Nenapohs Legends

Nēnapohš Legends Narrated by Saulteaux Elders Transcribed, Translated and Edited by Margaret Cote Syllabics by Lynn Cote, Glossary by Arok Wolvengrey Published by University of Regina Press Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $19.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-219-9 Nēnapohš Legends, Memoir 2 in the First Nations Language Readers features seven traditional Salteaux stories I’m happy to have been introduced to. As explained by Margaret Cote and Arok Wolvengrey, these language texts have been used to teach Saulteaux (Plains Ojibwe) in classrooms at First Nations University of Canada in Regina, and prior to this they existed exclusively as oral stories shared between generations. The central character is Nēnapohš (pronounced NAY nuh bohsh), the “‘trickster’ or culture-hero” in the Saulteaux tradition. Cote First Nation Elders Andrew Keewatin, John F. Cote, and Cote’s daughter, Margaret Cote, a retired Assistant Professor of Salteaux Language Studies, are to be congratulated for preserving these stories via sharing them both orally and in this text. Aside from the fun and imaginative bilingual tales, Nēnapohš Legends includes a Saulteaux syllabary, an extensive Salteaux-English glossary, and detailed ink drawings by Denny Morrison, a Salteaux artist from Ochapowace First Nation. The first story, “When the Earth was Flooded and How Nēnapohš Recreated It,”…

Knowledge Seeker, The
University of Regina Press / 28 September 2016

The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality by Blair Stonechild Published by University of Regina Press Review by Keith Foster $32.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-417-9 What is your purpose in life? This is one of the questions Blair Stonechild explores in The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality. In researching this book, Stonechild, a member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation in Saskatchewan, interviewed numerous Aboriginal Elders. Among them is his mentor, Danny Musqua, who achieved the title of Knowledge Keeper, earning the right to pass sacred stories on to the next generation. Stonechild’s exploration of Aboriginal spirituality is both philosophical and practical. According to him, Indigenous spirituality has a place far beyond the classroom, and the importance of this book is self-evident: “Indigenous spirituality holds the key for transforming our future.” He explores the belief that when we die, we actually go home to the spirit world from which we came and reunite with the Creator. He also makes a strong case for reincarnation, citing several examples of children who spoke convincingly of having lived previous lives. In looking at the larger picture of life, Stonechild views all people as one. “Humans are like leaves on a tree,” he says, “all thinking they…

These Are Our Legends
University of Regina Press / 13 April 2016

These Are Our Legends Narrated by Lillooet Elders, Transcribed and Translated by Jan van Eijk, Illustrated by Marie Abraham Published by University of Regina Press Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $24.95 ISBN 9-780889-773967 University of Regina Press is to be commended for its series, First Nations Language Readers, which allows a broad spectrum of readers to enjoy the wisdom, humour, word play, and moral lessons inherent in traditional oral stories and legends. Now the press has added These Are Our Legends to the series, and thus preserves seven short Lillooet legends, originally narrated by four Lillooet (Salish) elders from British Columbia’s interior and painstakingly transcribed and translated by Jan van Eijk, a Linguistics professor at Regina’s First Nations University who’s dedicated forty years to studying the Lillooet language. The volume offers an interesting juxtaposition. The academically-inclined will appreciate van Eijk’s depth of research, evident in his opening “On the Language of the Lillooet,” in which he discusses phonology, morphology, and syntax, and in the extensive Lillooet-English glossary that follows the bilingual stories. His methodology re: collecting the stories – or sptakwlh, which translates as “ancient story forever” – via tape recorder between 1972 – 1979 is also included. These particular stories initially appeared together…

The Duty to Consult
Purich Publishing / 17 February 2010

The Duty to Consult: New Relationships with Aboriginal Peoples by Dwight G. Newman Published by Purich Publishing Review by Shanna Mann $30 ISBN 978-1895830-378 While this is, first and foremost, a scholarly work, the author makes an earnest attempt to present the information in a clear manner. There is no doubt that a layperson would likely benefit from a point-by-point chapter summary, but the absence of Latin terminology and self-referential citations makes it understandable—though it will never be a beach read. The book explores the legal ramifications and implicit necessities of the so-called “duty to consult,” the duty of the crown to notify, consult, or if necessary include First Nations people in any licensing, sale, or use of land or waters that may affect the rights of Aboriginals. If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the past decade of Aboriginal rights litigation, many of the cited court cases will be familiar to you—Taku River Tlingit First Nation v. British Columbia, Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada, and so on. It explores the ramifications for First Nation’s bands and organizations as well as for the crown and interested third parties. It notes that many First Nations bands lack resources…

Black Bear Pastry & Other Delights
Kakwa Publishing / 23 April 2009

This is a children’s story, yes, with age-appropriate language and credible characters – it was realistic and delightful how often friends and extended family were visiting the grandparents to work together on a mossbag, for example, or help fix an old truck — but it also deals with the “grown-up” issue of traditional vs. contemporary life.