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Richmond Public Library Richmond Public Library
First Nations of BC

Learn More About First Nations

Nations of the Northwest Coast Nations of the Northwest Coast
by Kathryn Smithyman & Bobbie Kalman

An in-depth look at the way of life for the nations of the northwest coast, including information about housing, travel, and social structures. If you need more information, there is a small chapter on the plank houses, bark huts, and freight canoes of the Northwest Coast in Bobbie Kalman's Visual Dictionary of Native Communities.

Aboriginal Peoples of Canada Aboriginal Peoples of Canada

These books have information on traditional homes, clothing, food, and culture of one specific nation, and also include legends and crafts. Check out their books on the Denesuline, the Haida, or the Salish.

Kids’ Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada Kids’ Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
by Diane Silvey

An overview of the seven major groups of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Includes a map of the groups as they are roughly divided across the country, and lists all of the peoples of each geographical area. Each chapter gives a lot of information about ceremonies, food, and crafted items common to the group.

If You Lived with the Indians of the Northwest Coast If You Lived with the Indians of the Northwest Coast

How would you light your house? What were good manners? What was the best day of the year? This book is full of answers for all of your curious questions! This book uses the wrong names for First Nations communities, but you can still use it for schoolwork as long as you change the name to the proper one.

From Time Immemorial From Time Immemorial: The First People of the Pacific Northwest Coast
by Diane Silvey

A comprehensive look at the many nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast. This book looks at historical facts and traditions, and relates the history to the ways of First Nations people today. For a closer look, try Our Coast Salish Way of Life, where a Squamish girl named Laurie Lewis tells all about the historical and modern ways of the Squamish.

How Canada Became Canada How Canada Became Canada

Learn about the origins of First Nations in Canada, and how First Nations people lived before European contact in First Nations & First Contacts, then turn to Canada’s Modern Day First Nations to learn about treaties across Canada.

Encyclopaedia of First Peoples The Encyclopaedia of the First Peoples of North America
by Rayna Green & Melanie Fernandez

A comprehensive encyclopaedia of the First Nations and other first peoples of North America. This encyclopaedia is old, so it will not include current events from the last 15 years, so make sure to look at Canada’s Modern Day First Nations for information about recent treaties.

Indians of the Northwest Indians of the Northwest

Discover the history, traditions, and beliefs of the different First Nations living in the northwest. For additional chapters on the art, land, and cultural ceremonies of the First Nations of the Northwest Coast, try Eyewitness's North American Indian book. These books use the wrong names for First Nations communities, but you can still use them for schoolwork as long as you change the name to the proper one.

Celebrating the Powwow Celebrating the Powwow
by Bobbie Kalman

Learn about powwows and the costumes, dances, and musical instruments used at them.

Native Dwellings Native Dwellings: Houses of Wood
by Bonnie Shemie

Read about the traditional dwellings of the First Nations of the Northwest Coast. For more information on houses of wood, try Dolores Dyer's Plank House.

Totem Pole Totem Pole
by Jennifer Howse

Learn all about totem poles in this short study book. To learn how totem poles are carved, check out Carving a Totem Pole by Vickie Jensen. To make your own totem pole, look for instructions in Traditional Crafts from Native North America by Florence Temko.

A Native American Thought of It A Native American Thought of It
by Rocky Landon, with David MacDonald

This exciting book looks at cool stuff Native Americans invented, including toboggans, snowshoes, lacrosse, hockey, and the word "Canada." It includes a helpful map of the traditional Native American territories of North America. .

Tools of Native Americans Tools of Native Americans
by Kim Kavin

This book focuses mostly on Native Americans in the United States, but includes a small section on the Pacific Northwest of Canada. This book uses the wrong names for First Nations communities, but you can still use it for schoolwork as long as you change the name to the proper one.

Canadian Aboriginal Art & Culture Canadian Aboriginal Art & Culture series

Looking for a book that is about one specific nation? Find a lot of information about the art and culture of the Haida or the Salish in this Canadian series. For a more general book with lots of pictures of historical Native art and culture from Canada and the USA, check out Brendan January's Native American Art & Culture.

First Contact First Contact
by Cornelius J. Jaenen

A book that asks and answers a lot of questions you might have about the first contact between First Nations and Europeans. Includes a lot of European paintings from that time that help give you a clearer picture of the way the Europeans saw First Nations people. Includes some information on B.C. statistics and Nisga'a land treaties.

First Peoples & First Contacts Discovering First Peoples & First Contacts
by Daniel Francis

An overview of the way of life of the First Nations before and after European contact. This book focuses on groups by area and does not give specific information on any particular nation. For a look at the Nuu-Chah-Nulth's encounter with Europeans, check out Daniel Conner's James Cook and the Nuu-Chah-Nulth, which includes information taken from James Cook's journal as well as from Nuu-Chah-Nulth elders.

Great Women from our First Nations Great Women from our First Nations
by Kelly Fournel

Learn about the life of Lorna B. Williams of the Lil’wat First Nation in Mount Currie, B.C., as well as other amazing women from First Nations communities around Canada and the USA.

National Aboriginal Day National Aboriginal Day
by Heather C Hudak

Learn about National Aboriginal Day.

Study Online

eLibrary Canada
Find answers online at eLibrary Canada. Click on Bookcarts then click on "First Nations of BC" to get a collection of articles, photos, and maps you can use for your homework.

You will have to sign in with your library card if you are using eLibrary at home.


First Voices
Learn a First Nations language, or just learn more about the languages of all of the nations in Canada. Choose a language from the drop-down menu, or click on the map for a close-up of BC or the West Coast.

Haida Legends
The best way to find authentic legends is to look at each nation's website. The Haida Nation website has videos of their legends being told. The Nuu-Chah-Nulth have videos of their cultural stories (click on the drop-down menu at the bottom). The Kwakwaka'wakw have a whole site dedicated to the stories behind their masks.

Canada's First Nations
Take a look at First Nations civilizations before the Europeans arrived. Check out different groups according to where they were on a map, what culture they shared, and what language they spoke, and read some of the creation myths.

The Canadian Encyclopedia
Search for information in this online encyclopedia. When you search for a specific tribe, each article will include the tribe’s history, other names they have been called, and other articles that might give you more information you can use for your homework.

Haida Spirits of the Sea
Learn more about the Haida and the Haida Gwaii, Haida canoes, and modern Haida artists. Read a story about the first totem pole.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
This website by the government of Canada includes information about treaties and residential schools.

Libraries and Archives Canada
A look at the history and culture of First Nations and Inuit communities before and after contact with Europeans. Find more information about the history, daily life, and culture of communities such as the Haida or the Nisga’a.


Sechelt Legends Sechelt Legends

A series of shíshálh cautionary tales illustrated by a shíshálh artist about people interacting with the animals of the land.

Kou-skelowh Kou-skelowh

An illustrated series of Okanagan legends about the plants and animals who lived before people.

Loon and Raven Tales Loon and Raven Tales

Read these illustrated stories about Loon, Raven, Orca, Snipe, and Spider Woman, passed down to Anne Cameron by a First Nations elder named Klopinum.

Northwest Coast Stories Northwest Coast Stories

Collections of short fables inspired by the stories of the First Nations of the Northwest Coast.

Gray Wolf's Search Gray Wolf's Search

A picture book about a boy named Gray Wolf, who must go on a journey to find an important person.

White Wolf Woman White Wolf Woman

Read the Tlingit story of the wolf-chief’s son, or the Haida stories of the bear-mother and the devilfish promise.

Lord of the Sky Lord of the Sky

A West Coast-inspired picture book about a boy who travels to see the Thunderbird after one of his peers shoots and kills a crow, causing the sun to retreat.

The First Mosquito The First Mosquito

An illustrated story inspired by the culture of the First Nations of the Northwest Coast.

Shi-shi-etko Shi-shi-etko

Shi-shi-etko tries to remember everything about the world she has to leave behind before she is taken to a residential school.

The Chase The Chase

A Kutenai picture book about the animals of the forest chasing after one another to find out what they are running away from.

The Button Blanket The Button Blanket

Ann waits for her Uncle to make a crest for the button blanket she is making to wear to an upcoming potlatch. Includes a button blanket activity section.

The Woman Who Married a Bear The Woman Who Married a Bear

A picture book re-telling of an ancient west coast First Nations tale about a young woman who learns to respect bears after she encounters a clan of Bear People.

Byron Through the Seasons Byron Through the Seasons

A story-book written and illustrated by children in English and Dene. This story takes place in Saskatchewan, but Dene territory stretches to British Columbia.

Nihancan's Feast of Beaver Nihancan’s Feast of Beaver

A collection of Northwest Coast First Nations stories. This book uses the wrong names for First Nations communities.

Sketco the Raven Sketco the Raven

A chapter book about the adventures of Sketco the Raven, taken from stories of the First Nations along the Pacific Northwest. This book uses the wrong names for First Nations communities.