We just got back from Ottawa where we did 8 presentations, 7 at Ottawa Public Library branches thanks to Friends of the Ottawa Public Library fundraising, and one at the Canadian Library Conference, all connected to As Long as the Rivers Flow being named 2006 Honour Book for the First Nation Communities Read program. Also two book signings with almost 100 books given away to librarians courtesy of the FN Communities Read program.
Watch for the First Nations Communities Read’s new poster featuring As Long as the Rivers Flow as the Honour Book and a dozen other great books by other Aboriginal authors.
Life never stops moving. We got back Monday night and we’re leaving shortly for Alberta to meet with students at the McLennan Catholic Elementary School, the only school in this small town near High Prairie. We’ll be floating around in Alberta and BC until the end of July.
We head for the mega AIDS 2006 conference in Toronto early in August, with events starting Aug. 11 at the Indigenous Peoples Satellite, followed by readings from The Gathering Tree at the Global Village cultural venue. We will also do a presentation with educator Melanie Rivers of Chee Mamuk, BC Centre for Disease Control, on August 16. We were at the Embracing our Traditions AIDS conference in Anchorage, Alaska, for a week in May and learned so much from the delegates there. Their enthusiasm for our HIV awareness book The Gathering Tree was tremendous and heartwarming.
More good news…
The Gathering Tree has been recommended by Our Choice 2006, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s annual listing of the best new Canadian children’s books. Libraries and schools across Canada look to this influential list for recommended books.
At the library conference, we went to an excellent workshop with www.goodminds.com (respected distributor of FN books) given by book selection editor Sheila Staats on how to choose good aboriginal books. She put The Gathering Tree and As Long as the Rivers Flow on the front table and said that they are “the best kind of children’s books because they are accurate, truthful, informed, and written with feeling.”
Larry said his head just glowed when he heard her say that!
Our new book When the Spirits Dance is in progress, with illustrations started. We’ll make an announcement about our illustrator soon, a First Nations artist who will be doing his first children’s book. Theytus Books is our publisher once again. They have been very good to us, making posters and a bookmark to promote this upcoming book.
The launch of When the Spirits Dance will be held in Ottawa, Nov. 19 (Sunday) at 2 pm at the Library and Archives Canada. The book is the second in the “Lawrence Series” and takes place during the Second World War. It is perfect for a launch in “the Nations Capital” and we thank the Library and Archives Canada for their support.
The year 2006-2007 is Veterans Affairs Canada’s remembrance program’s designated year to “Share the Story.”
When the Spirits Dance fits in perfectly as it takes place when Larry Loyie’s Papa, Victor Loyie, departs overseas with the Canadian Armed Forces in 1942. Mama, Kokum Bella and Mosoom Edward plus Lawrence and his three sisters stay behind on Rabbit Hill. Life is changing as 9-year-old Lawrence struggles to understand the meaning of war and his father’s absence while taking an increasingly grown-up role in his family’s survival.
We visited the impressive and respectful Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and did some great research in the Second World War area.
Have a great summer! We will be communing with the Barred Owls at our place in Northern Alberta.