The Land Is Our Storybook

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.

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