SSMPL Slogan - One stop...endless possibilities
Sault Ste. Marie Public Library

First Nations Public Library Week

Join us as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of First Nations Public Library Week with fellow book lovers across Turtle Island!

The Sault Ste. Marie Public Library is hosting its first ever "What’s Your Favourite Indigenous Book?" online contest. The contest runs from October 4th to the 25th, 2020.

To enter, cast your vote on a selection of five books chosen by our esteemed guest panelists:

  • "Empire of Wild" written by Cherie Dimaline and selected by Mitch Case

  • "Embers" written by Richard Wagamese and selected by Zoey Wood-Salomon  
  • "The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway" written by Edward Benton-Banai and selected by Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad
  • "From The Ashes" written by Jesse Thistle and selected by Carolyn Hepburn
  • "The Lesser Blessed" written by Richard Van Camp and selected by Waubgeshig Rice

As part of the contest, the public is also encouraged to read a chapter of the book "Why Indigenous Literatures Matter" by Daniel Heath Justice, which is available at the Library or online thorough our hoopla service.

The contest winner will receive an Indigenous-themed prize pack and will be announced on October 29, 2020.

Mitch Case

Mitch Case

Mitch is a leader in the Sault Ste. Marie Métis community, having served as a volunteer for 15 years. In June 2020, Mitch was elected as the Region 4 (Algoma District) Councillor on the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario.  Mitch is a Beadworker who practices a traditional Métis floral style. 


Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline

Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year--ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One hung-over morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher. By the time she staggers into the tent the service is over, but as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice.

She turns, and there is Victor. Only he insists he is not Victor, but the Reverend Eugene Wolff, on a mission to bring his people to Jesus. And he doesn't seem to be faking: there isn't even a flicker of recognition in his eyes.

With only two allies--her odd, Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, and Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with deep knowledge of the old ways--Joan sets out to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor, his life, and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon her success.

Inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou--a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of Métis communities--Cherie Dimaline has created a propulsive, stunning and sensuous novel.

Elizabeth Edgar Salomon

Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad

Elizabeth is an Honours Graduate of Mount Royal College’s Social Service Worker program, holds a B. A. in Anishinaabemowin from Algoma U, a B. Ed. from Queen’s U and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Athabasca University.  She has been a Youth/Children’s Trainer for over 30 years; a Family and Community Development Specialist serving Canada and the United States; and has been a featured Regional/National Conference Motivational Speaker, using storytelling, humour and wit combined with audience participation. She teaches and works to ensure culture is celebrated. She works at Algoma University and manages the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre. Reading about Ojibway worldview perspectives and the creation stories of the Ojibway is a favourite. 

The Mishomis Book by Edward Benton-Banai

In The Mishomis Book, Edward Benton-Banai documents the history, traditions, and culture of the Ojibway people through stories passed down through generations. For readers from all cultures—but especially for Ojibway and Native youth—The Mishomis Book provides an introduction to Ojibway culture and the sacred Midewiwin teachings, aiming to protect this knowledge by instilling its importance in a new generation.

Carolyn Hepburn

Carolyn Hepburn

A long time avid reader, Carolyn is a proud member of Fort Albany First Nation. As Dean of Indigenous Studies and Academic Upgrading at Sault College, she is a strong advocate of life-long learning who believes that storytelling has the power to change lives.  

From the Ashes Cover

From The Ashes by Jesse Thistle

In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.
Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.
In this heartwarming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education—and newfound love—he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.
An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.

Waunbgeshig Rice





Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent the bulk of his journalism career at CBC. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.

The Lesser Blessed Cover

The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp

Internationally praised and the subject of a critically acclaimed film, Richard Van Camp’s bestselling novel about coming of age in Canada’s North has achieved the status of an Indigenous classic and it was included in CBC’s list of 100 novels that make you proud to be Canadian. This special 20th anniversary edition features a new introduction from the author, as well as two short stories that follow the lives of the novel’s main characters.

The Lesser Blessed tracks the exploits of Larry Sole, a Dogrib teenager living in the small Northern town of Fort Simmer. After losing much of his memory in a violent accident, what he loves more than anything is reading, hearing and collecting stories. With no interest in booze or sports, he floats on the edges of high school life, sustained by his love of Iron Maiden and a hopeless passion for school hottie Juliet Hope. When good-looking, trouble-seeking Johnny Beck moves into town, he shakes up Larry’s dreamy existence and leads him into a life of sex, drugs and violence, bringing him face to face with memories that he's done his best to lose.

Zoey Wood Salomon

Zoey Wood-Salomon 

Zoey paints in the traditional Woodland style that reflects her Odawa heritage.  Zoey is self-taught.  She has one book published, “Healing Through Art”.

Embers Cover

Embers by Richard Wagamese

In this carefully curated selection of everyday reflections, Richard Wagamese finds lessons in both the mundane and sublime as he muses on the universe, drawing inspiration from working in the bush--sawing and cutting and stacking wood for winter as well as the smudge ceremony to bring him closer to the Creator. Embers is perhaps Richard Wagamese's most personal volume to date. Honest, evocative and articulate, he explores the various manifestations of grief, joy, recovery, beauty, gratitude, physicality and spirituality--concepts many find hard to express. But for Wagamese, spirituality is multifaceted. Within these pages, readers will find hard-won and concrete wisdom on how to feel the joy in the everyday things. Wagamese does not seek to be a teacher or guru, but these observations made along his own journey to become, as he says, "a spiritual bad-ass," make inspiring reading.