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Book Club/ Book Review
Using a book club format, students will meet and use prompt questions to explore the unique concepts, address themes of culture, communication, transfer of knowledge, Indigenous ways of knowing amongst other themes indicated in their book of choice. As a group this learning will be submitted for 10% and can be in the form of a small paper (about 4 pages) or jot notes with art piece. 

Post a book review on D2L and respond to at least two other book reviews.  

Sources of Indigenous Authored Resources

i-Portal: Indigenous Studies Portal

  • The Indigenous Studies Portal (iPortal), is a database of full-text electronic resources including articles, e-books, theses, government publications, videos, oral histories, and digitized archival documents and photographs. The iPortal content has a primary focus on Indigenous peoples of Canada with a secondary focus on North American materials and beyond.

American Indians in Children's Literature

  • Established in 2006 by Dr. Debbie Reese of Nambé Pueblo, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical analysis of Indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books. Dr. Jean Mendoza joined AICL as a co-editor in 2016.

  • is a family-owned business located on the Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario. specializes in Indigenous education and features a selection of First Nations, Métis and Inuit books.

48 books by Indigenous writers to read and understand writers to read and understand

  • A recent CBC list from 

Critical Literacy

Introduction to Critical Literacy

Critical literacy is the term used to refer to a particular aspect of critical thinking.

  • Critical literacy involves looking beyond the literal meaning of a text to determine what is present and what is missing, in order to analyse and evaluate the text’s complete meaning and the author’s intent.
  • Critical literacy is concerned with issues related to fairness, equity, and social justice.

Critically literate students adopt a critical stance, asking what view of the world the text advances and whether they find this view acceptable, who benefits from the text, and how the reader is influenced.  (Ontario Ministry of Education, n.d.)

  • points of view (e.g., those of people from various cultures);
  • context (e.g., the beliefs and practices of the time and place in which a text was created and those in which it is being read or viewed);
  • the background of the person who is interacting with the text (e.g., upbringing, friends, communities, education, experiences/positionality);
  • intertextuality (e.g., information that a reader or viewer brings to a text from other texts experienced previously);
  • gaps in the text (e.g., information that is left out and that the reader or viewer must fill in);
  • silences in the text (e.g., the absence of the voices of certain people or groups).

(Ontario Ministry of Education, n.d.)

Critical Indigenous Literacy:

  • Think about:
    • Positionality (of both texts' creator(s) and of texts' readers)

      • "Positionality is the concept that our perspectives are based on our place in society. Positionality recognizes that where you stand in relation to others shapes what you can see and understand" (DiAngelo & Sensoy, 2017, p. 14).

    • The cultural politics of Indigenous self-identification ("race shifting" and cultural appropriation)

    • The power of media to perpetuate misrepresentation and harm
      • "Media, entertainment, and other forms of popular culture play a significant role in shaping our perceptions of others. For many of us, popular culture is the primary way we learn about people who are different from us. The problem, though, is that many representations are based on cultural stereotypes, which tend to marginalize and caricature members of nondominant groups. Through these representations, we see a limited, and distorted, view of others" (Perception Institute, n.d.).
      • "[T]he country’s most ubiquitous agent of popular education, the newspaper, has tended to conflate all [Indigenous] peoples into one heavily stereotyped monolith, patterned on a colonial ideology that flourishes to this day" (Anderson & Robertson, 2011, p. 3).

Reviews and Book Reports


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Joel Blechinger
Phone: 403.440.8624
Office: EL4423E

Pearl Herscovitch

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Pearl Herscovitch
she, her
Phone: 403.440.6022
Office: EL4423B