Tag Archives: place-based knowledge

Stories and Place


Nokum is My Teacher – David Bouchard 

“to watch you learn to see” ~ Nokum’s words to grandson in response to getting an “education”

David Bouchard, a Canadian Metis born and raised in Saskatchewan, is a writer of over 50 books. This particular picture book includes both English and Cree languages and is a dialogue between a boy and his grandmother, or Nokum. Due to its powerful message regarding the intersection of indigenous peoples and western education, this story is a must read for all western educators.

To watch an excellent production of this book through video, click here: Nokum is My Teacher



Inhabit Media

While previewing The Blind Boy and the Loon by Althea Arnaquq-Baril, I was introduced to Inhabit Media as mentioned in the commentary within the book. Inhabit Media is a publishing company purposed in promoting and preserving Inuit voice, story and art through book publications for both children and adults. An extensive book reference page of their published children’s books is a valuable resource for the elementary educator.


Unnikkaat Studios Inc.

Althea Arnaquq-Baril, recognizing the need to preserve the language of her people, built her company, Unnikkaat Studios Inc., to produce Inuktitut documentaries and language productions. As the Inuit are traditionally an oral culture, using a means of oral documentation of stories and history through film making can be an effective and productive way of both preserving the voices of the Inuit and allowing their voices to be shared with others.



Morning on the Lake – Jan Boudreau Waboose

A beautiful depiction of place as told through the words of Jan Boudreau Waboose, a Nishwabe Ojibway from northern Ontario. Place-based references to landscape, animals, sky and environment are seamlessly interwoven throughout the text.


tundra     shoreline

Rebecca Hainnu

Rebecca Hainnu is an elementary school teacher in Nunavut, a curriculum writer, and a picture book author. Particularly, A Walk on the Shoreline and A Walk on the Tundra encompass place-based knowledge. Her newest book extends plant knowledge and is entitled, Walking with Aalasi: An Introduction to Edible and Medicinal Arctic Plants.

Unravelling the Stories

“The goal of Indigenous research is not to comprehend the world as an object,

but rather to move through

the world as a way of knowing in a journey that transforms all those involved.”

~ Sorsen C. Larsen {referencing Cajete, 2000)

While keeping with my initial theme of story, the following links focus more acutely on the authenticity of story due to its source and connection to place.

A Deeper Sense of Place: Stories and Journeys of Collaboration in Indigenous Research – by Jay T. Johnson and Soren C. Larsen



This book contains excerpts from multiple writers relating the concept of place to personhood, belonging and identity. The place experiences of the authors range from Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Canada. In particular, these two chapters are of keen interest to me regarding story and place:

“Awakening to Belonging” ~ written by Anne Godlewska

“The Micropolitics of Storytelling in Collaborative Research: Reflections on a Mapping Project with the Cheslatta-Carrier Nation in British Columbia” ~ written by Soren C. Larsen

  • This resource can be accessed online through UBC Library.

America Indians in Children’s Literature – A blog by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza


Visiting this blog has the potential of revolutionizing one’s mindset when approaching First Nations literature. Although the focus is on American Indians in children’s literature, many of these same books are relevant to students in Canada. Debbie Reese, particularly, is brilliant at pinpointing and rebuking stereotypes that have been, and continue to be, accepted in the stories presented into the hands and minds of children.

To glean further from Debbie Reese, these two videos are worth the watching:

Following are native-owned online bookstores, with the hopes that the resources available will prove to represent the lives and stories of First Nations peoples with respect, truth and integrity.




Birchbark Books


Theytus Books


Johnson, J. T., & Larsen, S. C. (Eds.). (2013). Deeper Sense Of Place : Stories And Journeys Of Indigenous-Academic Collaboration. Corvallis, US: Oregon State University Press. Retrieved from  http://www.ebrary.com