Resurgence: Engaging With Indigenous Narratives and Cultural Expressions In and Beyond the Classroom

Portage & Main. Apr. 2022. 224p. ed. by M’Lot, Christine & Katya Adamov Ferguson, eds. pap. $31. ISBN 9781774920008.
An incredibly powerful pedagogical book, especially important in a time when Indigenous populations are resisting narratives that erase or confine them to the study of the past. With a powerful shift in perspective, this book encourages educators to attempt to fit Indigenous narratives into their curriculum, but rather to start with those narratives. The book shares poignant art, essays, poems, and perspectives from myriad Indigenous creators and thinkers. In addition, the editors share reflective and intentional connections, applications for professional development, and specific ways to teach with the works. The book is organized into four parts: “Resistance,” “Resilience,” “Restoring,” and “Reconnecting.” Each part has an overview and multiple chapters written by different authors; each chapter concludes with two sections, “Educator Connections” and “Classroom Connections.” Every Classroom Connection section is further divided into questions for students, a “Talking Back” section based in critical literacy, inquiry options, and lists of Indigenous resources. This organizational structure helps to connect big ideas to the immediate work educators are doing in their classrooms and serves to support the use of this book as a reference and tool teachers and librarians can reach back for. In addition to specific recommendations, the book includes options for levels of engagement with a work, depending on the students. Educators also have options for the depth and scope of their study. The book has a critical literacy stance, but reveres multiple perspectives and encourages educators to help students do the same. It is skillfully intentional in its curation of different perspectives, and, with such a variety of work, can easily be used to support multiple standards.
VERDICT A powerful, resonant, meticulously crafted work, firmly rooted in respect and dignity, with clear strategies for teacher practice. Highly recommended.

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