Tom McLeod is an eleven-year-old boy from Aklavik who is a gifted storyteller heard frequently on CBC Radio North. He is of mixed cultural heritage-Gwich'in and Inuvialuit. Tom tells us why his home i
Tom McLeod is an eleven-year-old boy from Aklavik who is a gifted storyteller heard frequently on CBC Radio North. He is of mixed cultural heritage-Gwich'in and Inuvialuit.
Tom tells us why his home in the Mackenzie Delta is a special place and why he loves to live on the land. He describes how his town floods in the spring and why he loves ratting" (trapping muskrats) and hunting "black ducks" (white-winged and surf scoters) in the Delta.
Readers will learn why these ducks are decreasing in number and how and why they are important to Tom and his people. Tom says, "Northerners have always hunted animals for survival. We are careful about how we use the land. To be good hunters we need to pay attention to what is happening on the land around us-that's why it's important for us to be out there. We are the first to know if the land and animals are changing.""
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 Delta is My Home, is presented in way children will take pleasure in reading. They will be enthralled with the photographs and in the end they will learn a great deal about the culture, family and life of Tom McLeod and the Gwich'in people." — ForeWord Magazine
"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
"...a valuable introduction to an endangered culture." — Booklist
"Tom's bouncingly fun personality beams from every page. . . 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
"(The Delta is My Home) 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. . . A book that children (will) choose to read both for pleasure and for information. Recommended" — CM Magazine
Mindy Willett 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 Macintosh 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.