Julie-Ann Andre is a Gwichya Gwich'in from Tsiigehtchic in the Northwest Territories. She is a Canadian Ranger, a mother of twin daughters, a hunter, a trapper, and a student. In We Feel Good Out Here
Julie-Ann Andre is a Gwichya Gwich'in
from Tsiigehtchic in the Northwest Territories. She is a Canadian Ranger, a mother of twin daughters, a hunter, a trapper, and a student.
In We Feel Good Out Here, Julie-Ann shares her family's story and the story of her land Khaii luk, the place of winter fish. As Julie-Ann says, "The land has a story to tell, if you know how to listen. When I travel, the land tells me where my ancestors have been. It tells me where the animals have come and gone, and it tells me what the weather may be like tomorrow."
Her home is an important part of who Julie-Ann is. She wants to help make sure that her environment is healthy, so it can continue to tell its story to her children and their children.
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The Land Is Our Storybook is a first-ever series of ten books for children about the diverse lands and cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories.
Mindy Willett, an educational consultant and former teacher from Yellowknife, has worked with storytellers-Elders and cultural leaders-from ten regions in the territory to capture real stories of everyday life as it exists today.
Told in a uniquely diverse range of northern voices, with a child-centred approach, books in The Land Is Our Storybook series highlight each official Aboriginal language group in the NWT, revealing a richly textured picture of life in the North-on the trapline, around the campfire, in communities, at school, and within the outdoor school that is the land itself.
The series celebrates the seasons, ages, genders, traditional activities, and communities of the NWT.
The stories are illustrated by the striking images of acclaimed northern photographer, Tessa Macintosh and depict the similarities in lifestyle between children of the North and South, as well as the marked cultural differences, and highlight the special relationship these First Nations people have with the land and how they are adapting to rapid change while remaining connected to the land. Images of the landscape and animals within it, of trapping, hunting, fishing, and bannock baking sit alongside pictures of children at school, swimming at recreation centres, and reading in libraries. Here is modern northern culture painted beautifully: a complex mix of the new and the old.
These wonderful books, written with a variety of provincial and territorial curricula in mind, are specially designed for the classroom and include special features such as glossaries relating details on animals biology and cultural definitions, regional and language maps. The text of the stories also have sidebars such as Our Stories, which contain the stories of the people and language group featured, and Our Words, which highlight words in the featured language that are important to the story.
The tenth and final book in the series will come with a CD of stories told in the languages featured in the books and a teacher's guide for the entire series.
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"A valuable introduction to an endangered culture."
"These are positive portraits of northern family life and of child life, cheerful and appealing as well as educational."
— The Toronto Star
"Replete with sharp and attractive full-color photographs. . . These titles provide some useful information for reports and are interesting additions for general reading."
— School Library Journal
"Macintosh's photographs capture the two-world balance of Julie-anne and her family. . . Along with the words of the author and her partners, the luminous and lively photos invite the child reader into the wondrous northern world of today. . . This is an exciting series for helping children, especially those outside the Northwest Territories, appreciate the day-to-day world of their peers."
— Canadian Children's Book News
"(We Feel Good Out Here) feature a satisfying mix of old and new - traditional and contemporary - in the photographs and text. . . What both photos and text do very well is establish the strong connection between the people in the books and the land upon which they live."
— CM Magazine
"Part of the vibrant The Land is Our Storybook series about the diverse lands and cultures of Canada's Northwest Territories, We Feel Good Out Here inspires, educates and raises consciousness in an appealing text and photo format. Willett, André and Macintosh's book is a great precursor to André's career in cultural tourism. It's also a wonderful contribution to First Nations literature for children."
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Mindy lives in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. She is a teacher at heart although no longer in the classroom. She first came north to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut in 1987 and most recently taught in Kugluktuk, Nunavut from 1996 to 2000. Mindy stopped being a classroom teacher when she had her son Jack. To remain home as much as possible, she started her own home-based business, writing educational materials.
Tessa has lived and worked north of 60? for over two decades and has been the official photographer for the government of the Northwest Territories for over 10 years. As one of the few professional photographers in the north, Tessa Macintosh has developed a varied repertoire of photographic skills.
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009
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