Honouring Francis Pegahmagabow

Francis Peggy Pegahmagabow 1945 via CBC

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.

 

Tags: , , , ,

“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.

Tags: , ,

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.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

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!
50-Best-Facebook-Logo-Icons-GIF-Transparent-PNG-Images-52

Tags: , , ,

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.

###

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>

 

 

 

Tags: ,

“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.

Save

Save

Tags: , , , , , ,

HighWater Press Fall Release Preview

FallBlogHeader

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. 

Get Your Hands on Hands-On Science

Blog_HandsOnSciCan you smell that crisp, clean fall air? Or perhaps the freshly sharpened pencils? Is that you, back-to-school season?

Our favourite time of the year is here – time to pull on a sweater and fill your backpack with brand new books. Just in time for the season, we’re releasing new editions of Hands-On Science for Ontario, Grades 1-3! They’re rolling out (and shipping out) over the next month so you can have them for the new school year. We get a lot of questions about the different editions of Hands-On Science (with good reason – we have a lot of editions), so we decided to lay it all out so you can decide which edition is the best for you.

Ontario vs. WNCP editions – which will work for me?
The Ontario editions are designed specifically for Ontario curriculum. The WNCP editions (that’s Western and Northern Canadian Provinces) are more general and designed for widespread use throughout the country. You’re free to use whichever edition you want, of course – but they are more tailored to each of those regions.

New editions – coming soon!
If you’ve tried to order Hands-On Science for Ontario lately, you may have noticed that certain editions are unavailable or only available for pre-order. That’s because the new editions of Hands-On Science for Ontario are rolling out! Grade 1 and 2 are available for order now, Grade 3 will be available at the end of this month, and Grades 4-6 will be available early next year.

The new editions focus on and feature the following:

  • the components of an inquiry-based scientific and technological approach
  • Indigenous knowledge and perspective embedded in lesson plans
  • a four-part instructional process—activate, action, consolidate and debrief, and enhance
  • an emphasis on technology, sustainability, and differentiated instruction
  • a fully developed assessment plan that includes opportunities for assessment for, as, and of learning
  • a focus on real-life technological problem solving
  • learning centres that focus on multiple intelligences and universal design for learning (UDL)
  • land-based learning activities
  • a bank of science related images

Digital Reproducible Masters – Do I need them?
The digital reproducible masters are just the reproducible sections of Hands-On Science. We make it easy – no scanning in and copying, they come in a PDF form and you print the page out directly from your computer as you need it. These are designed as a companion to the lesson plans, and contain no lesson plans themselves.

Tags: , ,

Best (Inside) Places to Read

IMG_8311Are you an indoor person? We can be too. It’s nice to be outside when it’s nice outside, but sometimes, enjoying the summer sun is impossible – it’s too hot, or it’s storming, or the bugs won’t stop landing on your page. Why not stay inside instead and enjoy the great indoors (and a good book)?

Here’s our list of our favourite places to snuggle up to the AC and turn pages in temperature-controlled comfort.

Catch up at a coffee shop
Hot drinks and books have been best friends since the dawn of time. Find a local coffee shop that’s cool with you staying for a while, grab your favourite latte (perhaps even in a real mug!), and hunker down in a cozy leather armchair to catch up on your reading.

We recommend Indigenous Writes – perfect for stimulating insightful conversation while catching up with your friends over a round of coffee.

Buy a new page-turner at a bookstore
This one might be obvious, but bookstores are the best place to find your new paper friend and take them home forever. Once you make a purchase, many stores invite you to stay for a while and explore your new books – perhaps at an in-house coffee shop or simply in a classic sturdy armchair. You might have to buy another book if you get caught up reading!

Build a blanket fort
Why go out? Pile your own bed or couch with your fluffiest pillows, softest blankets, and piles of your old favourites and hide away for a few hours. Make a rule for yourself: no phones, no computers, no screens – just you and your books. You might not want to leave!

This one is especially great if you have little ones – they can pick their favourites from the Seven Teachings Stories to bring with them to the fort!

Take a trip to the library
No budget? No problem! Your public library has thousands of titles waiting for you to read them for free. Libraries have changed a lot in the past few years – many of them have upgraded and you can search and reserve your titles online before you make a visit. But you can also do it the old-fashioned way – spend some time wandering the aisles and collect an arm-weakening pile of books to take home.

On your commute (as a passenger, of course)
There’s no better way to pass the time than with reading! Long weekends are the time for road trips, so when your driving shift is over and you’re sitting in the backseat, stretch out your legs (as much as you can) and pull out your summer read. Or if you’re traveling solo, listening to an audiobook (like The Evolution of Alice or April Raintree) can do the trick too!

Tags: , , , , ,

5 Summer Reading Necessities

PMPSummer_58BJuly is here, and that means it’s time to soak up the two hottest months of the northern hemisphere’s year. Summer is all about hitting the beach, going hiking, heading out to the lake and enjoying some well-deserved time off with your loved ones, but our favourite summer activity is crossing books off that ever-growing reading list. Here’s our list of the absolutely essential things you need to pack in your bookbag this summer.

A good pair of sunglasses
The sun is tough on your eyes, and it can be even tougher when the light rays bounce off the white pages of your book and right into your retinas. Even if you’re not staring into the sun, be sure to get a nice pair of sunnies (that match your bookbag, natch) so you can keep reading and relaxing for summers to come.

Reusable water bottle
Stay hydrated, people.

The perfect picnic blanket
To make your reading spot as comfortable as possible, remember to pack a thin, foldable blanket to spread out on the ground, or if it’s a breezy day, wrap around your shoulders. It’ll keep those new white shorts from getting grass stains.

Sunscreen with a high SPF
When you get lost in a good book, your mind wanders off and you lose track of time. It’s the best feeling in the world – but not if you’re in the blazing sun. Be sure to protect your skin so you don’t have to deal with that sore, flaky burn. Ouch!

Portage & Main Press’s summer reading bundle

You don’t want to go through your reading list too quickly, especially when half the fun is building it up. Get our three-book summer reading bundle – including Come Walk With Me, The Evolution of Alice, and The Stone Collection for only $50 and only this summer, including free shipping, right here.

 



Come Walk With Me:
In 1983, the book In Search of April Raintree was published to great acclaim, heralding the voice of an important new writer, Beatrice Mosionier (then Culleton). With honesty and clarity, Mosionier explored the story of two Métis sisters as they struggle with loss, identity, and racism. Yet readers have long asked: How much of April’s story comes from the author’s own life?

Come Walk With Me, Beatrice’s answer to that question, is a moving memoir that follows a bewildered three-year-old through a dramatic journey to adulthood. She recounts a life that, at times, parallels that of her most memorable fictional character, and at others, diverges from it. Mosionier searches to make sense of her losses—her sundered family, her innocence, and her dignity—to triumph as a woman and as a writer, fulfilled artistically, politically, and personally.

The Evolution of Alice: This haunting, emotionally resonant story delivers us into the world of Alice, a single mother raising her three young daughters on the rez where she grew up. Alice has never had an easy life, but has managed to get by with the support of her best friend, Gideon, and her family. When an unthinkable loss occurs, Alice is forced onto a different path, one that will challenge her belief in herself and the world she thought she knew. The Evolution of Alice is the kaleidoscopic story of one woman’s place within the web of community. Peopled with unforgettable characters and told from multiple points of view, this is a novel where spirits are alive, forgiveness is possible, and love is the only thing that matters.

The Stone Collection: In these 14 unique stories, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm takes on complex and dangerous emotions, exploring the gamut of modern Anishinaabe experience. Through unforgettable characters, these stories—about love and lust, suicide and survival, illness and wholeness—illuminate the strange workings of the human heart.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,