Language revitalization and gender diversity: Dallas Hunt’s interview about “Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock”

Language revitalization and gender diversity: Dallas Hunt's interview about "Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock"

Dallas Hunt is a teacher, writer, and member of Wapisewsipi (Swan River First Nation) in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta, Canada. He is also the author of Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock, illustrated by Amanda Strong.

In his debut children’s book, Dallas Hunt includes words in Cree and traditional methods of storytelling. The story features Awâsis, a young Cree girl seeking out help from a variety of other-than-human relatives after losing her Kôhkum’s world-famous bannock.

  1. How did you incorporate issues that you care about into Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock?
    I moonlight as a teacher when I’m not writing poetry or children’s books, so sometimes my orientation to writing can take on a sort of pedagogical approach. But I wanted to highlight or foreground issues that I’m passionate about in Awâsis: language revitalization, kinship, among other things. It is important to me that Awâsis and the other characters not only speak Cree, but that they have a relationship premised on sharing and respect. So often our relation to “the natural world” and our other-than-human kin can be based on extraction or extractive logics, so I wanted to put forth other ideas in the book, ones that might reflect or be more in line with Cree teachings or Cree ways of being in the world.
  2. Why did you decide to include Cree in your story?
    I’m a strong proponent of language revitalization, so I knew that my first children’s book would deal primarily with the Cree language in some capacity. As a lifelong learner of nêhiyawêwin, which is to say, as someone who is not fluent and who works every day towards fluency, I wanted to provide a readable text that has phrases and words that might be helpful to young Cree awâsisak or really any new or beginning Cree language learners. Also, I love the word sîsîp. Say it aloud. Right now. It’s fun.
  1. There are lots of recipes for bannock, where did this one come from?
    This is nôhkôm’s (my grandmother’s) recipe. I asked her if she would be okay if I included her recipe in a children’s book and she said “yes.” That said, you’re right, there are so many bannock recipes out there, and this recipe is meant in no way to be prescriptive or “the one true bannock recipe.” Some people use lard, some people don’t use milk—I’ve heard all sorts of interesting and scrumptious-sounding recipes.
  1. In the story, there is a scene where Awâsis and her Kohkum bake bannock together. Have you ever baked with your Kohkum? Is there anything in particular that you would make?
    The first time I made bannock was with my kohkum. She came over to nikâwiy’s (my mother’s) and taught me how to make bannock and frybread—or, more specifically, “fried bannock.” I’ve learned a lot from my kohkum, nikâwiy, and the women in my family more generally. I hold great admiration for them and am in awe of all of them, so when I can be in the same kitchen as them, especially to make bannock, I jump at the opportunity.

PG 13. Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock

  1. Reviewers mentioned the connection that Awâsis’s story has to that of Little Red Riding Hood. In writing the book, were you inspired by any elements of that fairy tale?
    I didn’t think about Little Red Riding Hood once while writing the story, so whenever I hear that I’m surprised and a little curious about it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the association or people commenting on the similarities, though I’m always fascinated with how stories about Indigenous peoples, communities, or characters are legible more broadly (or are made legible) to audiences. My hope is that if I continue with other stories about Awâsis, that the character and the story will be taken on their own terms, which might necessitate me injecting more Cree into the narrative (which I would be happy to do!)
  1. Why did you decide to give the owl the pronoun “they”?
    In short, I wanted to normalize gender variance and gender diversity within our languages and communities. I spoke with Debbie Reese, who has an amazing site dedicated to Indigenous children’s literature, about this question recently, specifically because someone in the comments section of her site had said that the Cree language did not contain (or have the possibly to contain) the singular “they.” I wondered if the post was by someone who may be uncomfortable with gender diversity within our language(s). It also presumes that Cree, as a language, is static, cemented in time, and not a living language that would be able to account for our gender diverse relatives (in the present moment or historically). For instance, why couldn’t the personal pronoun “wîya” in Cree refer to “she/he/they”? It’s heartbreaking to me that some would foreclose on that possibility and allow English to house our relations better than Cree could. All of that said, I’m not an authority on this issue, nor am I the first or only person to be doing this work. There are numerous Indigenous women, queer, Two-Spirit, trans, non-binary, and other gender diverse peoples generating texts and other creative works and social practices with these thoughts very much at the forefront, and they’ve been doing it for much longer than I have.
  1. Readers may not know that Awâsis was originally written as a boy in the manuscript. Was there a reason why you decided to change Awâsis to a girl?
    Mainly, Awâsis was a boy because I liked the alliteration of the original title (“A Boy and His Bannock”). But after an editor (the wonderful Desirae Warkentin) suggested changing the title of the text to Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock because it would be more descriptive and because children might enjoy the superlative, then I began to think “why does Awâsis have to be a boy?” If there are future iterations of Awâsis, then I hope the character will occupy a variety of gender positions, in order to gesture to the great gender diversity within our communities, a diversity that is at times unrecognized, uncelebrated, silenced, erased, and, in some cases, punished. In the wider “Awâsis universe,” there is room for all our relations.
  1. Amanda Strong’s illustrations really make the story come to life. What was the process of working with an illustrator like, and what do you like about the artwork in your book?
    This book would not exist without Amanda’s wonderful illustrations. Amanda had provided an early mock-up of Awâsis, and when I asked her if she could possibly make the story look a little more “whimsical,” she came back with really the whole aesthetic of the book. And I couldn’t be happier with it. If you enjoy the illustrations in the text, I would recommend checking out the rest of Amanda’s work, including the short film Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), as well as the other work of Spotted Fawn Productions. It’s really all quite incredible and I’m very lucky to have gotten the chance to work with Amanda. Many thanks to her for bringing Awâsis to life! Hiy hiy!

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock


Click here to see Amanda Strong’s illustrations in Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock for yourself and order your copy today.

 

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An Interview with Sonny Assu about “This Place: 150 Years Retold”

Sonny Assu, This Place Retold 2019

Photo by Mark Mushet Photography

Sonny Assu is an interdisciplinary artist whose diverse practice is informed by a deep connection to Kwakwaka’wakw art and culture and melded with western/pop principles of art making. He is one of eleven Indigenous authors who wrote stories for the graphic novel anthology, This Place: 150 Years Old. “Tilted Ground,” illustrated by Kyle Charles and coloured by Scott A. Ford, talks about Sonny’s great-great-grandfather, Chief Billy Assu, as well as the potlatch ban.

  • Why did you choose to tell this story?

I have a deep connection to my great-great-grandfather, even though I never met him. He’s come to inform my work in various ways, and this story pays tribute to his legacy.

  • How did you come up with the title “Tilted Ground?”

The old village site of Tsaqaluten, just south of our current village, translates to “Tilted Ground.” It’s now a site of a resort/lodge of the same name and the ground, is in fact, tilted.

  • If you could summarize the story with one line, what would you say?

A young man, groomed to become a legend, grapples with the continued colonial onslaught against his, and other, coastal Indigenous people.

  • Why did you pick these particular historic events for your story?

This era, particularly the potlatch ban era, has been a major focus for a number of my art works. I feel this information is readily hidden from the public. That if we know more about Canada’s past atrocities towards the First People, it will put our current atrocities in perspective. A story like this needs to be told, so we know where we come from and how we will get to where we are going.

Photo by Mark Mushet Photography.

  • Which character do you relate to the most? Why?

Chief Billy Assu. I think because the odds are stacked against him and he still manages to maintain the ways of the old while setting the path for the future. Back then, the future was uncertain, and if he were to witness where we are today, he would see what he was able to accomplish. But, he’d be left with a lot of questions and unease over what is happening now and where we are going next in this colonial ride called Canada.

  • If you could go back in time and meet with one of the characters in your story, or if you could meet one of the characters in real life today, what would you say to them or ask them?

I’d want to meet Chief Billy Assu… but not in the time of the story or in the present. Maybe 5-10 years before his passing. Just sit with him. Bring him tea and ask him to tell me all his stories as we eat cookies out of a blue tin. I want to hear his old-man elder voice.

  • Were any parts harder to write than others?

I think the most difficult part to write were the settler/colonial scenes. For someone like John A. MacDonald, I wanted him to be a caricature, and it was a delicate dance between tearing him down, making him a clown, and highlighting the legacy that no one talks about.

  • From where do you get your inspiration?

From many places, mostly nerdy pursuits such as video-games, comic books, and sci-fi. But over the last three years, my inspiration has come from my proximity to my community. Having moved to my unceded home lands has been life changing. I wake, walk, and work where my ancestors did.

  • What does your writing process look like?

Chaotic, yet focused. I like to divide my writing time between my studio or a coffee shop. Particularly when I lived in the city. I don’t know what it was, but there was something about the hiss and whirr of the espresso machine, coupled with the buzz of the atmosphere. It’s an interesting combination of white noises that are easy to gain focus from. My studio is the complete opposite. While I paint or make, I require music to sing to. While I write, I need silence.

  • What advice do you have for other storytellers?

If I can write, you can make art!

  • In the next 150 years, what would you want to see happening in Canada?

The patriarchy smashed, colonialism clobbered, and capitalism quashed! Nuff said.

 


 

Click here to order your copy of This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are a wild ride through magic realism, serial killings, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

Featuring Stories By: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, David A. Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Jen Storm, Richard Van Camp, Katherena Vermette, and Chelsea Vowel

Illustrated By: Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles, GMB Chomichuk, Natasha Donovan, Scott B. Henderson, Ryan Howe, Andrew Lodwick, and Jen Storm

Colour By: Scott A. Ford and Donovan Yaciuk

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This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

 

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Cozy up with one of our 2018 titles

Winter has arrived here on the prairies, and with the change of seasons and the new year right around the corner, there’s no better time to curl up with one of our 2018 titles!

Whether you’re looking for a thought-provoking read to explore, or you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect book:

A Girl Called Echo Vol 2: Red River Resistance
A Girl Called Echo Vol 2:
Red River Resistance

Red River Resistance is volume two in the graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo, written by Governor General Award–winner Katherena Vermette, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson, and coloured by Donovan Yaciuk.

This latest instalment picks up where Pemmican Wars left off, and sees Echo Desjardins adjusting to her new home, making new friends, and discovering more about her Métis heritage.

Echo also can’t stop slipping back and forth in time, and one afternoon, she finds herself transported to the banks of the Red River in the summer of 1869. The Métis families there, who have lived along the river for generations, struggle to be recognized as their land is sold out from under them.

As Echo travels back and forth through time, she witnesses tensions build, as the initially peaceful resistance against Canadian surveyors turns violent.

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock is a playful story written by Dallas Hunt and illustrated by Amanda Strong which celebrates Cree dialects and traditional ways of storytelling.

The story focuses on Awâsis, who loses her Kôhkum’s freshly baked world-famous bannock during an unfortunate mishap and seeks out help from a variety of other-than-human relatives.

This whimsical story introduces Cree words and pronunciations for different animals and baking ingredients, and comes with a recipe for Kôhkum’s World-Famous Bannock!

Surviving The City by Tasha Spillett 2018
Surviving the City
Vol. 1

Surviving the City, written by Tasha Spillett  and illustrated by Natasha Donovan, is one book in The Debwe Series and tells a story of kinship, cultural resurgence, resilience, and the anguish of a missing loved one.

The story focuses on Miikwan and Dez, teenage girls of (respectively) Anishinaabe and Inninew descent, who together face the challenges of growing up Indigenous in an urban landscape. However, after Dez’s grandmother becomes too sick to take care of her, Dez is faced with living in a group home. With this threat looming, Dez can’t bring herself to go home and disappears.

Miikwan is devastated at her friend’s disappearance, and losing Dez reopens old wounds from when her mother went missing. She finds herself wondering: will her community find Dez in time, and will she be able to cope if they don’t?

Monsters
Monsters

Monsters is the second novel in David A. Robertson’s The Reckoner trilogy, and picks up the story of Cole Harper, a young man struggling to settle into life in Wounded Sky First Nation.

Cole may have stopped a serial killer, but his adventure is far from over: the health clinic has been shut down by a mysterious organization, questions still remain about his parents’ death, and there’s a creature lurking in the dark heart of Blackwood Forest.

As Cole continues to seek the truth about the problems facing Wounded Sky First Nation, he digs further into the mysterious circumstances surrounding his parents’ disappearance…

Watch for book 3, Ghosts, coming in 2019!

 

Gifts for Teachers

Whether you’re an educator looking for a thought-provoking gift for a colleague, or looking to expand on your current educational resources for your classroom, we’ve got a great lineup of titles also released this past year:

Hands-On Science and Technology for Ontario

The Hands-on Science and Technology books are an instructional program for elementary science teachers in Ontario. If you live outside of Ontario, make sure to take a look at the Hands-On Science books for other provinces.

This practical guide is based on the latest research in science education and is a valuable resource for building a comprehensive and authentic assessment plan which focuses on the Achievement Levels outlined in the Ontario Science and Technology Curriculum. The new editions embed Indigenous perspectives and knowledge in lesson plans, to help you incorporate authentic Indigenous content in the classroom.

Potlatch as Pedagogy

Potlatch as Pedagogy is the result of a collaboration between father and daughter Sara Florence Davidson and Robert Davidson.

In 1969, a potlatch was held to mark the raising of a totem pole carved by Robert, the first the community had seen in nearly 80 years. His daughter, Sara Florence Davidson, became an educator, and through the course of her own education came to see how the traditions of the Haida practiced by her father could be integrated into contemporary educational practices.

Potlatch as Pedagogy offers a hopeful and eloquent model for learning which is holistic, relational, practical, and continuous.

 

Ensouling Our Schools

Ensouling Our Schools is one book in the Teaching to Diversity series, and is written by Jennifer Katz with Kevin Lamoureux, and includes a foreword by Ry Moran.

Authors Jennifer Katz and Kevin Lamoureux weave their experiences as educators and advocates together to present a framework for creating educational communities which offer meaning and purpose while developing intellectual thought and critical analysis.

 

Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools

In Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools, author Pamela Rose Toulouse offers the latest information, personal insights, authentic resources, and lesson plans and interactive strategies which support Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners in the classroom.

This book is a terrific resource for teachers who are interested in finding ways to respectfully include residential school history, treaty education, First Nations/Métis/Inuit perspectives and sacred circle teachings, and Indigenous contributions into their courses and curriculum.

Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools is a “must-have” resource for any educator looking to respectfully facilitate relationship building and engage in reconciliation activities.

Which of these captivating books are you looking forward to reading over the holidays? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news, release dates, and pre-order opportunities!

 

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Honouring Francis Pegahmagabow

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His Ojibway name was Binaaswi, which roughly translates to “the wind that blows off,” but history largely remembers him as Corp. Francis ‘Peggy’ Pegahmagabow, a scout and sniper who served in WWI.

Pegahmagabow rose to fame within Canada after being credited with 378 kills and 300 captures during his time abroad, but the Indigenous communities where he lived knew him as much more than a sniper, or a scout: he was a passionate activist, icon, leader, and family member.

The Legend of ‘Peggy’

Pegahmagabow’s legacy began during his time in the trenches: he fought in the Second Battle of Ypres; survived the Battle of the Somme, a battle that claimed the lives of over a million people (the German people called it ‘das Bludbat’—the bloodbath); and navigated the muddy, bloody fields near Passchendaele.

Throughout all these dangerous missions, the legend of ‘Peggy’ continued to grow.

‘Peggy’ as Pegahmagabow was known to his fellow soldiers, was celebrated for his bravery in the trenches. At night, under the cloak of darkness, he would camouflage himself in the muddy, broken earth and crawl into No Man’s Land. There, he would stay hidden—sometimes for days at a time—until he could get a clear shot.

In addition to being a famous sniper, Pegahmagabow was also renowned as a messenger and a scout. He saved countless lives by carrying important orders back and forth between the units stationed along the front. By the end of WWI, Pegahmagabow was awarded three Military Medals for his courage and bravery. He is one of just 38 soldiers to hold this distinction.

Coming Home & Activism

The man who would become famous for his bravery wasn’t even recognized as a citizen in his own country. Though he is still the most decorated Indigenous soldier in Canadian history, the respect Pegahmagabow earned on the battlefield did not come home with him. This led ‘Peggy’ and other Indigenous veterans to become politically active. He refused to be sidelined by the Indian Agent assigned to him by the Department of Indian Affairs.

After nearly four years abroad earning the respect of his comrades, Pegahmagabow became a Chief and Councillor of what today is known as the Wasauksing First Nation. Eventually, he rose to the position of Supreme Chief of the Native Independent Government, a precursor to today’s Assembly of First Nations.

Learn About Francis ‘Peggy’ Pegahmagabow

There’s so much more to the story of Francis ‘Peggy’ Pegahmagabow, and a great place to start is in our upcoming graphic novel anthology This Place: 150 Years Retold (May 2019).

This captivating story is written by David A. Robertson (author of When We Were Alone and The Reckoner Trilogy) and features beautiful illustrations and colour by artist Natasha Donovan (The Sockeye Mother and Surviving the City).

‘Peggy’ follows a young Francis as he survives the trenches at Ypres, reflecting on the Ojibway teachings which shaped him, and the differences between how Indigenous peoples were treated on the battlefield compared to back home:

“Here, we’re like equals. I even outrank soldiers. Back home, it’s not like that,” Francis says in the story. “The government treats us like children. They take our land, they put us on reserves, and when they want something else, they come and take that too.”

 

Discover this powerful and inspiring story by pre-ordering your copy of This Place: 150 Years Retold today.

To learn more about Francis Pegahmagabow, see Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow by Brian D. McInnes.

For other stories about Indigenous veterans, see The Scout: Tommy Prince by David A. Robertson.

 

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“This Place: 150 Years Retold” Author Statement: Brandon Mitchell

Brandon Mitchell is the author of “Migwite’tmeg: We Remember It” in the anthology This Place: 150 Years Retold, which features artwork by Tara Audibert and coloured by Donovan Yaciuk. Below are Brandon’s thoughts on writing the story, which gives an insider’s perspective of the salmon raids of the 70s and 80s in his home community. 

* * * *

Listuguj is my home. My earliest memories are of rod-fishing on the river banks at sunrise with my father and younger brother. My father would talk to us about our right to fish, and our responsibility to respect the cycle. We fish to feed ourselves and to share with those who can’t.

The raids of 1981 were rarely mentioned growing up. As I grew older, when I told people from other First Nation communities that I was from Listuguj, I was surprised at how many replied with, “I remember being there in ’81…”. They shared vivid stories about the roles they played supporting us during the raids.

Listuguj. Photo provided by Brandon Mitchell

Listuguj. Photo provided by Brandon Mitchell

When the opportunity came to share this story, I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t want to cover the same ground as Alanis Obomsawin’s compelling documentary, Incident at Restigouche. I mentioned the project to my mother-in-law; she wanted me to start with the 1980 raid. I was confused—“There was an earlier raid?” I began researching, and found stories on the “salmon wars” of the 1970s. I discovered that there were many smaller raids that took place in Listuguj and other Indigenous communities in Quebec in the lead-up to 1981, including one larger raid in 1980. I found my direction.

This story is dedicated to everyone who shared their stories of the Raids with me.

~ Brandon Mitchell

* * * *

Watch Alanis Obomsawin’s compelling documentary, Incident at Restigouche (1984), on the National Film Board website: 

Click here to order your copy of This Place: 150 Years Retold.

* * * * * *

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are a wild ride through magic realism, serial killings, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

Featuring Stories By: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, David A. Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Jen Storm, Richard Van Camp, Katherena Vermette, and Chelsea Vowel

Illustrated By: Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles, GMB Chomichuk, Natasha Donovan, Scott B. Henderson, and Andrew Lodwick

Colour By: Scott A. Ford and Donovan Yaciuk

Canada Council New Chapter Logo

 

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

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Introducing the Instagram Contest for “This Place: 150 Years Retold”

We’re excited to announce we’re running a contest on our Instagram feed for the upcoming anthology This Place: 150 Years Retold (May 2019) at @highwaterpress!

Fanned promotional postcards for the graphic novel anthology This Place 150 Years Retold

This Place: 150 Years Retold is a graphic novel anthology from HighWater Press that features award-winning Indigenous creators (see full list at the bottom of the page) including Katherena Vermette (2017 Burt Award, The Break), David Alexander Robertson (2017 Governor General’s Literary Award, When We Were Alone), and Jennifer Storm (2017 CBC Manitoba Future 40).

The anthology brings the last 150 years to life through beautiful graphic art and Indigenous characters and stories. To celebrate its upcoming release, we’re running an Instagram caption contest from November 8th to 29th for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

We’ll be featuring a prize package from Indigenous artisans and authors, including:

How to Enter

Entering is easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Follow these four accounts on Instagram: @highwaterpress @herbraids  @IndigoArrows @cheekbonebeauty
  2. Create your caption for the image provided. Tell us what you think the characters are saying and doing.
  3. Leave your caption in the comments section of each contest-related post. This is the most important part!

Enter as many times as you’d like. The more comments and ideas, the better!

The contest closes on November 29th, and we’ll be publishing a final post to let you know it’s your last chance to enter.

Good luck!

About This Place: 150 Years Retold

Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are a wild ride through magic realism, serial killings, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact. Pre-order your copy at highwaterpress.com/ThisPlace.

Featuring the following contributors:

Foreword by: Alicia Elliott

Stories by: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, David A. Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Jen Storm, Richard Van Camp, Katherena Vermette, and Chelsea Vowel

Illustrated by: Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles, GMB Chomichuk, Natasha Donovan, Scott B. Henderson, and Andrew Lodwick

Colour by: Scott A. Ford and Donovan Yaciuk

 

Canada Council New Chapter Logo

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

 

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HighWater Press Fall Release Preview 2018

Fall 2018 Titles

Fall 2018 Titles

It’s time for our annual Fall Title Release Preview and the weather is making the thought of curling up with one of our new books easy! We have four new titles coming out before the end of the year and you can either order or pre-order all of them now. Check out the descriptions and let us know on social media what you’re most excited for! Click the links Facebook Instagram Twitter

 

Monsters

Release date: September 12

9781553797487
Cole Harper is struggling to settle into life in Wounded Sky First Nation.

Monsters is the second novel in The Reckoner trilogy, a series by Governor General Award-winner, David A. Robertson.

Come to the launch at McNally Robinson on Tuesday, October 30th 2018. A portion of the book sales this evening will be donated to Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba.

 

 

 

A Girl Called Echo Vol. 2: Red River Resistance

9781553797470

Release date: November 15

Picking up where Pemmican Wars left off, Red River Resistance sees Echo Desjardins adjusting to her new home, finding friends, and learning about her Métis heritage.

Red River Resistance is volume two in the graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo, by Governor General Award–winner Katherena Vermette.

 

Surviving The City

Release date: November 28

9781553797852

Tasha Spillet’s graphic-novel debut tells a story of kinship, resilience, cultural resurgence, and the anguish of a missing loved one.

Surviving the City is one book in The Debwe Series. Come check out the launch party at McNally Robinson Thursday, December 6th 2018.

 

 

 

 

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock

Release date: Late Fall

9781553797807

This whimsical story celebrates the revitalization of Cree dialects and traditional methods of story telling.

Dallas Hunt 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 lives in Winnipeg and enjoys reading great books to his nieces and nephews.

Amanda Strong, 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.

Sign up for our eNewsletter for up-to-date information on Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock.

 

*All release dates are subject to change. 

Don’t forget to let us know what book you’re most excited for, we would love to hear from you!
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This Place: 150 Years Retold

Indigenous Creators Focal Point of New Graphic Novel Anthology

A new graphic novel anthology from HighWater Press will highlight Indigenous creators including David Alexander Robertson (2017 Governor General’s Literary Award, When We Were Alone), Katherena Vermette (2017 Burt Award, The Break) and Jennifer Storm (2017 CBC Manitoba Future 40).

Work-In-Progress Depiction of Fictional Rosie by GMB Chomichuk

Work-In-Progress Depiction of Fictional Rosie by GMB Chomichuk

Slated for print in 2019, This Place: 150 Years Retold will bring the last 150 years to life through Indigenous characters and stunning, full-colour graphic novel art. The writers represent a broad spectrum of Indigenous voices, communities, and experiences.

“This book is an opportunity to shine a light on the stories most Canadians haven’t heard, to learn from Indigenous communities from 1867 to present day – whether these stories are influenced by the creation of Canada or not,” said Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, acquisitions editor for HighWater Press and contributor to This Place. “I’m thrilled to be included among amazing writers like Katherena Vermette and Chelsea Vowel, who have been at the forefront of thought-provoking conversation surrounding Indigenous issues for years.”

Watch for both familiar stories and new creations: Annie Bannatyne, the Oka Crisis, and the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, along with a wendigo killer charged as a serial killer, and a futuristic look at current events from “Métis in Space.” An Inuk girl’s coming-of-age story is infused with magic realism while the Second World War rages in the backdrop.

Work-In-Progress Depiction of Francis Pegahmagabow by Natasha Donovan

Work-In-Progress Depiction of Francis Pegahmagabow by Natasha Donovan

To enjoy contributor interviews, details about the process, and a sneak peek at the stories, follow along on social media: Twitter (@PortageMainPres), Instagram (@highwaterpress), and Facebook (HighWater Press).

Please visit our media kit for contributor bios, headshots, and images from the book.

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Contributors: Writers: Richard Van Camp, Chelsea Vowel, David Alexander Robertson, Jennifer Storm, Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, Brandon Mitchell, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Katherena Vermette, and Sonny Assu; Artists: Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles, Natasha Donovan, GMB Chomichuk, Scott B. Henderson, and Andrew Lodwick; Colour Artists: Scott A. Ford and Donovan Yaciuk (bios attached in media kit).

 

About the New Chapter initiative

This is one of 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative. With this $35M initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada. <http://canadacouncil.ca/initiatives/new-chapter>

 

 

 

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“When We Were Alone” wins GG Award

Congratulations to David Alexander Robertson and Julie Flett! When We Were Alone has won the Governor General’s Literary Award in the Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books category.

When We Were AloneWhen We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history and, ultimately, a story of empowerment and strength. When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long braided hair and wear beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where everything was taken away.

Learn more about When We Were Alone on our website.

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HighWater Press Fall Release Preview

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There are so many things to look forward to when autumn rolls around – the leaves changing beautiful colours, hot drinks to sip, and new books from HighWater Press! We have four new titles coming out before the end of the year and you can pre-order all of them now. Check out the descriptions and let us know what you’re most excited for!

Strangers

Release date: October 10

When Cole Harper is compelled to return to Wounded Sky First Nation, he finds his community in chaos: a series of shocking murders, a mysterious illness ravaging the residents, and reemerging questions about Cole’s role in the tragedy that drove him away 10 years ago. With the aid of an unhelpful spirit, a disfigured ghost, and his two oldest friends, Cole tries to figure out his purpose, and unravel the mysteries he left behind a decade ago. Will he find the answers in time to save his community?

Strangers is the first novel in The Reckoner, a series by David Alexander Robertson, award–winning writer and author of HighWater Press’ acclaimed children’s book When We Were Alone.

Nimoshom and his Bus

Release date: October 31

Nimoshom loved to drive the school bus. Every day, on the way to and from school, he had something to say. Sometimes, he told the kids silly stories. Sometimes, he taught the kids a new word in Cree.

Nimoshom and His Bus introduces basic Cree words. A glossary is included in the back of the book.

The Sockeye Mother

Release date: November 30

To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the sockeye salmon is more than just a source of food. Over its life cycle, it nourishes the very land and forests that the Skeena River runs through and where the Gitxsan make their home. The Sockeye Mother explores how the animals, water, soil, and seasons are all intertwined.

A Girl Called Echo Vol. 1: Pemmican Wars

Release date: November 30

Echo Desjardins, a 13 year-old Métis girl, is struggling with her feelings of loneliness while adjusting to a new school and foster family. Then an ordinary day in Mr. Bee’s history class turns extraordinary, and Echo’s life will never be the same. During Mr. Bee’s lecture, Echo finds herself transported to another time and place—a bison hunt on the Saskatchewan prairie—and back again to the present. In the following weeks, Echo slips back and forth in time. She visits a Métis camp, travels the old fur-trade routes, and experiences the perilous and bygone era of the Pemmican War.

Pemmican Wars is the first graphic novel in A Girl Called Echo, a series by Katherena Vermette, Governor General Award–winning writer and author of HighWater Press’ The Seven Teaching Stories.

 

All release dates are subject to change.