The purpose for Spirit of the Island:  Manitoulin’s People - Stories of Indigenous - Settler Historical Dynamics is to respond to Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.  Specifically, the Ministry of Education developed a Joint Implementation Working Group (of which this author is a member) that spear-headed efforts toward a new curriculum for Ontario students. The newly government mandated curriculum tells the truth about Canada's history and contemporary dynamics with Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit).  

Available in English, French, and Anishinaabemowin

This book exposes the reader/student to critical information about the accurate history and contemporary situations of Indigenous peoples in Canada.  The specific area of Manitoulin Island, Ontario provides a localized context for contributors who tell their stories of personal experiences, which relate to national-level politics. 

First-person voice is the most powerful tool to convey meaning in almost any context.  From there, the empirical and objective (i.e. academic) data adds context and details for discussion and when used as a text, for essay and research topics.  For example, there are personal stories of experiences in the Residential School System, the Treaty legacy, and living with the Indian Act.  Following each personal story are: 

i) “Author’s Notes” (academic data) that detail the main issues targeted in the story, and includes Personal Inquiry questions, Learning Outcomes, and inspirational quotes; and

ii) a list of resources (mainly Indigenous scholars) that provides students with access to resources for assignments. 

First-person accounts from Indigenous Elders and students are interspersed throughout the content. 

An accompanying Teacher's Guidebook provides teachers with exact details of how to best use the book as a textbook in their classrooms.  Providing this guidebook to teachers prevents creating an 'add-on' for their work; the guidebook also includes activities that can be copied for use in the classroom.

Recommendations for

Spirit of the Island:  Manitoulin’s People

Stories of Indigenous - Settler Historical Dynamics

Rhonda has exquisitely captured the spirit of the island in her book. Through the biographies, personal stories, poems, pictures, works of art by local artists - she paints a vivid picture of the people and their love for their home and the effects of Indian residential school experience. This is a book about the sustaining power of love.”

            Prof. D. Newhouse, Chair, Indigenous Studies, Trent University, Peterborough, ON.

"This book blends the personal experiences of the contributing writers with the academic background of the author.  Together, there is a union that brings important, crucial, data to the general public and more specifically to students who may use this book to compliment their studies. The fact that it is translated into Ojibway creates great strides to revitalizing the language."

            Dr. Linda Skilton, Dean, Fleming College, Lindsay, Ontario.

*Approved as Required Reading at Trent University*