Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives

The First Nations Series for Young Readers Teacher Resource

by Shawntelle Nesbitt

This comprehensive teachers guide is designed to accompany Second Story Press' First Nations Series for Young Readers. This resource has been developed around the First Nations/Native American holistic concept of community and how teachers can use these ideas to help support differentiated instruction. Just as the series tells the stories of First Nations activists who have taken action on issues that are important to them, the guide is designed to encourage students to use their critical thinking and literacy skills to do the same. It can easily be integrated into everyday junior level classroom programming for language skills, arts, social studies, and character education. It is also appropriate for adaptation in intermediate and senior level classrooms. The material can be applied to other books and texts that address local, national, or global social justice issues.

The guide uses the six books in the First Nations for Young Readers Series:

  • Environmentalists from our First Nations (ISBN 978-1-897187-98-2))
  • Great Musicians from our First Nations (ISBN 978-1-897187-76-0)
  • Men of Courage from our First Nations (ISBN 978-1-897187-43-2)
  • Great Women from our First Nations(ISBN 978-1-897187-25-8)
  • Great Athletes from our First Nations (ISBN 978-0-9779183-0-0)
  • Gray Wolf's Search (ISBN 978-0-9779183-1-7)

The material in this guide can also be applied to other books and texts about First Nations peoples that address themes of social justice, activism, the environment, sports, and politics.


"This is an excellent resource to encourage a conversation on local, national or global social justice issues. It effectively demonstrates respect for all First Nations/Native Americans through its use of inclusive terms, respect for the multitude of individual nations, and for the belief in the potential of critical thinking skills of young people in classrooms today. Highly Recommended"

-CM Magazine Review, Spring 2013

"Second Story Press' First Nations Series for Young Readers Teacher Resource is an exemplary illustration of how educators can continue in the journey to a greater understanding...of Canada's original cultures. Rich and extensive programming flows throughout Nesbitt's guide, which demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of all that must be considered when bringing First Nation, Métis, or Inuit culture into the classroom. Shawntelle Nesbitt gets it!"

-Shelley Knott-Fife, Senior Education Projects Officer, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

"With a lens of equality and social justice, Second Story Press' new First nations, Métis, and Inuit resource designed to accompany their First Nations Series for Young Readers fills a void in the Ministry of Education's mandate. The series and the resource guide are current and allow students to learn about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit role models while incorporating Aboriginal perspective. Using Aboriginal worldviews throughout the school and with quality resources such as these, will go far to bring about the provincial mandate."

-Lynn Herr, Harmony Public School, Co-Chair, Culture and Caring Committee, Durham District School Board