Rocky Cree people understand that all children are born with four gifts or talents. When a child is old enough, they decide which gift, or mīthikowisiwin, they will seek to master. With her sapotawan ceremony fast approaching, Amō must choose her mīthikowisiwin. Her sister, Pīsim, became a midwife; others gather medicines or harvest fish. But none of those feel quite right.
Amō has always loved making things. Her uncle can show her how to make nipisiwata, willow baskets. Her grandmother can teach her how to make kwakwāywata, birchbark containers and plates. Her auntie has offered to begin Amō’s apprenticeship in making askihkwak, pottery.
What will Amō’s mīthikowisiwin be? Which skill should she choose? And how will she know what is right for her?
About the authors
William Dumas, a Rocky Cree Storyteller, was born in South Indian Lake, Manitoba. For 25 years, he has been an educator and administrator; his passion for Cree language and culture are well aligned with his current position as Cree Language and Culture Coordinator for the Nisichawayasihk (Nelson House) Education Authority. As the author of The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak series, William knows first-hand the power storytelling has to teach Indigenous youth about where they come from and where they are going.
Rhian Brynjolson (she/her/hers) is a visual artist, author, book illustrator, and art educator. Rhian was awarded the Canadian Art Teacher of the Year in 2014. She is the author of Teaching Art: a Complete Guide for the Classroom, and has illustrated fifteen children’s books. Rhian has worked with the River on the Run artist collective, making and performing art to raise awareness of environmental concerns affecting the Lake Winnipeg watershed. Rhian lives and works on the edge of Treaty 3 territory, in the boreal forest of eastern Manitoba. Her work is currently exhibited as part of the Virtual Water Gallery https://gwf.usask.ca and at www.rhianbrynjolson.com.