The First Nations, Inuit and Métis Voices Project came out of a need for more accessible Indigenous authored titles and a commitment to working with narrators that can represent what they are reading!
We began this journey with a search for Indigenous narrators and authors! We tweeted, zoomed and searched across social media, publishers, libraries and word of mouth to find interested participants. To make the project as open as possible we also created recording kits that were sent out to narrators and provided training and guidance in recording, editing and Alt-text.
During this project we provided:
- Portable recording kits sent to the narrator's home,
- One on one training in recording and narration
- Accessibility testers to evaluate and contribute to image descriptions
- Standard audiobook narration wages
- Publication of the finished audiobook as part of the NNELS repository (available to everyone with a print disability)
We are excited to say that we produced 9 audiobooks through this project.
- #NOTYOURPRINCESS: Voices of Native American women, edited Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, narrated by Michif artist S.O. Nault is an award-winning anthology of stories, poems, images and art from a diverse group of Indigenous women. All the image descriptions are also written by S.O. Nault!
- This is How I know/ Mii Maanda Exhi-Gkendmaanh, by Brittany Luby, narrated by Rochelle Allan and her son. This book takes the reader on a walk through the seasons with a granddaughter and her Ookomisan. The title is bi-lingual in both Ojibwe and English and is integrated with audio-images. Special thanks to House of Anansi and GroundWork Books
- The Inconvenient Indian, by Thomas King and narrated by Ann Doyon from Theytus Publishing. The Inconvenient Indian is at once a “history” and the complete subversion of a history—in short, a critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be “Indian” in North America.
- It's a mitig, by Bridget George and narrated by Rochelle Allan. This book is a rhyming combination of English & Ojibwe that guides you through the forest while introducing Ojibwe words for nature.
- In My Own Moccasins, by Helen Knott, narrated by Tanya Ball, is about addiction, intergenerational trauma, & the story of sisterhood, power of ceremony, love, & redemption.
- Surviving domestic violence: my journey of self-care and healing, by Kendra Weenie, narrated by Lorisia MacLeod, outlines the challenges of breaking out of the inter-generational cycle of violence and abuse. Kendra's experiences can serve as a roadmap for others in embracing their strengths and turning life's difficulties into opportunities to help others.
- Obsidian: a DreadfulWater mystery, by Thomas King, narrated by Eman Bélanger. Thumps DreadfulWater, the sly, wry, reluctant investigator of Cold Skies and A Matter of Malice, returns in another irresistible mystery that only Thomas King could create.
- Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun, by Paul Seesequasis, narrated by the author. Paul narrates his must-listen photo essay publication with image descriptions from his home in Saskatchewan. This title is still in production, and we are excited to add it to our repository soon!
- Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock, by Dallas Hunt, narrated by the author. In this book a young Awâsis searches for the ingredients to make Kohkum's world-famous bannock recipe, they run into a variety of other-than-human relatives that help them along in their journey. Includes a pronunciation guide and Kohkum's world-famous bannock recipe at the back of the book. This title is still in production, and we are excited to add it to our repository soon!