Category Archives: Indigenous Voices

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock

Written by: Dallas Hunt

Illustrated by: Amanda Strong

For ages: 3-8 years

Language: English & Cree

Topics Covered: First Nations, Indigenous Voices, Family, Problem-Solving, Accountability, Love, Animals, Nature, Natural World, Bilingual Stories, Social-Emotional Learning, Own Voices. 

Summary: More skills we wish to take into the new year are found in this book, and they are: accountability and problem-solving!  We really enjoyed how Awâsis knew she had to fix the issue of losing the bannock, and didn’t try to pass blame onto someone or something else, or make excuses.  We strive for accountability, and it’s exemplified beautifully in this story!

Awâsis loves spending Sunday with her Kôhkum (grandmother).  One day she asks Awâsis to deliver some of her world-famous bannock to a relative, and Awâsis is happy to do so, skipping and hopping her way through the woods.  Unfortunately, she drops the bannock into the river. Awâsis decides to continue her walk through the woods and ask her animal friends for help.  They can provide single ingredients, but none have anymore bannock.  Will Awâsis be able to make bannock to deliver to Kôhkum’s relative?

This is a very sweet and simple story. Awâsis remains positive and wants to solve the problem of having no bannock by taking responsibility to fix it herself.  The book introduces a lot of great introductory Cree vocabulary words and has a pronunciation guide in the back!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Dallas_Hunt-e1568993042384DALLAS HUNT (he/him/his) is a teacher, writer, and member of Wapisewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a proponent of language revitalization, his debut book for children, Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock, includes words in Cree. Dallas teaches at UBC and enjoys reading great books to his nieces and nephews.

 

Amanda_Strong-e1541180498767AMANDA STRONG is a Michif, Indigenous filmmaker, media artist, and stop motion director currently based out of the unceded Coast Salish territory also known as Vancouver, British Columbia. She has exhibited work and screened films worldwide, including at the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, and the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Check her out at: www.spottedfawnproductions.com

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Written by: Traci Sorell

Illustrated by: Frané Lessac

For ages: 3-7 years

Language: Cherokee, Romanized Cherokee, English. 

Topics Covered: Own Voices, Indigenous Voices, Cherokee Nation, Culture & Traditions, Love, Appreciation, Kindness, Family, Nature, Vocabulary, Literacy. 

Summary: For our next trait we’re taking with us into 2020: Gratefulness and Appreciation!  We honor and cherish the experiences we’ve had in the past and look forward to the future.  

This is a beautiful book about all of the reasons a person would be grateful: cool breezes blowing, community events, and time with family.  We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga is packed with breathtaking examples of gratefulness and community involvement that garner appreciation.  The illustrations are amazingly detailed and show groups of Cherokee people working together throughout the year.  We love the vocabulary and phonetic pronunciations on each page, ensuring that the reader knows how to say the words right off the bat.  Going through the seasons and some holidays, the reader gets a sense of the close-knit community and all of the reasons they are grateful.  It provides education into the culture if readers are unfamiliar with the Cherokee Nation, and there is an extensive definitions list, author’s note, Cherokee syllabary and alphabet in the back of the book.  We really love this book, and it will definitely be read for years and years to come!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Traci+Sorell+Home+PhotoTraci Sorell lives with her family in the Cherokee Nation, out in the country like she did as a child. Back then, she had geese, chickens, horses, dogs and cats. Her mother’s Cherokee family has been in the area since the removal of most Cherokee people from their southeastern homelands in 1838. Traci grew up hearing stories about her ancestors and looking at their photographs with her elisi (eh-lee-see), grandma. Now her son does that with his elisi in addition to fishing in the nearby lake and learning about Cherokee culture.

As a child, Traci spent a lot of time reading as well as singing and acting in musical theater productions. She also loved playing cars and school with her younger sister and brother. They spent hours driving little toy cars all over the towns they drew on large pieces of cardboard. They quizzed each other on state capitals and used old textbooks to teach each other new lessons. Away from home, they spent lots of time visiting family across the Cherokee Nation, elsewhere in Oklahoma and places farther west. Traci still loves to read, play, learn, and travel.

When Traci was a teenager, her family moved to Southern California. She did less acting and more writing, both in class and on the high school yearbook staff. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. Later, her mom, sister and brother got their degrees too.

Before she began writing for children, Traci’s work focused on helping Native American tribes and their citizens. She wrote legal codes, testimony for Congressional hearings, federal budget requests, grants and reports. She continues that work by writing stories for young people and encouraging other Native writers and illustrators to share theirs. When Traci was a child, she never read culturally accurate books about the Cherokee or any other Indigenous people. The stories and poems she writes now reflect her mission to add to the canon of literature showing that Native Nations and their citizens still exist and thrive today.

Frane Lessac photo 2.8.10From Frané Lessac’s website: 

I grew up in a small town on top of the Palisades in New Jersey. From my bedroom window, I could see the famous skyscraper skyline of New York City. In the hot summer months I could hear the shrieks of people riding on the roller coaster at a nearby amusement park.

As a child, I always wanted to be an artist or a veterinarian. By the time I was eight years old I had cats, dogs, fish, snakes, and a pet monkey named Hercules that used to sit on my shoulder. Hercules stank and had fleas and my mom finally said “either you or that monkey has to go.” I spent many weekends in New York City browsing through museums and galleries. I liked to explore New York’s Greenwich Village with my green snakes entwined around my arm. I loved watching the painters wearing their black berets and the poets reciting verse with the audience snapping their fingers in approval.

My cousin was the great writer and optimist Norman Cousins. Our Thanksgiving dinners were like United Nations meetings. I was surrounded by people of many different cultures and since been drawn towards people from around the world.

At eighteen, I headed for film school in California. My aim: to eventually make films about ‘primitive’ tribes before they were swamped by western culture. I borrowed camera equipment and, given film, took off on the road to the southwest, documenting a rodeo team, a long distance trucker, and even the birth of a baby. Home was a beach house in Malibu furnished with the discarded furniture of movie stars. We had Flip Wilson’s lawn chairs and Barbra Streisand’s settee. I worked hard to help finance my studies. My jobs included running the projector at the local Malibu cinema, chauffeuring the residents of Beverly Hills, and fertilizing cactus with a silver spoon at a desert nursery.

I moved from California to the small Caribbean island of Montserrat. Stunned by its visual beauty, I concentrated on painting the old-style West Indian architecture and its people.

Wanting to publish a children’s picture book about Montserrat, I next moved to London to be closer to publishers. I approached thirty publishers before one finally accepted the idea and the book was released as The Little Island in the United Kingdom. Six months later, it was published in the United States as My Little Island.

My work has led me on many adventures in numerous countries. Traveling continues to be a major source of inspiration for my work as I render my impression of a country and its way of life in oil and gouache paintings. My greatest ambition is to instill pride and self-esteem in children about their unique heritage and their own ability to capture in it pictures and words.

 

Way Back Then

Written by: Neil Christopher

Illustrated by: Germaine Arnaktauyok

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: Inuktitut & English, pronunciation guide included. 

Topics Covered: First Nations, Indigenous Voices, Folklore, Culture & Traditions, 

Summary: Kudlu’s children cannot sleep.  They beg him for stories about olden times, when there was magic and the mountains were made of giants.  Kudlu tells his children of a fox and a raven.  They each wanted something different from the sky-the fox wanted a dark sky and the raven wanted a bright one.  The two could never agree, so that’s why we have night and day! Kudlu’s children and the reader learn why there are caribou, a goose-woman, and a time when the earth helped Inuit numbers grow by giving birth to children.

Each folktale Kudlu tells his children starts with “Way back then…” and they are short, taking up just half a page.  The book setup has a beautiful illustration on one page, and the story in both languages on the opposite.  They are fantastical tales and fun for children to imagine, with giant polar bears and whales bursting out of a woman’s fingers.  This book is an amazing resource for someone unfamiliar with Inuit folklore and history!  Bilingual books are so important, even if the reader isn’t learning the language.  Having exposure to a variety of languages helps with acceptance of others, and the questions naturally built into the story are an awesome resource for reflection.

Reflection Questions:

  • What do you notice about the Inuktitut language?
  • Which was your favorite legend?
  • Which magic power would you like to have?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Neil-172x300Neil Christopher is an educator, author, and filmmaker. He first moved to the North many years ago to help start a high school program in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. It was those students who first introduced Neil to the mythical inhabitants from Inuit traditional stories. The time spent in Resolute Bay changed the course of Neil’s life. Since that first experience in the Arctic, Nunavut has been the only place he has been able to call home. Neil has worked with many community members to record and preserve traditional Inuit stories. Together with his colleague, Louise Flaherty, and his brother, Danny Christopher, Neil started a small publishing company in Nunavut called Inhabit Media Inc., and has since been working to promote Northern stories and authors.

2602boo_postGermaine Arnaktauyok is an Inuit artist and illustrator, best known for her prints and etchings depicting Inuit myths and traditional ways of life. In 1999, she designed the special edition two-dollar coin commemorating the founding of the territory of Nunavut. She is the co-author, with Gyu Oh, of My Name Is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok. She lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

 

 

 

6n_DMFs0_400x400About the publisher, Inhabit Media! Scroll down for English translation.

Inhabit Media Inc. ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᓂ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᕆᔭᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᔪᖅ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖓᓂ. ᑐᕌᒐᕆᔭᕗᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᕋᓱᒡᓗᒋᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᒋᐊᕐᓗᒋᓪᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᑦ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᐅᔪᓪᓗ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᓂᑦ, ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓯᕐᓗᑕᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᓇᓱᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ (ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ, ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐊᕕᒃᑐᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐅᐊᖕᓇᖅᐸᓯᖕᓂᖅᐹᖓᓃᑦᑐᖅ).  ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑎᑦ, ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑎᑦ, ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐆᒻᒪᖅᑎᑎᓲᖑᕗᑦ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓄᑦ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓄᑦ ᐃᓕᓴᕐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒋᐅᖅᑕᐅᔪᓂᒡᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ.

ᑎᒥᙳᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ 2006-ᖑᑎᓪᓗᒍ, Inhabit Media ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ ᓄᑕᕋᖏᑦ ᑕᑯᖃᑦᑕᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑕᒥᖕᓂ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᓂ. ᐅᑭᐅᑦ ᖁᓕᙳᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᖢᑕ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖅᑎᓂᒡᓗ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖁᑎᓕᒫᖏᓐᓂ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓪᓗᑕ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᑦᑐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖁᑎᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐳᐃᒍᖅᑕᐅᖁᓇᒋᑦ ᑭᖑᕚᕆᔭᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᓄᑦ.

ᐊᒥᓱᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑕᕗᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᙱᑦᑐᑦ, ᐱᑕᖃᐃᓐᓇᐅᔭᖅᑑᒐᓗᐊᑦ ᑕᐃᒪᙵᓂᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑕᐅᒑᖓᒥᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑕᐅᕙᒃᖢᑎᒃ  ᑭᖑᕚᕇᓄᑦ. ᐃᓚᖏᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑐᖄᓘᒐᓗᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ, ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ, ᐃᓄᖕᓂᒡᓗ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᒫᓐᓇᕐᓂᓴᕐᓂᒃ, ᐊᒻᒪ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓂᒃ ᓇᑭᕈᓘᔭᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑎᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᑦ ᐅᓪᓗᒥᐅᔪᖅ ᑐᑭᓯᔭᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᑲᓇᑕᒥᐅᓂᑦ ᐊᒥᐊᓕᑲᒥᐅᓂᓪᓗ. ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒐᓕᐊᕆᕙᒃᑕᕗᑦ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔾᔨᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐱᙱᓚᑦ; ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᖕᒥᔪᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᑦᑎᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᐊᓯᐅᔨᔭᐅᓇᔭᖅᑐᒃᓴᐅᔪᕕᓂᕐᓂᒃ, ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓂᑦ ᐱᐅᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ, ᖁᕕᐊᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒡᓗ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑐᓴᐅᒪᑎᑦᑎᓂᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᑦ.

ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᑕ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᓪᓗᑕ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ, ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓯᓚᑐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔨᔭᕆᐊᒃᓴᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᐅᓄᑦ!

 

Inhabit Media Inc. is the first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic. We aim to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of the Arctic, while also supporting research in Inuit mythology and the traditional Inuit knowledge of Nunavummiut (residents of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory). Our authors, storytellers, and artists bring traditional knowledge to life in a way that is accessible to readers both familiar and unfamiliar with Inuit culture and traditions.

Incorporated in 2006, Inhabit Media was born out of a need for Nunavut kids to see their culture accurately represented in the books they read in schools. We have spent the last ten years working with elders and storytellers from across the Canadian Arctic to ensure that the region’s unique Inuit oral history is recorded and not lost to future generations.

Many of the stories that we publish have never been written down before, having existed for centuries as tales passed orally from generation to generation. While many of these stories are ancient, we work closely with elders, contemporary Inuit writers, and illustrators the world over to present folktales and traditional stories in a format that will resonate with modern audiences across North America. Our books do not simply provide a glimpse into Inuit culture; they also represent the preservation of oral history and traditional knowledge that may otherwise have been lost, in a format that contemporary readers will find engaging, entertaining, and informative.

As the first independent publishing company in Nunavut, we are excited to bring Arctic stories and wisdom to the world!

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists

Written by: Mikki Kendall

Illustrated by: A. D’Amico

For ages: YA older teens (mature topics-violence, assault, enslavement, death)

Language: English 

Topics Covered: Activism, Historic Figures, Historical Fiction, Enslavement, Women’s Rights, Suffrage, Women in Politics, Women in Leadership, Assault, Death, Indigenous Voices, POC-Centric Narratives, Marginalized Populations, Modern Black Freedom Struggle, LGBTQ, Black Feminist Thought. 

Summary: Triple A, how much do I love you?  Let me count the ways.  This book is PHENOMENAL. Like, I opened the envelope and immediately got in bed to read it and stayed up over an hour past my bedtime to finish it.  It is That Good.

This book is the definition of fire, it goes hard and I LOVE IT. This book, besides from being beautifully illustrated, does not shy away from the hardship and inequities faced by marginalized populations throughout history.  It is difficult for me to explain the joy that I feel to find a book that centers the experiences of women of color and celebrates their contributions to nearly every movement throughout history.  We’re history buffs here at The Tiny Activist, and I derived incredible excitement from learning so many new names and accomplishments of badass ladies that came before me.  The book is extremely in-depth and well-researched.  The majority of these names I would feel confident in saying aren’t well-known by most of us nowadays, and this is exactly the book we need right now to inspire a new generation of activists and change makers.

This book is absolutely for teens and above, it does not shy away from the ruthlessness that many leaders exemplified in order to clinch their power and leadership especially in a male-dominated world.  The book begins with a global perspective on ancient societies and the rights of women, focuses in on the USA, and then returns for a global look once again.  Nearly every activist movement is given space in this book, and it is nearly 200 pages.  There are only a few movements not mentioned, the Zapatista’s and the Fat Activist movement are two I can think of offhand, but due to the global overview of the book it can still be considered incredibly comprehensive.  Since it is for an older audience, Triple A doesn’t sugarcoat history, especially the inequities faced by marginalized populations.  It emphasizes the unfairness of Enslavement, Jim Crow laws, and various other historical settlements.  There are a few fabulous two-page illustrations showing women of color fighting monsters with names like “Racism” and “Online Harassment” while white women are floating on clouds, protected from having to do the dirty work.  This. Is. What. We Need.  We need critical reflections on public figures, despite the good that they did for humanity, it often came at the expense of more marginalized populations (ex: the racist views that many white women’s suffrage activists held) Indigenous activism is particularly prevalent, a refreshing and glorious part of this book.  CAN YOU TELL I LOVED IT YET?  Listen, I know we say a lot that books are required for every shelf, but this book is the definition of that phrase.  This graphic novel is creating a new standard for books about feminism, history, and badass ladies.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

PJmm2RUhMikki Kendall is a writer, diversity consultant, and occasional feminist who talks a lot about intersectionality, policing, gender, sexual assault, and other current events. Her nonfiction can be found at Time.com, the Guardian, Washington Post, Ebony, Essence, Salon, XoJane, Bustle, Islamic Monthly and a host of other sites.  Her new book Hood Feminism is coming out in February 25th, 2020 and can be preordered here!

Her media appearances include BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, WVON, WBEZ, TWIB, and Showtime.

Her fiction has been published through Revelator magazine and Torquere Press.

Her comics work can be found in the Swords of Sorrow anthology, the Princeless charity anthology, and in the CCAD anthology of 2016.  She has acted as a diversity consultant for writers of fiction, playwrights, fan conventions, and several organizations.

DAmico-headshot-2019Aster D’Amico is a Queer Illustrator living near Ann Arbor, Michigan, who loves all things tea, historical fashion, and fantasy! She enjoys writing and illustrating comics, which Aster finds to be an incredibly powerful vehicle for storytelling; her main medium of choice is Digital, but also very much loves using watercolor and Ink Wash.

D’Amico graduated with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Creative Writing from the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2016, and have been freelancing since.

 

 

Wilma’s Way Home, The Life of Wilma Mankiller

Written by: Doreen Rappaport

Illustrated by: Linda Kukuk

For ages: 5 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Indigenous Voices, Cherokee Nation, Trailblazer, Feminism, Activism, Politics, Historical Figure, Historic Events, Family, Women in Government, Women in Leadership, Community.

Summary: This is a story about the amazing life of Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee woman and first chief of their tribal nation.  This book is unique in that on each page there are quotes by Mankiller that reinforce the information written on the page by the author.  These quotes are bold and bright green, making it easy to see and hear Wilma’s voice within the story. Wilma was born in Oklahoma and lived there for her childhood until the government mandated that indigenous people be relocated, and her family was sent to San Francisco.  She married at 18, had two daughters, and continued to invest her time and energy into bettering life for her Cherokee community.  She struggled to reconnect to her Cherokee heritage, and began visiting the Oakland Indian Center regularly.  Becoming a champion for Native activists (including her own siblings!) Wilma raised money and awareness when Indigenous activists held Alcatraz island for 19 months before being forcibly removed.  The book also details her long recovery from a car accident, and how the community rallied together to support her during those trying months of recuperation.

This book covers a huge amount of information, but it is not presented in an overwhelming way.  The life of Wilma Mankiller is fascinating, and the reader is left wanting more!  It addresses the modern atrocities that our government has continually enacted upon the Indigenous populations that live in the United States in a developmentally appropriate way but at the same time does not shy away or try to sugarcoat the emotional impact that the Cherokee community is still reeling from today.

Reflection Questions:

  • Why do you think children made fun of Wilma’s last name?
  • How do you think Wilma felt when she had to justify her own interests in her Cherokee heritage?
  • What is a question you wish you could ask Wilma?
  • What do you know about holding an election or running for office?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

doreenphotosmallDoreen Rappaport is an award-winning author of 69 nonfiction books that celebrate multiculturalism, history, the lives of world leaders and the stories of those she calls ‘not-yet-celebrated.’

Her books have received critical acclaim and awards for her unique ability to combine historical facts with intimate storytelling, and for finding ‘new  ways to present the lives of well-known heroes‚’ like Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller and the Statue of Liberty. –  A dynamic writer-teacher-storyteller in the classroom, she is a frequent speaker at state and national educational conferences, universities, libraries, historical societies, book fairs, and community centers.  She has been a featured author at the National Portrait Gallery, National Book Festival, the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the White House.

22711_2790141w750Linda Kukuk, a life-time resident of the Oklahoma City area, is a self-taught artist.  Since the early 1960’s she has participated in numerous art shows, specializing in scratch board art.  She and her husband have traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, Russia, and the South Pacific, which has given her a myriad of interesting subjects to paint and draw.

Her retirement as Chief of the Commander’s Protocol Office at Tinker AFB in March 2002, has given her more time to pursue her artistic endeavors.   Since then, she has been painting mainly in watercolor and has discovered this just may be her favorite medium. She still continues with scratchwork, but is using clayboard, which allows her to add watercolor to this traditionally “black and white” medium.   Linda enjoys painting a very wide variety of subjects and considers anything to be fair game for her paper and clayboard.

Being a native Oklahoman of rich Choctaw ancestry, and having grown up in rural Oklahoma, she especially enjoys painting Native American themes.   Her Great Grandfather, Henry Pleasant Ward, was a member of the Choctaw Nation Legislature and also became Judge of Atoka County. The Ward family consisted of a number of prosperous, well respected, leaders just previous and following Oklahoma Statehood.  They are well represented in the historical book by H.F. O’Beirne, “Leaders & Leading Men of the Indian Territory, published in 1891.

She is a Signature member of ISSA (International Society of Scratchboard Artists) Two of her scratchworks were selected for the ISSA International Show in Vancouver BC, Canada in 2013. One of her scratchworks was selected for the ISSA International Show in Tucson in 2016 and two were selected for the Show in Adelaide, Australia in 2017  She has won numerous awards and purchase awards for her paintings and scratchworks throughout her career.  Linda’s work has been in the Festival of Arts in Oklahoma City, as well as the OCCC Arts Festival Oklahoma, Downtown Edmond Art Festivals, Red Earth Art Shows, Cherokee Art Market in Tulsa and Oklahoma Art Guild National Shows – all juried shows.   She participates, annually, in the OWA-Chito Festival of the Forest Art Show, which is a regional show including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Missouri.

Linda is sought after, by various art associations and clubs throughout the country, to demonstrate her scratchboard techniques and watercolor on clayboard.  She loves the opportunity to show other artists what she has learned through the years.

She is represented by The Howell Gallery in Nichols Hills, Red Earth Gallery in Oklahoma City, and Tatiana Art Studio in Moscow, Russia. Many of her scratchworks and paintings are on display in public facilities, such as the Metropolitan Library, Red Earth Gallery permanent collection, Dean A. McGee Eye Institute and Choctaw Nation Clinic, Clinic Administrative Offices, Headquarters Buildings in Durant, Oklahoma  and Behavioral Health Clinic in Talihina, Oklahoma.

Linda is presently doing work for Disney Publishing, illustrating a children’s book on Chief Wilma Mankiller’s life, which is scheduled to be released in February 2019.

 “International Artist” magazine selected one of Linda’s paintings to be featured in one of their books.  The title of the book is “How Did You Paint That? 100 Ways to Paint Still Life’s and Florals Vol. II.” “International Artist Magazine” featured Linda and one of her scratchworks in their October/November 2014 issue.  She was also featured in “International Artist Magazine” Master Painters of the World, USA in the June-July 2017 issue.

In addition to art, Linda enjoys photography, travel, gardening, cooking, and holds an Extra Class Amateur Radio Operator’s license.  Believing God has given her a wonderful gift, she also enjoys sharing her artistic talent to support numerous charitable events each year.

Anguti’s Amulet

Written by: The Central Coast of Labrador Archaeology Partnership

Translated by: Sophie Tuglavina

Illustrated by: Cynthia Colosimo

For ages: 8 years and up

Language: Inuktitut & English

Topics Covered: First Nations People, Indigenous Voices, Culture & Traditions, Family, Community, Love, Historical Events, Historical Fiction.

Summary: This is a two-part book.  The first tells of a young Inuit boy named Anguti and his life, particularly retelling an adventure with his sister. To briefly explain, Anguti and his sister Tukkekina find and kill a seal during a particularly harsh winter, but at the expense of getting stuck on a piece of ice that drifts out to sea.  Anguti wears an amulet that his shaman grandmother gave him, and his courage is renewed because of this.  The entire book is Inuktitut forward, with English translations coming afterwards.  The English version also keeps several words in Inuktitut, emphasizing their importance and teaching the reader over the course of the story.

Although the story is not true, it is based on objects found at an Inuit archaeology site and the story was written by the students and staff that worked at the site.  After the story is over, there is a huge amount of information about the dig site as well as a plethora of photos!  There are photos of the site, some of the objects that were found, and historical photographs.  Drawn maps of the site and the Labrador coast are included in the book, with additional historical context for readers unfamiliar with Inuit life and culture and geographical layout.  There is also a foreword that explains briefly about the book and its contents, as well as explaining the traditional facial tattooing seen on some of the women in the illustrations within the story about Anguti.

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you notice any differences between the Inuktitut and English spelling of words or capitalization?  
  • What do you know about other languages?
  • Do you or a family member speak another language?
  • Has anyone you know ever been up to Canada or the Arctic Circle?
  • What do you think is different in daily life there versus where you live now?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Find out more about what goes into long-term archaeology projects, like the one whose staff wrote this book.  Where are other projects taking place?  What sort of objects are being found?
  • Look for a video or recording of the story, told in Inuktitut.  What do you notice about the pronunciation versus English pronunciation?  A lot of people regard English as incredibly hard to learn, what do you think?
  • PBS just came out with a show called Molly of Denali, about an Indigenous girl.  See if you can find an episode to watch!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

The Central Coast of Labrador Community Archaeology Partnership is a cooperative research and educational venture with the community of Makkovik, Labrador.

Here is some more information about archaeology programs and how they work with Indigenous communities within Labrador!

ccolosimoOriginally from Thunder Bay, Cynthia Colosimo has lived in Labrador for sixteen years where she has worked on a number of community development and heritage projects. She also illustrated Anguti’s Amulet, a story about an 18th century Inuit boy, based on the archaeology of the Adlavik Islands in Northern Labrador. Cynthia has a BFA in drawing from the University of Manitoba and an MFA in printmaking from Concordia University. She is married to an archaeologist and has one child, another aspiring artist.

 

 

unnamedSophie Tuglavina is the translator of the story.  It was extremely difficult to find information about her online, so if you find any let us know!

Arctic Animals

Written & Illustrated by: Inhabit Media Inc., which is part of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

For Ages: Board book, infant and up.

Language: Inuksiutiit & English, also contains Inuksiutiit pronunciation in Roman alphabet.

Topics Covered: First Nations, Indigenous Voices, Literacy, Bilingualism, Numeracy, Culture & Traditions, Own Voices.

Summary: Like the counting book we reviewed before, this is a simple board book about arctic animals.  There is a beautiful melding of cultures, learning the First Nations terminology for the animals that they’ve always encountered.  Polar bears, ptarmigans, lemmings, and more!  The emphasis is put on the Indigenous languages, listing those first  before English.  The type is large and simple pictures accompany the rich linguistics within the books.  A photo of the animal is shown in its habitat and then again on the page with the words to reinforce learning.  Simple and short, but a great resource for anyone interested in animals or learning new languages!

Reflection Questions:

  • Do you live near any of these animals natural habitats?
  • If not, where might we be able to see them?
  • Do you know any other languages?
  • What about any members of your family?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Pick your favorite animal and learn more about them.  Watch video clips, learn what they like to eat, and build a model of their homes!
  • Learn more about the First Nations tribal groups, and the ones that speak Inuksiutiit.  Do you think everyone is bilingual?
  • Lots of people around the world speak more than one language.  Which ones are most common, and do any of your family members speak those common languages?

About INHABIT MEDIA :

Scroll down for English translation!

Inhabit Media Inc. ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᓂ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᕆᔭᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᔪᖅ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖓᓂ. ᑐᕌᒐᕆᔭᕗᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᕋᓱᒡᓗᒋᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᒋᐊᕐᓗᒋᓪᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᑦ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᐅᔪᓪᓗ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᓂᑦ, ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓯᕐᓗᑕᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᓇᓱᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ (ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ, ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐊᕕᒃᑐᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐅᐊᖕᓇᖅᐸᓯᖕᓂᖅᐹᖓᓃᑦᑐᖅ).  ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑎᑦ, ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑎᑦ, ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐆᒻᒪᖅᑎᑎᓲᖑᕗᑦ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓄᑦ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓄᑦ ᐃᓕᓴᕐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒋᐅᖅᑕᐅᔪᓂᒡᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ.

ᑎᒥᙳᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ 2006-ᖑᑎᓪᓗᒍ, Inhabit Media ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ ᓄᑕᕋᖏᑦ ᑕᑯᖃᑦᑕᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑕᒥᖕᓂ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᓂ. ᐅᑭᐅᑦ ᖁᓕᙳᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᖢᑕ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖅᑎᓂᒡᓗ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖁᑎᓕᒫᖏᓐᓂ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓪᓗᑕ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᑦᑐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖁᑎᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐳᐃᒍᖅᑕᐅᖁᓇᒋᑦ ᑭᖑᕚᕆᔭᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᓄᑦ.

ᐊᒥᓱᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑕᕗᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᙱᑦᑐᑦ, ᐱᑕᖃᐃᓐᓇᐅᔭᖅᑑᒐᓗᐊᑦ ᑕᐃᒪᙵᓂᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑕᐅᒑᖓᒥᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑕᐅᕙᒃᖢᑎᒃ  ᑭᖑᕚᕇᓄᑦ. ᐃᓚᖏᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑐᖄᓘᒐᓗᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ, ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ, ᐃᓄᖕᓂᒡᓗ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᒫᓐᓇᕐᓂᓴᕐᓂᒃ, ᐊᒻᒪ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓂᒃ ᓇᑭᕈᓘᔭᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑎᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᑦ ᐅᓪᓗᒥᐅᔪᖅ ᑐᑭᓯᔭᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᑲᓇᑕᒥᐅᓂᑦ ᐊᒥᐊᓕᑲᒥᐅᓂᓪᓗ. ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒐᓕᐊᕆᕙᒃᑕᕗᑦ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔾᔨᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐱᙱᓚᑦ; ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᖕᒥᔪᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᑦᑎᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᐊᓯᐅᔨᔭᐅᓇᔭᖅᑐᒃᓴᐅᔪᕕᓂᕐᓂᒃ, ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓂᑦ ᐱᐅᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ, ᖁᕕᐊᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒡᓗ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑐᓴᐅᒪᑎᑦᑎᓂᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᑦ.

ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᑕ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᓪᓗᑕ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ, ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓯᓚᑐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔨᔭᕆᐊᒃᓴᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᐅᓄᑦ!

 

Inhabit Media Inc. is the first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic. We aim to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of the Arctic, while also supporting research in Inuit mythology and the traditional Inuit knowledge of Nunavummiut (residents of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory). Our authors, storytellers, and artists bring traditional knowledge to life in a way that is accessible to readers both familiar and unfamiliar with Inuit culture and traditions.

Incorporated in 2006, Inhabit Media was born out of a need for Nunavut kids to see their culture accurately represented in the books they read in schools. We have spent the last ten years working with elders and storytellers from across the Canadian Arctic to ensure that the region’s unique Inuit oral history is recorded and not lost to future generations.

Many of the stories that we publish have never been written down before, having existed for centuries as tales passed orally from generation to generation. While many of these stories are ancient, we work closely with elders, contemporary Inuit writers, and illustrators the world over to present folktales and traditional stories in a format that will resonate with modern audiences across North America. Our books do not simply provide a glimpse into Inuit culture; they also represent the preservation of oral history and traditional knowledge that may otherwise have been lost, in a format that contemporary readers will find engaging, entertaining, and informative.

As the first independent publishing company in Nunavut, we are excited to bring Arctic stories and wisdom to the world!