In determining resources for students to learn more about Aboriginal culture, I am finding that this course is very helpful in being more aware of choosing the most appropriate resources. The most authentic literature would be that written by Aboriginal people. However, I feel that with research, understanding and empathy, mainstream authors can also contribute. This year, the fictional story, “Reading the Bones” was one of the books chosen for the Reading Link Challenge for students in Grades 4 & 5. This meant that is was read by hundreds of students in British Columbia. This was a modern day story of a young girl living in Crescent Beach who discovers that the town lies atop a 5,000 year old Coast Salish Fishing Village. There is a story within the story, as we learn about the story of an ancient storyteller in the past. In the present story, we learn about the importance of knowing about and preserving the past but also that about the present Coast Salish community.
The book was written by Gina McMurchy- Barber who came to our school for an author visit. I can see this book being read as part of a Literature Circle, with students being asked to do additional research.