Saturday, 5 December 2009

"We feel good out Here" Book about a Gwichya Gwich'in from Tsiigehtchic in the Northwest Territories.

WPL New Children's Books - Sizzling Staff Selections

We feel good out Here

by Julie-Ann Andre and Mindy Willett
Photographs by Tessa Macintosh

"Julie-Ann André 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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We Feel Good Out Here
Julie-Ann André and Mindy Willett
Illustrated by: Tessa Macintosh (Photography)
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009

"A valuable introduction to an endangered culture."
-- Booklist

"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

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.

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"...We Feel Good Out Here, Zhik gwaa'an, nakhwatthaiitat gwiinzii is one of the first titles in Fifth House Publishing's The Land Is Our Storybook series. This Gwich'in title is designed to highlight one of the official Aboriginal language groups in the Northwest Territories. The book presents information about the people and community of Tsiigehtchic through the eyes of Julie-Ann Andre and her family. Julie-Ann is a Canadian Ranger, mother of twins, a hunter, a trapper, and a small-business owner engaged in cultural tourism. This Gwichya Gwich'in woman grew up on the land with her parents, attended residential school, and returned to her community knowing little about living on the land. Since that time she devotes herself to showing her daughters how to hunt and trap respectfully, and to learning more about her culture's traditional knowledge and language. This 26-page book offers elementary students a clear view of a Gwich'in family's contemporary life through amazing colour photographs and engaging text. A detailed map of the Northwest Territories, a traditional story or legend, an informative glossary of Gwich'in terms, and numerous photos make this an important resource for all elementary school and public libraries. The text shows family members at home, on the trapline, in school, swimming, at the library, and around the camp-fire. The part biography and information book shows that First Nations of the North can live successful lives engaged in traditional activities while maintaining the environment for future generations. Highly recommended. This book is selected as a recommended title in the 2009 First Nations Libraries Community Reads program...."

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