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Paperback Non-Fiction

Around the Kitchen Table

- Laura Forsythe , Jennifer Markides

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Honouring the scholarship of Métis matriarchs

While surveying the field of Indigenous studies, Laura Forsythe and Jennifer Markides recognized a critical need for not only a Métis-focused volume, but one dedicated to the contributions of Métis women. To address this need, they brought together work by new and established scholars, artists, storytellers, and community leaders that reflects the diversity of research created by Métis women as it is lived, considered, conceptualized, and re-imagined.

With writing by Emma LaRocque and other forerunners of Métis studies, Around the Kitchen Table looks beyond the patriarchy to document and celebrate the scholarship of Métis women. Focusing on experiences in post-secondary environments, this collection necessarily traverses a range of methodologies. Spanning disciplines of social work, education, history, health care, urban studies, sociology, archaeology, and governance, contributors bring their own stories to explorations of spirituality, material culture, colonialism, land-based education, sexuality, language, and representation. The result is an expansive, heartfelt, and accessible community of Métis thought.

Reverent and revelatory, this collection centres the strong aunties and grandmothers who have shaped Métis communities, culture, and identities with teachings shared in classrooms, auditoriums, and around the kitchen table. 

Braiding Sweetgrass

- Robin Wall Kimmerer

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Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take "us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise" (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices.

mmm... Manitoba

- Kimberley Moore , Janis Thiessen

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A tasty oral history

In 2018, Janis Thiessen, Kimberley Moore, and collaborator Kent Davies refashioned a used food truck into a mobile oral history lab. Together they embarked on a journey around Manitoba, gathering stories about the province's food and the people who make, sell, and eat it. Along the way, they visited restaurant owners, beer brewers, grocers, farmers, scholars, and chefs in their kitchens and businesses, online, and on board the food truck. The team conducted nearly seventy interviews and indulged in a bounty of prairie delicacies, from Winnipeg's "Fat Boys" to Steinbach's perogies to Churchill's cloudberry jam.

Thiessen and Moore serve up the results of this research in mmm... Manitoba. Mixing recipes, maps, archival records, biographies, and full-colour photographs with fascinating stories, they showcase the province's diverse food histories. Through the sharing and preparing of food, the authors investigate food security and regulation, Indigenous foodways and agriculture, capitalism's impact on the agri-food industry, and the networks between Manitoban food producers and retailers. The book also explores the roles of gender, ethnicity, migration, and colonialism in Manitoba's food history.

Hop on the Manitoba Food History Truck and journey into the province's past with engaging essays and easy-to-follow recipes for kjielkje and schmauntfat, snow goose tidbits, chicken karaage, the Salisbury House flapper pie, duck fat smashed potatoes, Ichi Ban cocktails, pork inihaw, and more. mmm... Manitoba offers a thoughtfully nuanced, deliciously digestible, and wholly unique regional history that is sure to satisfy.

Valley of the Birdtail

- Andrew Stobo Sniderman , Douglas Sanderson

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THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Winner - 2023 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize

Winner - 2023 John W. Dafoe Book Prize

Winner - 2023 High Plains Book Award for Indigenous Writer

Winner - 2022 Manitoba Historical Society Margaret McWilliams Book Award for Local History

Winner - 2023 Quebec Writers' Federation Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction and Concordia University First Book Prize

Finalist - 2023 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

Finalist - Writers' Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Finalist - 2023 Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Evergreen Award

Finalist and Honourable Mention - Canadian Law and Society Association Book Prize

Longlisted - 2023-2024 First Nations Communities Read

A heart-rending true story about racism and reconciliation

Divided by a beautiful valley and 150 years of racism, the town of Rossburn and the Waywayseecappo Indian reserve have been neighbours nearly as long as Canada has been a country. Their story reflects much of what has gone wrong with relations between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. It also offers, in the end, an uncommon measure of hope.

Valley of the Birdtail chronicles how two communities became separate and unequal--and what this means for the rest of us. In Rossburn, which was once settled by Ukrainian immigrants fleeing poverty and persecution, family income is near the national average and more than a third of adults have graduated from university. In Waywayseecappo, the average family lives below the national poverty line and less than a third of adults have graduated from high school, with many haunted by their time in residential schools.

This book follows multiple generations of two families, one white and one Indigenous, weaving their lives into the larger story of Canada. It is a story of villains and heroes, irony and idealism, racism and reconciliation. Valley of the Birdtail has the ambition to change the way we think about our past and light a path to a better future.

The Reason You Walk

- Wab Kinew

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A moving father-son reconciliation told by a charismatic First Nations broadcaster, musician and activist.
          When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who'd raised him. The Reason You Walk spans the year 2012, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his own childhood in Winnipeg and on a reserve in Northern Ontario, he learns more about his father's traumatic childhood at residential school. An intriguing doubleness marks The Reason You Walk, a reference to an Anishinaabe ceremonial song. Born to an Anishinaabe father and a non-native mother, he has a foot in both cultures. He is a Sundancer, an academic, a former rapper, a hereditary chief, and an urban activist. His father, Tobasonakwut, was both a beloved traditional chief and a respected elected leader who engaged directly with Ottawa. Internally divided, his father embraced both traditional native religion and Catholicism, the religion that was inculcated into him at the residential school where he was physically and sexually abused. In a grand gesture of reconciliation, Kinew's father invited the Roman Catholic bishop of Winnipeg to a Sundance ceremony in which he adopted him as his brother. Kinew writes affectingly of his own struggles in his twenties to find the right path, eventually giving up a self-destructive lifestyle to passionately pursue music and martial arts. From his unique vantage point, he offers an inside view of what it means to be an educated aboriginal living in a country that is just beginning to wake up to its aboriginal history and living presence.
     Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples.

These are our current bestselling Paperback Non-Fiction titles in Winnipeg.