Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft- edited by Robert Dale Parker 312 pgs

"This book brings to the public for the first time the complete writings of the first known American Indian literary writer, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (her English name) or Bamewawagezhikaquay (her Ojibwe name), Woman of the Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky (1800-1842). Beginning as early as 1815, Schoolcraft wrote poems and traditional stories while also translating songs and other Ojibwe texts into English. Her stories were published in adapted, unattributed versions by her husband, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and they became a key source for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's sensationally popular The Song of Hiawatha."  She was also the first known American Indian literary writer, the first known Indian woman writer, the first known Indian poet, the first known poet to write poems in a Native American language, and the first known American Indian to write out traditional Indian stories (as opposed to transcribing and translating from someone else's oral delivery, which she did also).

**possible use:  this could work for comparing Schoolcraft to Longfellow's poem and to show that  the original idea was inspired by Schoolcraft. Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including American Indian and other diverse cultures’ texts and how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back: A Native American Year of Moons -Jonathan London and Joseph Bruchac

"To many Native Americans, the 13 cycles of the moon represent the changing seasons and the passage of time. Each moon has its own special name that, while varying among the tribal nations, is consistent with the legend that the 13 scales on Old Turtle's back hold the key to these moons. The authors present 13 poems that take readers through the year, from the  'Moon of Popping Trees''--when the 'cottonwoods crack with frost' --to the 'Big Moon'' of the Abenakis.

**Third Moon is Anishinabe (Ojibwe)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chief Bender's Burden: The Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star -Tom Swift

"The greatest American Indian baseball player of all time, Charles Albert Bender, was, according to a contemporary, “the coolest pitcher in the game.” The book documents his early years on the White Earth Reservation to his development at the Carlisle Indian School.  Using a trademark delivery, an impressive assortment of pitches that may have included the game’s first slider, he earned a reputation as baseball’s great clutch pitcher during tight Deadball Era pennant races and in front of boisterous World Series crowds. More remarkably yet, “Chief” Bender’s Hall of Fame career unfolded in the face of immeasurable prejudice. This skillfully told and complete account of Bender’s life is also a portrait of greatness of character maintained despite incredible pressure—of how a celebrated man thrived while carrying an untold weight on his shoulders."

**Might be interesting to compare/contrast an excerpt of this text to Jackie Robinson's struggles with racism in sports. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Assassination of Hole in the Day -Anton Treuer 320 pgs

On June 27, 1868, Hole in the Day (Bagonegiizhig) the Younger left Crow Wing, Minnesota, for Washington, DC, to fight the planned removal of the Mississippi Ojibwe to a reservation at White Earth. Several miles from his home, the self-styled leader of all the Ojibwe was stopped by at least twelve Ojibwe men and fatally shot.
Hole in the Day’s death was national news, and rumors of its cause were many: personal jealousy, retribution for his claiming to be head chief of the Ojibwe, retaliation for the attacks he fomented in 1862, or retribution for his attempts to keep mixed-blood Ojibwe off the White Earth Reservation. Still later, investigators found evidence of a more disturbing plot involving some of his closest colleagues: the business elite at Crow Wing.
While most historians concentrate on the Ojibwe relationship with whites to explain this story, Anton Treuer focuses on interactions with other tribes, the role of Ojibwe culture and tradition, and interviews with more than fifty elders to further explain the events leading up to the death of Hole in the Day."


*possible uses-this text is rich with MN Native history and would  be great to use in Social Studies classes!

Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life -Diane Wilson 224 pgs

"Far greater even than the loss of land, or the relentless coercion to surrender cultural traditions, the deaths of over six hundred children by the spring of 1864 were an unbearable tragedy. Nearly one hundred and fifty years after the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862, Dakota people are still struggling with the effects of this unimaginable loss.”
Among the Dakota, the Beloved Child ceremony marked the special, tender affection that parents felt toward a child whose life had been threatened. In this moving book, author Diane Wilson explores the work of several modern Dakota people who are continuing to raise beloved children. Each of these humble, but powerful peopl,e teaches children to believe in the “genius and brilliance” of Dakota culture as a way of surviving historical trauma.
Crucial to true healing, Wilson has learned, is a willingness to begin with yourself. Each of these people works to transform the effects of genocide, restoring a way of life that regards our beloved children as wakan, sacred"

Her first book, Spirit Car, would be a good place to start prior to reading this one.


The Red Sash - by Jean E. Pendziwol 40 pgs

"A young Native American boy is at the heart of this adventure that takes place nearly 200 years ago. The story centers around the busy fur trading post of Fort William on Lake Superior-the major trading post linking the fur trade of northern and central Canada to the North West Company's main headquarters in Montreal. Voyageurs, easily identified by the red sash they wore, were the men who worked in the fur trade, traveling along the trade routes by canoe. The boy, who longs to be a voyageur like his father, describes his family's life and the role that Fort William played in the opening of the Canadian interior. Readers may also catch the Native name for Lake Superior, Gitchee Gumee. A brief history of Fort William and the North West Company is appended. The map on the inside cover provides geographic context and the beautiful gouache and mixed-media illustrations work well to support the text.  Pendziwol's engaging text combines with Debon's vivid and historically accurate illustrations to give an authentic picture of life at a fur trading post in the early 1800s."

-it would be a good idea to provide some background information about the Native people, voyageurs, fur trading and their relationships.  MN is rich with this history.


Flying with the Eagle, Racing the Great Bear: Tales from Native North America -Joseph Bruchac

"In this continent-spanning collection of Native American coming-of-age tales, young men face great enemies, find the strength and endurance within themselves to succeed, and take their hard-earned place by the side of their elders.
Joseph Bruchac is the award-winning author of more than 120 books for children and adults"

*"The Dream Fast" tale is of Anishinabe (Ojibwe) heritage.


MN Lang Arts standard  Analyze how this modern work of fiction draws on myths/traditional stories.

Life in an Anishinabe Camp -Nikki Walker 32 pgs

This book introduces children to the daily life, customs, and culture of the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) people of the western Great Lakes region.  A lot of good basic information for elementary students.


Powwow - George Ancona 50pgs

"Feathers, beads, fringe, paint, bells, and shawls--these are the images that first bombard a spectator at a Native American powwow. But what does it all mean? Ancona provides an introduction to the modern powwow that explains everything. Focusing on the Crow Fair in Montana, he takes readers through the standard events that one can see at almost any powwow across the country. Anthony Standing Rock is shown playing with friends and then getting dressed in his traditional dance outfit. The festivities, beginning with the opening called the Grand Entry and on through the standard dances, are described and illustrated with well-placed, full-color photos that clearly reflect the text."


Pushing up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children - Joseph Bruchac 90 pgs

"From acclaimed Native American storyteller Joseph Bruchac comes a collection of seven lively plays for children to perform, each one adapted from a different traditional Native tale. Filled with heroes and tricksters, comedy and drama, these entertaining plays are a wonderful way to bring Native cultures to life for young people. Each play has multiple parts that can be adjusted to suit the size of a particular group and includes simple, informative suggestions for props, scenery, and costumes that children can help to create."
*"Sister Stars"  is an Ojibway play.


The Ojibwa: Wild Rice Gatherers - Therese DeAnglelis

"The America's First Peoples series brings young readers into the unique cultures of American Indian tribes and nations. This book discusses wild rice.  In time, wild rice became an important part of the Ojibwa way of life.
Discusses the Ojibwa Indians, focusing on their tradition of gathering wild rice. Includes a rice recipe and instructions for making a dream catcher."


**not my favorite text about MN Native people and wild rice, but another resource, nontheless.  I found the photographs a bit blurry and the dream catcher info/activity in the back lacking.

North Star Numbers: A Minnesota Number Book - Kathy-jo Wargin 40 pgs

Using short poems, this book uses facts and Minnesota history in its counting-from Pipestone, to Red River oxcarts (invented by the Metis, or people of mixed heritage), bison, petroglyphs (images carved in rock), Fur Trading posts, and other non-Native topics.
**There is a mention of Fort Snelling, but it would be a good class discussion to further investigate the history of how Dakota people were imprisioned there after the 1862 U. S. Dakota War.


A Native American Thought of It: Amazing Inventions and Innovations - Rocky Landan (with David MacDonald) 34 pgs

"Inventiveness and ingenuity from North America's First Nations.
Everyone knows that moccasins, canoes and toboggans were invented by the Aboriginal people of North America, but did you know that they also developed their own sign language, as well as syringe needles and a secret ingredient in soda pop?
Depending on where they lived, Aboriginal communities relied on their ingenuity to harness the resources available to them-
Other clever inventions and innovations include: diapers, asphalt, megaphones, hair conditioner, surgical knives, sunscreen along with many others."
The author is an Ojibwe band member.