Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Larry Loyie on cover of "Tribal Libraries, Archives and Museums"

Larry Loyie is honoured to be on the cover of a new book, "Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums: Preserving our Language, Memory, and Lifeways" (Scarecrow, 2011).
Loriene Roy, professor at the School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin, and iSchool graduates Anjali Bhasin and Sarah Arriaga edited this new book. It offers a collection of articles devoted to tribal libraries and archives and provides an opportunity to share their stories, challenges, achievements, and aspirations to the larger professionl community.
That is Larry Loyie on the lower left hand corner of the new book.
Thank you to Loriene Roy for this great honour.
Larry Loyie recently gave a talk to Masters students at the iSchool in Austin on the history of Canadian residential schools. He introduced his story as a residential school survivor in his powerful children's/youth books As Long as the Rivers Flow and Goodbye Buffalo Bay.

Monday, May 09, 2011

As Long as the Rivers Flow class play

These photos are of a class play based on Larry Loyie's As Long as the Rivers Flow, performed by grade 4 students (Mrs Caudron's class), St Andrew's Catholic School, High Prairie, Alberta, Thursday, May 5, 2011.
The top shows the student who ran back and forth with signs announcing the chapter and scene. Young actors playing roles sit behind him.
The second photo is of the Loyie family heading for their summer camp. A plush bear was used for many animals in the book including (below) a horse (on a student's head).
The third photo (below) is also from the play. The entire class had parts. They switched parts at times. The props were simple and clever -- for example -- a rubber duck was Ooh-Hoo, the owl, a pile of paint brushes was a campfire.
Well done students! From your invited guests, Larry and Constance


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Larry Loyie is booking fall 2011 author visits / school tours

If you are interested in having award-winning Cree author Larry Loyie visit your school, please read on.
Larry and his touring partner Constance Brissenden are now booking school visits, talks, writing workshops and so on for the fall of 2011.
Larry's new book The Moon Speaks Cree, A Winter Adventure (Theytus) is now in the final editing stages. The illustrations by Heather D. Holmlund combined with Larry Loyie's beautiful text promise to make this a must-have illustrated family-reading book.
Being a children's book author has many perks ... from meeting wonderful students of all ages to travelling to new (sometimes remote) and beautiful places. The photo here was taken in Jasper on the way back from Bella Coola and Quesnel, BC.
This spring, Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden gave a total of 30 presentations in southern Alberta (Sundre, Olds and Delburne) and central British Columbia. The Delburne School visit was partially funded by the Young Alberta Book Society. Thank you YABS as well as the teachers and librarians who organized these visits. On this subject (because we are often asked), we charge $350 per half day and $700 per full day. We may require travel funding. We keep our travel expenses down and try to combine schools to make the visits cost-effective for all concerned. The price of gas is the biggest challege to touring these days.
Schools in Quesnel, Bella Coola and Hagensborg gave us the chance to talk about Larry Loyie's traditional Cree childhood, explain "what was residential school," share his residential school experience (six years in St Bernard Mission residential school, Grouard, Alberta) as introduced in As Long as the Rivers Flow and its sequel Goodbye Buffalo Bay), explain how war affected his family (in When the Spirits Dance, opening conversations on war and its effect today), some discussion of The Gathering Tree (HIV awareness and prevention), and give several writing workshops / classes (grades 2, 3-4, 6-7s, adult learners).
We were also privileged to give a public reading at Acwsalcta School in Bella Coola (thank you Beth Jay, Librarian), and teach a writing workshop at the Li'phaylch Learning Centre, Bella Coola (we really enjoyed the students' works here).
Subjects: When Larry and Constance tour this fall, they can talk about the following subjects:
-- Larry Loyie's new book The Moon Speaks Cree, A Winter Adventure (Theytus) -- what it was like to live a traditional Aboriginal childhood; the rhythms of Aboriginal seasons; how children learned; the importance of being good to animals (in the story, toboggan dogs); sibling dynamics; the emotional influence of family history on children; childhood adventures and using the imagination.
-- Another subject is "what was residential school." Larry Loyie is a balanced speaker who gives a true, compassionate overview of the residential experience as a residential school suvivor. It is difficult to get an accurate accounting from anyone who did not go to residential school. The talk includes images to bring the subject of residential school to visual life. Larry Loyie is a survivor of six years of residential school, has written two books and a play on the subject, and has given dozens of talks on the subject in school classrooms (with Constance Brissenden).
-- Other subjects include the effects of war, HIV awareness and prevention, what it is like bring an author and writing books, Aboriginal publishing. Larry and Constance can adapt their talks to school curriculum.
-- writing workshops are also possible
Your friends, Larry and Constance


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Larry Loyie and James Bartleman As Long as the Rivers Flow

It is always noteworthy when an Aboriginal author is published. The former Governor General of Ontario, James Bartleman, has his first book out. It is a novel called As Long as the Rivers Flow. The overall theme is residential school and its effect on a person's life.

Thousands of readers are familiar with Larry Loyie's illustrated children's book As Long as the Rivers Flow (Groundwood). The book shares Larry Loyie's last traditional summer living with his Cree family in the northern forest, a life he loved. It ends with the poignant, memorable scene of a grain truck coming to pick Larry and his sisters up and taking them to residential school. An epilogue explains the meaning and purpose of residential school and Larry's experience. Larry Loyie's As Long as the Rivers Flow came out in 2002 and is still in print and going strong. It won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, as well as the First Nation Communities Read Honour Book. In 2010, it was one of four books chosen for major distribution by the Durham District School Board as part of their province-wide literacy program. (One of the other books chosen was its sequel Goodbye Buffalo Bay by Larry Loyie.) In 2010, it was one of only 20 Aboriginal titles chosen for distribution by the Belinda Stronach Foundation in laptops to schools across Canada.

Several years ago, Larry met James Bartleman at the first award ceremony for his Aboriginal youth writing competition. Larry gave James Bartleman a complimentary copy of Larry Loyie's As Long as the Rivers Flow. By the way, James Bartleman read from his manuscript at this event. At the time, he noted that he did not have a title yet.

Both books, by Larry Loyie and James Bartleman, are about residential school, which makes the same-title issue confusing. Larry's publisher, Groundwood, told us that titles can't be copyrighted. Constance talked to Bartleman's publisher a few months back to let them know about the same-title issue, and we were told they did not know of Larry Loyie's book As Long as the Rivers Flow.

Congratulation to James Bartleman, but there are two points to make:

Is it so hard to find an original title?

Why did the publisher not check if the title had been used before?

Especially since Bartleman's book is also about residential school?

Larry Loyie's As Long as the Rivers Flow is a classic children's book that has won its place in the hearts and minds of its readers of all ages. We hope you will read it.

You can also check out the reviews for the book on Larry Loyie's website: www.firstnationswriter.com. It includes study materials, photos of Larry Loyie in residential school, images from As Long as the Rivers Flow and more.

Larry Loyie also write a not-to-be-missed sequel, Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus), a chapter book about his time in residential school and moving on. Please check out information about this readable, moving, dramatic, funny and uplifting book.

The images by Heather D. Holmlund in As Long as the Rivers Flow are moving, beautiful and instructive about traditional Aboriginal life. We are proud that Heather D. Holmlund will illustrate Larry Loyie's new book, The Moon Speaks Cree, coming out this fall from Theytus.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Survivor Larry Loyie on the history of residential schools

Larry Loyie on the history of residential school and his personal story as a survivor
[reading list follows]

In my early childhood, I lived a traditional Cree life. I grew up in northern Alberta surrounded by forest. One of my teachers was my grandfather Edward Twin, my mother's father. He did nothing special, he was simply a good person. He encouraged me to live the same way. He also gently warned me, "It's not easy being good."

As children, we listened to storytellers who taught about a good way of life. Every story had an underlying purpose, to teach people how to get along with each other and how to survive the environment. In the stories, greed and selfishness were frowned upon. Sharing was encouraged.

At the age of nine, I was taken to residential school and lost a beautiful way of life. These schools were created by the Canadian government and run by various churches. The goal of the Canadian government was to wipe out Aboriginal cultures, languages and traditions. The irony is that during the 300 years of the fur trade in Canada, Aboriginal people were central to survival and the European economy as hunters, trappers, guides and labourers. Once the fur trade was replaced by settlement, we were in the way. The residential school system was part of the plan to blend us into the mainstream European way of life. They thought that we would not care about our Aboriginal cultures anymore. How wrong they were!

Although the numbers are approximate, I estimate that upwards of 200,000 children attended residential schools between the late 1800s and the closing of the last school in 1984. If our parents tried to stop the government officials from taking us away, they could be put in jail.

I went to St. Bernard Mission residential school in northern Alberta, about 150 kilometres from my home on Rabbit Hill near the town of Slave Lake. My first memories of the school include the long ride in an open-air grain truck, then the school buildings looming over me, dull and unfriendly.

The teachers and staff were harsh and often cruel with physical punishment being an everyday occurrence. I did have one kind and well-trained teacher, Sister Theresa. She encouraged me to read and travel the world when I grew up. Sadly, she was only at the school for a few months before being transferred.

My mother died while I was in residential school. It was very confusing and sad as I was so far away. I was never comforted or had a chance to talk about my loss. Although I knew she had died, I prayed it wasn't true. With so much hurt inside, I ran away twice. When I was caught, I was punished. I was even punched in the side after running away as punishment. I wrote about this in my book Goodbye Buffalo Bay.

Finally I quit school at 13 years of age and began my working life picking rocks on a farm, fighting fires and working in a logging camp. I went on to work at many jobs over the next 40 or so years. When I was in my 50s, I went back to school to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. I am proud to say I have accomplished my dream. I continue to write because there is so much I want to share about being a proud Aboriginal person.

On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to First Nations, Métis and Inuit people on behalf of Canada for a century of residential schools. For school survivors and their families, it was an emotional day. Finally our personal histories and those of thousands of Aboriginal children could be told without fear of denial or reprisal.

The Prime Minister’s apology has made it possible to share this long-hidden aspect of Aboriginal and Canadian history. I no longer worry that people who read my books or hear me speak about residential school will ask, “Is it true? Was it that bad in the school?”

Although the residential school scheme destroyed many families and took many lives, I am proud to say it did not destroy our cultures. Our cultures are stronger than ever today.

As a children's book author, I've visited many schools across Canada in the past ten years. I am impressed with the programs and curriculum now being introduced to teach the positive aspects of the Aboriginal way of life. The truth is out, and I am hopeful about the future. The children are being remembered and honoured at last.

See Larry's website: www.firstnationswriter.com for background and study material.
Larry Loyie's books to read about residential school:
As Long as the Rivers Flow (Groundwood, a multi-award winner)
Goodbye Buffalo Bay (sequel to As Long as the Rivers Flow, from Theytus)

Larry Loyie's books to read about traditional Aboriginal life:

The Moon Speaks Cree (a winter adventure, a new book coming out in September 2011 from Theytus)
When the Spirits Dance (set in the Second World War, from Theytus)
As Long as the Rivers Flow (Groundwood)
Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus)

Larry Loyie's book about HIV awareness and prevention:

The Gathering Tree (a bestselling illustrated children's book from Theytus)

For more information on Theytus Books, go to: www.theytus.com

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New for 2011 from Larry Loyie aboriginal children's books

Hi to everyone for 2011.

Larry and Constance focused on family and health for much of 2011.

All is well, and we are lining up plans for 2011. We have several school visits in the next few months, and welcome your inquiries. Our email address is: livingtradition@telus.net

Watch for:

The Moon Speaks Cree, a new illustrated children's book from Theytus (www.theytus.com. Out in September 2011. A winter adventure, set in Cree country.

When the Spirits Dance, now out in paper cover from Theytus. Larry Loyie writes about his Cree family and how traditional life begins to change during the Second World War ... a new look and great feel!

As Long as the Rivers Flow, still in print (Groundwood), a bestseller since 2002. A classic by Larry Loyie about his last summer learning traditional Aboriginal skills before being taken to residential school. Once you read this, make sure you read the sequel, Goodbye Buffalo Bay

Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus), Larry Loyie's chapter book about his time in residential school... and moving on. If you haven't read this yet, you are missing a true, dramatic, funny, compassionate view into a true story of residential school

The Gathering Tree, Larry Loyie's bestselling book about HIV awareness and prevention.

More soon... Larry and Constance

2011 Photos from Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden

We are working on this. Watch for photos from 2010, coming soon. Larry and Constance

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aboriginal Publishers in Canada Updated List

Aboriginal Publishers in Canada (updated Sept 2010)
Compiled by: Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden,
To add to this list, email livingtradition@telus.net or add a comment.

(Penticton, BC) -- Canada's oldest Aboriginal publisher, established in 1980. Adult and children's works on Aboriginal themes by Aboriginal authors, http://www.theytus.com/
NOTE (right): a poster created for The Gathering Tree, Larry Loyie's bestselling book on HIV awareness (Theytus)

Kegedonce Press (Cape Croker First Nation, Wiarton, ON) -- Award-winning Aboriginal-owned and operated. Develops, promotes and publishes the work of Indigenous peoples. Specialist in quality poetry books, http://www.kegedonce.com/

Gabriel Dumont Institute Publishing (Saskatoon, SK) -- High-calibre Metis-specific adult and children's books and cultural resources, http://www.gdins.org/

Ningwakwe Learning Press (Saugeen First Nation, Southampton, ON) -- Publishes culturally appropriate resources for the Aboriginal literacy field and for all readers. Established in 1999, http://www.ningwakwe.on.ca/

Pemmican Publications Inc. (Winnipeg, MB) -- Since 1980, publishes books that promote Canadian Metis writers and illustrators through stories that are informed by Metis experience, http://www.pemmican.mb.ca/

Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre (Saskatoon, SK) -- Materials written in Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, Dakota, Nakota, Lakota, or English that pertain to the First Nations of Saskatchewan, http://www.sicc.sk.ca/

New to list:
Nunavut Arctic College Language and Culture Department (Arviat, NU) -- Since 1988, materials published primarily to support Interpreter Translater and Inuit Studies programs at the college, and also to provide information on Inuit perspectives, http://nac.nu.ca/publications_for_sale

Updated Resources:

http://www.goodminds.com/ --- GoodMinds.com began distributing Native educational reources in April 2000. Native-owned and operated by Jeff and Linda Burnham in Brantford, ON. Sheila Staats is the cultural book reviewer. 4000 Aboriginal titles including books, cds, dvds, classroom kits, plus non-Aboriginal educational titles. Excellent resource for purchasing Aboriginal books, including reviews of titles.

http://www.oyate.org/ -- "Oyate is a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are protrayed honestly, and that all people will know our stories belong to us." Informative, thought-provoking website, indispensible in learning how to "read" books about Aboriginal peoples, fiction or non-fiction.

http://tiny.cc/EQ7ua -- First Peoples Libraries Wiki provides a list of publishers and distributors.

http://www.firstnationswriter.com/ -- Award-winning Cree author Larry Loyie's website includes study materials on all of his titles.