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K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

This Place: 150 Years Retold

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Author/Publisher/Website: Akiwenzi-Damm, K.; Assu, S.; Mitchell, B.
Copyright: 2019
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: Apr/2020
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9781553797586
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: 6-12
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

Readers explore Canadian history through the eyes of Indigenous artists and authors, uncovering and celebrating Indigenous worldviews and perspectives through stylistically-rich narratives and vivid artistic portrayals. This graphic novel is an anthology of Indigenous voice in Canadian history and uses unique storytelling and graphic design to highlight the 150-year timeline of colonial impact. “This Place: 150 Years Retold” supports the curriculum for Grade 6–12, and lends itself well as a resource that highlights the importance of Indigenous worldviews, enhancing readers’ understanding of Indigenous cultures. The content promotes critical and reflective thinking about the Indigenous narratives in Canadian history, allowing for deeper inquiries into Indigenous communities, perspectives, storytelling, and voices.


Does the resource support BC curriculum?
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Creative Thinking
Critical thinking
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Social Responsibility
“This Place: 150 Years Retold” is an anthology in the form of a graphic novel that gives Indigenous perspective to events in Canada’s 150-year history. It supports the English Language Arts Big Idea that “exploring texts helps us understand ourselves and makes connections to others.” It reinforces the Big Idea in Social Studies that “contacts and conflicts between peoples stimulated significant cultural, social, and political change.” The anthology supports the Curricular Competency that recognizes that “language constructs personal, social, and cultural identity.” In Social Studies, it can be used to study discriminatory policies in Canada. The book also supports the Indigenous Perspective.


Belief System:
There are portrayals of Indigenous spirituality and a worldview that connects humans with the spirit world. “Red Clouds” includes a representation of the Windigo, which is a spirit that takes over a human body. The story “Rosie” has artistic and literary representations of Inuit shamanism that are important to the telling of the Inuit story in Canadian history.
There are portrayals of violence in WWI, the Oka Crisis, and of racist acts toward Indigenous Peoples.
The book highlights Indigenous protest and resistance that may be considered to go against provincial and federal legal obligations.
There are some words used for Indigenous Peoples in the stories that are appropriate for the time they portray, for example, "Indian.” There is some swearing throughout the book.
Do the social considerations support, rather than detract from, student learning?
Social Considerations Comments:
The social considerations enhance student learning, as they strongly support the theme of “150 Years Retold.” Writing about Indigenous protests and resistance from the Indigenous perspective highlights the importance of the Indigenous worldview. Including Indigenous perspectives of spirituality enhance the reader's experience of Indigenous cultures. The language used does not distract from the literary experience.


Should this product be identified as Canadian?
Is the resource engaging?
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Is the resource an Authentic First Peoples Text?
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Can the content be differentiated?
Can reading level be adjusted?
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Several different Indigenous authors and artists have contributed to this beautiful resource. The literary and graphic contributions to this anthology extensively support the First Peoples' Principles of Learning and Aboriginal Ways of Knowing and Being. The content promotes the development of the Core Competencies: Critical and Reflective Thinking about the narratives offered in Canadian and Indigenous history.


Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Is the location of illustrations appropriate?
Is the resource easy to use?
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Are extraneous elements/illustrations kept to a minimum?
Each story in “This Place” is told and illustrated by different authors and artists. Each has their own style of storytelling and graphic design. There is uniformity in each story, but not throughout the book.


Does the text show insight into the complexity of the human condition?
Does the text broaden students’ experiences and understanding?
To what degree is this text stylistically rich?
Plot description:
“This Place: 150 Years Retold” is an anthology of Indigenous Voice in Canadian History. The linear timeline included in each story's introduction represents 150 years of colonial impact on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being. The voices within each story represent Indigenous truth in Reconciliation. The graphic novel starts in 1850 in the Red River and weaves its way through Canada, broaching the Indian Act, epidemics, Residential Schools, Treaties, Windigo, Indigenous WWI veterans, Inuit identity, 60s scoop, land, water and resource defense, salmon raids, Oka Crisis, Idle No More, Dakota Access Pipeline, protests, resilience, change, and futuristic perspective. Ten stories. Ten voices.
Related Comments:
Each literary and graphic contributor offers stylistically rich storytelling and vivid artistic portrayal. The characters are well developed through the narrative and the conversations within the storylines, all supporting the timeline of the impact of Canadian policy for each story. The stories offer an understanding to Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being and offer experience into the Canadian narrative from Indigenous perspectives.
Science Fiction
Ilustrated Novel
Literary Highlights:
Complex conflict
Well-developed themes
Point of view
Graphic Novel
Visual Highlights:
Graphic Novel


At intended grade level(s)
The book is among Indigo’s Graphic-Novel Bestsellers; the Ottawa Citizen’s fall reading list (2019); the CBC Books summer reading list (2019); the 14 Books to Read for Indigenous History Month (2019), CBC Books; and is among Bestselling Canadian Books (2019), CBC.


“This Place” could be used as a study of the colonial impact on Indigenous communities; a comparative inquiry of western and Indigenous voice; a study of Indigenous and non-Indigenous historical perspectives; a study of Canadian Policy toward Indigenous groups; a study of the evolution of Indigenous storytelling; an inquiry into Indigenous voice in Truth and Reconciliation; a study of Indigenous authors and artists; stories from Indigenous Canadian history; a study of First Nations perspectives on use of natural resources; a study of Indigenous community constructs; a reading for Indigenous Veterans Day; an inquiry into the stories that are missing in the narratives of Canadian history.