Monday, November 30, 2009

Withershins by Susan Rocan

Withershins by Susan Rocan
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 235 pages
Publisher: Great Plains Publications (April 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1894283759
ISBN-13: 978-1894283755

Here's the blurb:
Most people have he
ard of Withershins- the ritual where one runs around a church three times at midnight. Some claim you will be transported to the Netherworld. What happens to Michelle is quite different. She finds herself trapped in the past, forced to survive without modern conveniences. A native shaman tells her she is the chosen one, but Michelle has no idea why. As she struggles with life in a primitive time, she learns more than just how to survive. Despite facing illness, death, and bigotry, she learns patience and even falls in love, as much as she tries to avoid it.

About the Author
Susan Rocan grew up in Winnipeg and attended Grant Park High School, where she was a member of the school choir. Besides music, she has always loved words, their meanings, origins, and the way they sound. Although she never considered writing for a career, language development does form a major part of her Education degrees. She now teaches speech and language - and even American Sign Language - to special needs students within the Seven Oaks School Division

Saturday, November 28, 2009



an evening of young black female voices, films, photos, storytelling, music, healing, and dance.

In the information age, so many stories about young black women continue to be told by other people. 

On Saturday, December 12th, 2009 a collective of young black women from across the city will come together to reclaim their voices by sharing their stories throughfilm, photography, poetry, podcasts and art. This is a night celebrating theherstories of black female youth in our communities, followed by the Love Womb healing jam presented by Phoenix: a community of black women coming together to address and eradicate gender violence. 

Come out and enjoy womb-friendly tunes spun by Dee Jay L’Oqenz, affordable and delicious corn soup by Sister Asabi, and a look into the gaze of young black females in the city. 

Saturday, December 12th, 2009
Storytelling: 7pm
Jam: 10pm – 1am

anitAFRIKA! dub theatre
62 Fraser Avenue
(South/ East of Dufferin and King
in Liberty Village)

(donations for anitAFRIKA! dub theatre suggested)

Featured Films: 

“Eboni Girl” Produced By Eboni Morgan
Eboni Girl explores being a young black women in one of Toronto’s suburbs. 

“DE-SIRE” Produced by Kemba Byam, Rita Nketia, and Keisha Monique Simpson 
A film challenging the taboo of talking about black female sexuality, by talking about black female sexuality.

“Untitled” Produced by Felicia Mings
An experimental film exploring the aesthetics of race and the black female body.

“BWAMH! Black Women Against Male Harassment” Produced by Sedina Fiati
A series of spoof public service announcements that highlight the issue of street harassment by replacing the expected female victim with males. 

Bonus Videos:

“Mix-up and a Sister’s Pledge” Produced by Set It Off Ladies: Westview
The Set It Off ladies group from Westview Collegiate explore the issue of ‘mix-up’ in schools, and how we should treat each other as young women and sisters. 

Photo Exhibit Opening Night:

PICTURE DIS: A Look Through the Eyes of the Young Women of Lawrence Heights

Photographers: Alicia Alexander, Farhia Hirad, and Ladan Omar, Hanan Osman

Picture Dis is a collection of photographs that present a visual glimpse into the lives of a group of young women who live in Lawrence Heights. Led by photographer Debra Friedman and facilitated by Ashley McFarlane, the work reflects the photographic skills the group learned over several months of studying lighting, framing and composition, portraiture and documentary photography. These elements where used to merge the artistic with the expression of the photographers lives, families, friends, community, social realities, and stories. 

For more info:
call: 416-875-7179
or email: tygris (AT)  

Visit the site: to watch videos after the screening, check out what else we've been up to, and find out more about the project!

Special Thanks to the Support of:  The Ontario Women’s Directorate, The Urban Alliance on Race Relations, The City, The Trillium Foundation, The Dub Poets Collective, and Schools Without Borders

Ashley Alexis McFarlane

Freedom Youth Collective, Urban Alliance on Race Relations
UPenn Communications 08

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cheesecake and Teardrops

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Urban Trade Paper (August 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601621744
ISBN-13: 978-1601621740
The blurb:

Office romances were always taboo to Charisma, but lately she's finding herself attracted to her new boss. Is it because the sensual, honey-brown man could easily become a guilty pleasure, or is it just because Charisma is determined not to let her competitive co-worker have him?
Tangie has a history of picking men who are hot in bed and cold on commitment until she meets an FBI agent who may just be her Nubian prince.

Desperate to get rid of her "body by Haagen Dazs," Heather is willing to do just about anything. When a former classmate offers her some powerful diet pills, she's tempted. But is the thing her friend is asking for in return too high a price to pay?

As best friends Charisma, Tangie, and Heather deal with issues of race, relationships, and body image, each is reminded that "behind every successful woman is herself!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank You, Jesus for this glorious day

Postcolonial Reconfigurations:: An Alternative Way of Reading the Bible and Doing Theology

Postcolonial Reconfigurations:: An Alternative Way of Reading the Bible and Doing Theology (Paperback)

R. S. Sugirtharajah

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (November 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827229968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827229969

The Blurb:

Collected essays exploring how to do theology (part one) and read the Bible (part two) when viewed through the eyes of oppressed peoples who have suffered - and continue to suffer - from western colonialism.

About the Author

R. S. Sugirtharajah is Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics, University of Birmingham. His most recent publications include: Postcolonial Criticism and Biblical Interpretation (2002), and The Bible and the Third World: Precolonial, Colonial and Postcolonial Encounters (2001).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Less Than Half, More Than Whole

Less Than Half, More Than Whole 


Kathleen and Michael Lacap

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Rising Moon; 1st edition (October 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873585925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873585927

This is the blurb:

Tony notices that his skin is darker than yellow-haired, blue-eyed Scott's, but lighter than that of his Native American friend, Will. A well-designed effort, this title is for all children of multicultural marriages who struggle to find an identity. It serves not only to illuminate Indian culture, but also as a gentle celebration of mixed heritage.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Victoria Christopher Murray

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket; First Edition edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416563504

Here's the blurb:

New York City -- are you ready for the Divine Divas? Because these teenage gospel music sensations are ready for you!
Veronique wants to be a star just as much as her fellow Divas do, but there's more to it than just fame for her. Unlike her middle-class friends at Holy Cross Prep, Veronique is there on scholarship, and if she wins a recording contract, she can move her mother and brothers out of their crummy apartment.

But Veronique has another dream that's hers alone. She longs to meet her dad, who disappeared to New York when she was just a baby. Could going to the Big A with the other Divas be Veronique's big chance to find him? Veronique knows she'll have to do some legwork on her own, though, so she turns to the internet for help. While it seems like a miracle when she gets a response, her friends aren't so sure. Is Veronique putting herself in danger, just when the Divas are on the brink of really making it big? And will her faith and her friends be enough to keep her safe? 

About the Author
Victoria Christopher Murray is the Essence bestselling author of the novels Truth Be Told, Joy, Temptation, and Blessed Assurance, a collection of inspirational short stories. She lives with her family in Inglewood, California. Visit her at

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Kid's Guide to Latino History: More than 50 Activities

A Kid's Guide to Latino History: More than 50 Activities
by Valerie Petrillo
Chicago Review Press August 2009

See all Editorial Reviews
Product Details
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (August 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1556527713
ISBN-13: 978-1556527715
Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Here's the blurb:

Featuring hands-on activities, games, and crafts that explore the diversity of Latino culture, this guide introduces children to the people, experiences, and events that have shaped Hispanic American history. Broken down into sections covering descendants from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Central and South America, topics include Spanish colonial history; the missions and early settlements in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas; the Santa Fe Trail and the United States-Mexican War of 1848; immigration; and the plight of migrant farm workers. Sidebars focus on famous Latinos and language lessons, while projects highlight arts, games, food, clothing, unique celebrations, and folklore. Kids can fill Mexican cascarones for Easter, learn to dance the merengue from the Dominican Republic, write a short story using magical realism to learn about the literature of Colombia, make a Cuban sandwich, and create Guatemalan worry dolls. A timeline, glossary, teacher’s guide, and recommendations for Latino books, movies, museums, and Web sites round out this multicultural excursion.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Turning on Learning: Five Approaches for Multicultural Teaching Plans for Race, Class, Gender and Disability

Turning on Learning: Five Approaches for Multicultural Teaching Plans for Race, Class, Gender and Disability,
Carl A. Grant and Christine E. Sleeter

  • 400 pages
  • Wiley; 3 edition 
  • October 9, 2002
  • ISBN-10: 0471391433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471391432
  • Here's the blurb:

The text is grounded in theories and philosophies supporting multicultural education. There is special attention given to concerns related to race, class, and gender relations. In addition to providing lesson plans, this book teaches processes for modifying and developing existing curriculum and instruction.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Booker T. Washington : black leadership in the age of Jim Crow

Booker T. Washington : black leadership in the age of Jim Crow
Raymond Smock
Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, c2009.
xii, 223 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher (June 25, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1566637252
ISBN-13: 978-1566637251

From the time of his famous Atlanta address in 1895 until his death in 1915, Booker T. Washington was the preeminent African-American educator and race leader. But to historians and biographers of the last hundred years, Washington has often been described as an enigma, a man who rose to prominence because he offered a compromise with the white South: he was willing to trade civil rights for economic and educational advancement. Thus one historian called Washington's time the nadir of Negro life in America.

Then there's also this:

An autobiography : the story of my life and work

Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915.
[Gloucester, England?] : Dodo Press, [2008?]

Thursday, November 12, 2009


by Nicola I. CampbellKim LaFave (Illustrator)

  • Pub. Date: September 2005
  • Publisher: Pgw
  • Format: Hardcover, 32pp
  • Sales Rank: 731,795
  • Age Range: 4 to 7


Shi-shi-etko just has four days until she will have to leave her family and everything she knows to attend residential school. She spends her last precious days at home treasuring and appreciating the beauty of her world — the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather’s paddle song. Her mother, father, and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping.
LaFave’s richly hued illustrations complement Campbell’s gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss — a loss that native people have endured for generations because of Canada’s residential schools system.

Found out about the trailer and the book from

Shi-shi-etko has only four days left before she is taken to residential school. Each day a member of her family takes her out to remind her to remember her culture.

2 PM Again and Again

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Land is My Land
By George Littlechild

Published by
Children's Book Press

  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892391197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892391196

This is the blurb:

Through his own words and paintings, acclaimed Native artist George Littlechild takes us back in time to the first meeting between his Plains Cree ancestors and the first European settlers in North America. In This Land Is My Land, George intimately and honestly shares with readers how he discovered his Native heritage and what it means to him. He recounts the history of his people and expresses his wish to use his art to portray the wonders of his heritage, and to heal the pain of his people's history.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where I must go by Angela Jackson

Where I must go

Angela Jackson

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (September 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810151855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810151857

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rain Is Not My Indian Name

Rain Is Not My Indian Name.
SMITH, Cynthia Leitich.
illus. by Lori Earley.
Tr $16.99.
ISBN 978-0-688-17397-5;
PLB $16.89.
ISBN 978-0-06-029504-2.

Here's the blurb:

The next day was my fourteenth birthday, and I'd never kissed a boy -- domestic style or French. Right then, I decided to get myself a teen life.

Cassidy Rain Berghoff didn't know that the very night she decided to get a life would be the night that Galen would lose his.

It's been six months since her best friend died, and up until now Rain has succeeded in shutting herself off from the world. But when controversy arises around her aunt Georgia's Indian Camp in their mostly white midwestern community, Rain decides to face the outside world again -- at least through the lens of her canera.

Hired by her town newspaper to photograph the campers, Rain soon finds that she has to decide how involved She wants to become in Indian Camp. Does she want to keep a professional distance from the intertribal community she belongs to? And just how willing is she to connect with the campers after her great loss?

In a voice that resonates with insight and humor, Cynthia Leitich Smith tells of heartbreak, recovery, and reclaiming one's place in the world.

From the author's website:

Cynthia's debut novel RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME was published in trade and library editions by HarperCollins and released as a book on tape by Listening Library in July 2001. For this title, Cynthia was selected as a 2001 Writers of the Year in Children's Prose by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.

RAIN was also a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award, featured at the Second National Book Festival, the Texas Book Festival, the St. Petersburg Times' "You Gotta Read This Book Club," and included in GREAT BOOKS FOR GIRLS by Kathleen Odean.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Last Summer before Residential School

As Long as the Rivers Flow: A Last Summer before Residential School
y Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden

Illustrated by Heather D. Holmlund

CDN $12.95/U.S. $8.95.

Size: 7 ¼ x 10, 40 pp, ages 9 and up. Paperback. ISBN 0-88899-696-9

To order a book: Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada. Tel: 416-321-2241/1-800-387-0117. Fax: 416-321-3033/1-800-668-5788. Distributed in the U.S. by Publishers Group West (PGW), 1 (800) 788-3123. Also available from , a Native-owned distributor of First Nations/Metis/Inuit books.

Here's the blurb:

From the 1880s for almost 100 years, the education of First Nations children was taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures.

As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl and watches his grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting and gathering trip.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hidden Roots

Hidden Roots.
Scholastic. 2004.
Tr $16.95.
ISBN 978-0-439-35358-8;
pap. $5.99.
ISBN 978-0-439-35359-5.

Here's the blurb:

11-yr-old Sonny lives with his mother and father up near the Canadian border. Theirs isn’t a peaceful household, given his father Jake’s sudden rages, which can turn physical in an instant. Sonny’s refuge is his mother, and his uncle Louis, a quiet, wise old man who seems to always appear when Sonny and his mother need help most. Jake hates when Louis comes around, but luckily he works long hours at the nearby paper mill. Through an unexpected friendship with a new school librarian, Sonny gains enough confidence to stand up to his his father, and to finally confront...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wind Follower review up at Specusphere

This was so encouraging, also a bit of a call to arms. Black Speculative Fiction writers -- especially those of us in the US-- often mix Christianity in our writings. The specfic world, at large, is used to seeing certain kinds of spirituality. Most popular is probably the wiccan/druidic spirituality. Runes are everywhere. Then there's the Mormonism  type of spirituality. One sees that in stuff like Battlestar Gallactica etc... where people attain to godhead or become as gods. That's pretty common. Humans from back in the day -- and many religions such as Shintoism and Buddhism-- deal with that.

But when Christianity pops up in specfic --- if it's seen as a good thing, it's either linked to white Christianity (C S Lewis and Lord of the Rings or stuff like Left Behind.) But more often than not it's seen as an encrouching evil, something dark and patriarchal that takes away man's freedom and destroys societies. Not that Western Christianity hasn't done that. But Christians are not only from the western world and aside from Christians as a persecuting majority, or a persecuted minority, there is the basic story of the gospel.

The gospel is a wonderful myth which I believe, and which many minorities believe. We minorities, first world people, have had to really walk that balance of seeing the imperialistic evil of Western Christianity and their belief. Because of this a book written by us to a world where readers are used to paganism and wiccan spirituality might seem to have marketability issues. Anyway, here it is up at Specusphere 

I really liked this section:

Yet there is probably a niche market for books like this one, and it is, I would venture, among Christians who are not fundamentalists and who are willing to consider that perhaps parables can be spoken in the language of fantasy as well as that of religion. A tall order, perhaps, but I hope McDonnell finds this readership.An author who can produce a work such as Wind Follower deserves to have an extensive circulation.
and then this:

Mc Donnell is a fine writer, and Wind Follower leads us to expect even better things from her in the future.

One Church Many Tribes, by Native American pastor, Richard Twiss

One Church Many Tribes - Following Jesus The Way God Made You by Richard Twiss
Our Price: $11.75
On Sale: $9.99

Here's his statement on the website

Our Vision:

To live meaningful lives as followers of Jesus and encourage others in their journey toward healthy relationships with God, community, other ethnic groups, and creation.
Our Aspirations:

In the spirit of Jesus to assist indigenous peoples in walking with Creator that results in wholeness and health in every sphere of human activity.

To network with Native and non-Native leaders to develop culturally appropriate approaches to living out a biblical faith while honoring the cultural expressions of First Nations peoples.

To see Indigenous traditions and worldview values embraced as a vital influence in shaping Christendom throughout the Americas.

To serve the global community of God as a bridge builder and consulting resource for developing genuine community, unity, consciousness of social justice, creation stewardship and mutuality among diverse peoples.
Our Intentions:

To develop biblical education models, materials, national seminars and learning centers to provide indigenous people with a biblical framework that resonates with the global conversation around discovering a post-colonial theology that incorporate the values and structures of Native people throughout North, Central South America and beyond.

To organize and lead international Native Dance and Performing Arts Team(s), to share the beauty of our cultures, tribal and personal stories to build bridges of peace and understanding in the global community.

To encourage, promote, and facilitate the producing of praise & worship music that utilizes traditional Native sounds and styles.
Our Biblical Values:

We believe that Creator exists within himself as community; God-the-Father, God-the-the Son, and God-the-Holy Spirit. God is Author, Creator, and Sustainer of all human and non-human creation.

We believe the Biblical story is God's self-revelation to humankind and that it is for all peoples and all languages everywhere as the sacred writings of God.

We believe that humankind was created in the image of God, but because of pride and rebellion, rejected the Creator’s path of beauty, wandering in darkness and alienation from God. Jesus performed the "once and for all ceremony" through His death on a cross, and resurrection from the dead. By this He defeated the power of death and made a way for all tribes and nations to return to a loving relationship within the community of Heaven.
Wiconi International
PO Box 5246 Vancouver, WA 98668


"we-cho-nee" Lakota/Sioux language meaning "Life"


The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

These words of Jesus, the Waymaker, convey the heart and passion of Katherine and I, and the entire staff of Wiconi International. Our First Nations people know what it means to suffer the loss of land, dignity, self-respect, life and a way of living. Though this has sadly become the normal every day reality for our people, our aim is help make a positive difference for future generations of Native people.

Jesus brings power and hope for a better tomorrow. He does not bring religion, legalism, shame, oppression or paternalism, though sadly, Christianity often does. Our prayer is that people may live, and live in abundance, spirit, soul and body!

In the spirit of Jesus we want to assist people in experiencing ultimate freedom, and deliverance from the powers of darkness that still prevail in our lands and communities; this evil is seen in the alcohol and drug abuse, incest, suicide, poverty and despair. There are dark and evil spirits that are stealing, killing and destroying our people every day. In addition, there are oppressive and unjust economic and political systems that continue to prolong dependency and control.

At Wiconi International, we are working and praying to find better ways to support and empower people to find true genuine, hope and confidence for a better tomorrow. It is a freedom that affirms, embraces and respects the unique and God-given cultural realities of our people, not rejecting or demonizing them.

We hope to inspire people with a fresh vision about the possibilities that exist to make a dynamic positive contribution for Christ by walking among our people “in a good way.”

We can proudly say that on our site you will find some of the best resources available for those interested in walking among Native people in a good way that reflects the life of Jesus in a culturally relevant and contextual way. At our "Resources" page you can read descriptions of each book, cassette tape, video, CD, VBS curriculum workbook and children's books.

Pilamaya yelo - thank you –
Richard & Katherine Twiss, Rosebud Lakota/Sioux
President & Vice-president, Wiconi International

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