Financial Times)..

Comics & Graphic Novels

Red | Michael

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Referencing a classic Haida oral narrative, this spectacular full-color graphic novel blends traditional Haida imagery with Japanese manga to tell the powerful story of Red, an orphaned leader so blinded by revenge that he leads his community to the brink of war and destruction. When raiders attack his village, young Red escapes dramatically. But his sister Jaada is whisked away. The loss of Jaada breeds a seething anger, and Red sets out to find his sister and exact revenge on her captors. Tragic and timeless, Red's story is reminiscent of such classic tales as Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, and King Lear. Not only an affecting story, Red is an innovation in contemporary storytelling from the creator of Haida Manga and the author of Flight of the Hummingbird; it consists of 108 pages of hand-painted illustrations, and when arranged the panels create a Haida formline image 13 feet long. A miniature version of the panel in full-color is on the inside jacket..

Fiction

The Ghost Tiger's Lament | T. E. Waters

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As a child, Ashne swore two oaths. With her adopted sister Zsaran she made a pact: one would never die without the other. To their mistress, the queen, who plucked them both out of the inhospitable marshlands, she vowed eternal loyalty. When a tiger spirit from a rival kingdom kidnaps the queen's only daughter, Ashne, now a trusted bodyguard, follows in pursuit despite knowing that her sword will be of little use against the ancient magic steadily reawakening across the land. But it is her human adversaries who prove more dangerous as she navigates the shifting political landscape in a kingdom still recovering from a decades-long war: a foreign sorcerer, an eccentric apothecary, an ambitious bandit chief — perhaps even Zsaran, who has long awaited a chance to achieve freedom for both herself and Ashne. Soon Ashne can no longer reconcile her love for her sister and her devotion to the women they have both served since childhood. Yet she must bring back the princess regardless. If not for love and duty, for her people's continued survival against the encroachment of powerful foreign conquerors, before whose ravenous ambitions the squabbles of two tribal kingdoms amount to dust. The Ghost Tiger's Lament is the first book of a historical fantasy series set in a world based loosely on the cultures of late Bronze Age China, during the time of Confucius and Sun Tzu..

Fiction

The White Invaders | Ray Cummings

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Out of their unknown fourth dimensional realm materializes a horde of White Invaders with power invincible. Ray Cummings is an American author of science fiction literature and comic books. Cummings is identified as one of the "founding fathers" of the science fiction genre. His most highly regarded fictional work was the novel The Girl in the Golden Atom, which was a consolidation of a short story by the same name. For this novel Cummings combined the idea of Fitz James O'Brien's The Diamond Lens with H. G. Wells's The Time Machine. During the 1940s, Cummings anonymously scripted comic book stories for Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics. He recycled the plot of The Girl in the Golden Atom for a two-part Captain America tale, Princess of the Atom (Captain America #25 & 26)..

Social Science

Fictions of Land and Flesh | Mark Rifkin

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In Fictions of Land and Flesh Mark Rifkin explores the impasses that arise in seeking to connect Black and Indigenous movements, turning to speculative fiction to understand those difficulties and envision productive ways of addressing them. Against efforts to subsume varied forms of resistance into a single framework in the name of solidarity, Rifkin argues that Black and Indigenous political struggles are oriented in distinct ways, following their own lines of development and contestation. Rifkin suggests how movement between the two can be approached as something of a speculative leap in which the terms and dynamics of one are disoriented in the encounter with the other. Futurist fiction provides a compelling site for exploring such disjunctions. Through analyses of works by Octavia Butler, Walter Mosley, Nalo Hopkinson, Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, and others, the book illustrates how ideas about fungibility, fugitivity, carcerality, marronage, sovereignty, placemaking, and governance shape the ways Black and Indigenous intellectuals narrate the past, present, and future. In turning to speculative fiction, Rifkin illustrates how speculation as a process provides conceptual and ethical resources for recognizing difference while engaging across it..