READ Indigenous - The FOLD

READ Indigenous

About the Project

In 2022, The FOLD’s created a commemorative “Read Indigenous” t-shirt which provided a translation of the word READ in all eleven languages featured in the books listed below.

Each of the picture books (and a young adult graphic novel) were written by Indigenous authors and all of the books include one of the eleven Indigenous languages.

The t-shirt was designed by Vancouver-based Tahltan comic artist, illustrator and printmaker, COLE PAULS, who was inspired by the beadwork found in many indigenous communities.

Special thank you to everyone who helped translate the word READ into the eleven languages featured on this commemorative project:

Louise Flaherty (Inuktitut)
Heather Souter (Michif)
Alan Corbiere (Anishinaabemowin)
David A. Robertson (Swampy Cree)
Hetxw’ms Gyetxw/Brett D. Huson (Gitxsan)
Jasḵwaan Bedard, Shaag̱aw Éesh Devlin Anderstrom and Skil Jaadee White (X̱aad kíl)
Joe Wilmot (Mi’gmaq)
Cole Pauls (Southern Tutchone)
Doris Camsell (South Slavey)
Mildred Walters (Diné)
Nicola I. Campbell (Salish)

Each purchase was accompanied by a commemorative postcard highlighting all eleven books. All proceeds from the t-shirts were donated to the FOLD’s local Friendship Centre.

Read Indigenous postcard. Top image: A child reading down in a beaded style. Indigenous languages surround them with the FOLD Kids logo at the bottom. Bottom image: Is the list of books by Indigenous creators featuring indigenous languages with the link There's also a brief explanation of the project.

Dakwäkãda Warriors

As a young person growing up in Haines Junction YT, artist Cole Pauls performed in a traditional song and dance group called the Dakwäkãda Dancers. During that time, Pauls encountered the ancestral language of Southern Tutchone. Driven by a desire to help revitalize the language, he created Dakwäkãda Warriors, a bilingual comic about two earth protectors saving the world from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches.

Pauls’ Elders supported him throughout the creation process by offering consultation and translation. The resulting work is a whimsical young adult graphic novel that offers an accessible allegory of colonialism. Dakwäkãda Warriors also includes a behind-the-scenes view into the making of the comic and a full-colour insert featuring character illustrations by guest Indigenous Canadian artists.

About Cole Pauls:

Cole Pauls is a Vancouver-based Tahltan comic artist, illustrator and printmaker hailing from Haines Junction (Yukon Territory). He’s the creator of two comics: Pizza Punks and Dakwäkãda Warriors.

Language: Southern Tutchone

Publisher: Conundrum Press

Buy Book:

Book cover of Dakwäkãda Warriors in red, white and black featuring three characters and is designed like a sci-fi with indigenous influences

The Wolf Mother

Follow along as award-winning author Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) introduces young readers to a pack of grey wolves. New pups have just begun to open their eyes, one of which is a striking black female. Every day, her ears grow larger, her eyesight gets sharper, and her legs stretch farther. As she learns to hunt, play, and run with her pack, instinct pulls her to explore beyond her home territory. Will the young wolf’s bold spirit help her find a new pack of her very own?

Learn about the life cycle of these magnificent canines, the traditions of the Gitxsan, and how grey wolves contribute to the health of their entire ecosystem.

About Hetxw’ms Gyetxw/Brett D. Huson (writer):

Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson (he/him/his), is from the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia, Canada. The award-winning series Mothers of Xsan is Brett’s first series of books and part of a larger vision he has in sharing the worlds of the Gitxsan Nation.

About Natasha Donovan (illustrator):

Natasha Donovan (she/her/hers) is a Métis illustrator originally from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her sequential work has been published in many comics and children’s books such as Borders, the Mothers of Xsan series and This Place: 150 Years Retold.

Language: Gitxsan

Publisher: Portage and Main Press/HighWater Press

Buy Book:

More of the Mothers of Xsan Series:

Book cover of The Wolf Mother featuring a wolf

Nang Jáadaa Sg̱áana ‘Láanaa aa Isdáayaan / The Woman Carried Away by Killer Whales

Nang Jáadaa Sg̱áana ‘Láanaa aa Isdáayaan (The Woman Carried Away by Killer Whales) is Sealaska Heritage’s first-ever children’s book entirely in the Haida language, X̱aad Kíl. The traditional Haida story features a hunter who forgets to thank an otter for its life. When he gifts the otter to his wife it comes back to life and swims away. She jumps in after it and is captured by the SGaan, the killer whales. An adventurous rescue begins.

Audio available online

Translated into X̱aad Kíl by Skíl Jáadei Linda Schrack and Ilskyalas Delores Churchill

About Janine Gibbons (illustrator):

Janine Gibbons, a Haida Raven of the Double-Fin Killer Whale Clan, Brown Bear House, is  a multi-disciplinary artist  and award-winning illustrator.

Language: Haida (X̱aad Kíl)

Publisher: Baby Raven Reads/Sealaska Heritage Institute

Buy the X̱aad Kíl version of the Book:

Buy the English version of the Book:

Book cover of Nang Jáadaa Sg̱áana ‘Láanaa aa Isdáayaan (The Woman Carried Away by Killer Whales, X̱aad Kíl version)

Ispík kákí péyakoyak / When We Were Alone

A young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak Cree and spend so much time with her family? As she asks questions, her grandmother shares her experiences in a residential school, when all of these things were taken away.

When We Were Alone won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award in the Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books) category, and was nominated for the TD Canadian’s Children’s Literature Award. This edition includes the text in Swampy Cree syllabics and Roman orthography, as well as the original English.

Translated into Swampy Cree by Alderick Leask

About David A. Robertson (writer):

David A. Robertson (he/him/his) is the 2021 recipient of the Writer’s Union of Canada’s Freedom to Read Award. He is the author of more than 25 books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won a Governor General’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

About Julie Flett (illustrator):

Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received and was nominated with many awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif).

Language: Swampy Cree

Publisher: Portage and Main Press/HighWater Press

Buy Book:

Book cover of Ispík kákí péyakoyak When We Were Alone featuring two little indigenous girls

ᐊᖕᒐᒃᑯᙳᕆᐅᖅᓴᑎᑕᐅᔪᖅ / The Shaman's Apprentice

Inspired by award-winning Inuk director Zacharias Kunuk’s short film of the same name, The Shaman’s Apprentice tells the story of a young shaman in training who must face her first test—a trip to the underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, who holds the answers to why a community member has become ill.

Facing dark spirits and physical challenges, the young shaman must learn to stifle her fear and listen to what Kannaaluk has to tell her.

About Zacharias Kunuk (writer):

Zacharias Kunuk, OC, ON is a filmmaker, sculptor and visual artist who lives in Iglulik (Igloolik), NU. Kunuk has redefined filmmaking in Canada and has been at the forefront of innovative use of broadcast technology in the North [1]. He is perhaps best known for his debut feature film Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) from 2001, the first Canadian feature film produced entirely in Inuktitut.

About Megan Kyak-Monteith (illustrator):

Megan Kyak-Monteith is an Inuk illustrator and painter born in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. She is currently living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and studying interdisciplinary arts at NSCAD University with a focus on painting.

Language: Inuktitut

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Buy the Inuktitut or English versions of the Book:

Book cover of the Inuktitut version of The Shaman's Apprentice

Ga's / The Train

Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. When she sees his sadness, he shares with her the history of those tracks. Uncle tells her that during his childhood the train would bring their community supplies, but there came a day when the train took away with it something much more important. One day he and the other children from the reserve were taken aboard and transported to residential school, where their lives were changed forever. They weren’t allowed to speak Mi’gmaq and were punished if they did. Uncle tells her he tried not to be noticed, like a little mouse, and how hard it was not to have the love and hugs and comfort of family. He also tells Ashley how happy she and her sister make him. They are what give him hope. Ashley promises to wait with her uncle as he sits by the tracks, waiting for what was taken from their people to come back to them.

Translated into Mi’gmaq by Joe Wilmot

About Jodie Callaghan (writer):

Jodie Callaghan is a Mi’gmaq woman from the Listuguj First Nation in Gespegewa’gi near Quebec. She was inspired to write The Train after listening to many people tell her about their residential school experience. Jodie is currently working as an adult education teacher in her community.

Georgia Lesley illustrated the book

Language: Mi’gmaq

Publisher: Second Story Press

Buy the Book:

Book cover of Ga's / The Train which features a grandfather and his granddaughter

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know

We accompany them through warm summer days full of wildflowers, bees and blueberries, then fall, when bears feast before hibernation and forest mushrooms are ripe for harvest. Winter mornings begin in darkness as deer, mice and other animals search for food, while spring brings green shoots poking through melting snow and the chirping of peepers.

Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley have created a book inspired by childhood memories of time spent with Knowledge Keepers, observing and living in relationship with the natural world in the place they call home — the northern reaches of Anishinaabewaking, around the Great Lakes.

Translated into Anishinaabemowin by Alvin Ted Corbiere and Alan Corbiere

About Brittany Luby (writer):

Brittany Luby, of Anishinaabe descent, was raised on Treaty #3 Lands in what is now known as northwestern Ontario. She is an assistant professor of history at the University of Guelph and an award-winning researcher. Her debut picture book, Encounter, illustrated by Michaela Goade, received wide acclaim. Brittany currently lives on Dish with One Spoon Territory.

About Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley (illustrator):

Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley is an Ojibwe woodland artist and a member of Wasauksing First Nation. He works mainly in acrylics, digital illustration and screen-printing, and has had several solo art exhibitions across Turtle Island. This is his first picture book. Joshua spends his time living between Vancouver and Wasauksing First Nation.

Language: Anishinaabemowin

Publisher: House of Anansi/Groundwood Books

Buy the Book:

Book cover of Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know featuring an elder and their grandchild walking in nature

Stand Like a Cedar

When you go for a walk in nature, who do you see? What do you hear?

Award-winning storyteller Nicola I. Campbell shows what it means to “stand like a cedar” on this beautiful journey of discovery through the wilderness. Learn the names of animals in the Nłeʔkepmxcín or Halq’emeylem languages as well as the teachings they have for us. Experience a celebration of sustainability and connection to the land through lyrical storytelling and Carrielynn Victor’s breathtaking art in this children’s illustrated book.

Discover new sights and sounds with every read.

About Nicola I. Campbell (writer):

Nicola I. Campbell is the author of Shi-shi-etko, Shin-chi’s Canoe, Grandpa’s Girls, and A Day with Yayah. Nłeʔkepmx, Syílx, and Métis, from British Columbia, her stories weave cultural and land-based teachings that focus on respect, endurance, healing, and reciprocity.

About Carrielynn Victor (illustrator):

Carrielynn Victor is fueled by the passion to tell stories through her art. Her ancestors come from around the world descending from bloodlines in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales that arrived in the Americas in the 1600s, and Coast Salish ancestors that have been sustained by S’olh Temexw (our land) since time immemorial. Carrielynn was born and raised in S’olh Temexw and nurtured by many parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

Language: Salish

Publisher: Portage and Main Press/HighWater Press

Buy the Book:

Book cover of Stand Like A Cedar featuring a little girl with arms outstretched to a tree

When We Are Kind

When We Are Kind celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives. Celebrated author Monique Gray Smith has written many books on the topics of resilience and reconciliation and communicates an important message through carefully chosen words for readers of all ages. Beautifully illustrated by artist Nicole Neidhardt, this book encourages children to be kind to others and to themselves.

Translated into Diné by Mildred Walters

About Monique Gray Smith (writer):

Monique Gray Smith is Cree, Lakota and Scottish. She’s an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Her books include You Hold Me Up and the upcoming picture book, I Hope.

About Nicole Neidhardt (illustrator):

Nicole Neidhardt is a Diné (Navajo) of Kiiyaa’áanii clan on her mother’s side and a blend of European ancestry on her father’s side. Her Diné family is from Round Rock, Arizona and she grew up in Santa Fe, NM on Tewa territory. She has a Master of Fine Arts from OCAD University in Toronto, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Business minor from the University of Victoria.

Language: Diné

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Buy the Book:áádaahwiin%C3%ADt%C3%ADigo

Book cover of When We Are Kind / Nihá’ádaahwiinít’íigo featuring two older women and four children of indigenous descent sitting in a circle with a drum

Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer)

A Michif Alphabet (L’alfabet di Michif)

From Atayookee! to Lii Zyeu: this simply, elegantly illustrated picture book introduces young and old alike to the unique Michif language of the Metis people.

About Julie Flett:

Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received and was nominated with many awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif).

Language: Michif

Publisher: Simply Read Books

Buy the Book:

Book cover of Owls See Clearly at Night - A Michif Alphabet (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak Lii Swer L’alfabet Di Michif) featuring two buffalos and owl at night

Little You / Anetséleh

Richard Van Camp, internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author of the hugely successful Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns, has partnered with award-winning illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that celebrates the potential of every child. With its delightful contemporary illustrations, Little You is perfect to be shared, read or sung to all the little people in your life—and the new little ones on the way!

About Richard Van Camp (writer):

Richard Van Camp is an internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author. He was born in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tłı̨chǫ) Dene Nation. He is the author of The Lesser Blessed, a Canadian classic that has been adapted into a feature film with First Generation Films.

About Julie Flett (illustrator):

Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received and was nominated with many awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif).

Language: South Slavey

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Buy the Book:éleh

Book cover of Little You / Anetséleh featuring a baby

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