Online book club with Indigenous authors to follow the Anishinaabe lunar calendar

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An online book club and interview series featuring Indigenous authors and illustrators as well as cultural teachings on the Anishinaabe lunar calendar will launch on January 28.

The monthly series, titled 13 Moons 13 Reads, will feature video interviews with Indigenous authors, poets and illustrators hosted by Mohawk / Tuscarora poet and owner of Ojistoh Publishing, Janet Rogers.

“Being a writer myself, I know all the clichés, the traditional and time-tested questions that people usually ask,” she said.

“I go [get] away from that and hopefully start a discussion we’ve never heard before from these writers. “

Sandra Samatte and GoodMinds created and launched the series. GoodMinds is a First Nations family owned bookstore and distribution center in Six Nations of the Grand River. The store offers Indigenous, First Nations, Métis and Inuit educational resources and also has an extensive collection of books by Indigenous authors.

“I don’t know if people really know the extent of the volume of work that exists in terms of what native writers offer,” Rogers said.

“We cover all genres and then invent new genres.”

Rogers said the series will cover a number of Indigenous genres and authors such as Alicia Elliott, David Robertson and Tanya Talaga as well as illustrator Jay Odjik. The month of April will be devoted to a round table of poets in honor of the national month of poetry.

GoodMinds is owned by Achilles Gentle, who bought the company from former owner and founder Jeff Burnham in November 2019.

Gentle’s mother, Sandra Samatte, is a member of the Skownan First Nation in Manitoba and works with Rogers to film and produce the videos for the series.

In the first video, Samatte will introduce Rogers, who will talk about the connection between the Anishnaabe calendar and the shell of a turtle.

A turtle’s shell has 28 small patches around the edge – one for each day of the lunar month. There are also 13 larger “scales” or sections of plates on a turtle shell – one for each of the moons of the year.

Rogers will then discuss the significance of each of the moons and the events of the year that they signify.

The series will be available on the Goodminds.com website and the YouTube page.


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