A is for Aboriginal
A is for Aboriginal is a lyrical exploration of indigenous people. Each letter explores a name, a place or facet of Aboriginal history and culture. The reader will discover some interesting facets of history and tradition that are not widely known.
Many, for example, do not know that Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin
Franklin both attribute the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy,
one of the world’s oldest democracies, as the inspiration for the
American Constitution. Or, that the origin of ‘Red Indian’ is not
because of skin colour, but from the ochre (iron oxide) used by the
now extinct Beothuk of Newfoundland to colour their skin red.
Each letter features text that reflect some aspect of the word selected, followed by a list of Indigenous nations that begin with that letter. The idea is that the phrases and names can be recited as a poem of remembrance.
The second half of the book is a comprehensive glossary or dictionary
of all of the indigenous peoples named in the book, citing nation
names, locations and interesting facts. The main focus is on North
America with some indigenous people listed from every continent to
give a global sense of the expanse and depth of the Aboriginal story.
Joseph MacLean lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He is an historian by education, a storyteller by avocation and a social entrepreneur by trade. Joseph took Native studies as part of an interdisciplinary program at the University of Montréal (Loyola College) where he graduated with an honours degree in history. Always interested in Aboriginal history and culture the inspiration for this first book came from working on a literacy project with the urban Aboriginal community in Vancouver. It struck the author as odd that ‘Mary had a little lamb’, ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ and other, almost exclusively western rhymes and children's stories predominated the literature used in the early childhood education and development programs for Native kids. And so he wrote this first reader exploring some of the less well known and illuminating facets of Aboriginal history and culture. Joseph was the co-author of "Slammin' Sammy Presents: At Bat" an award-winning animated comic book about baseball. He is the founder of nuMedia group and creator of KidzBiz.com - a social marketing portal for children and children's causes.
Brendan Heard is a Canadian artist currently residing in Dublin, Ireland. He works in oil paint, watercolour, clay, and digital imaging. www.brendanheard.com.