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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

Auntie's Rez Surprise

by (author) Heather O'Watch

illustrated by Ellie Arscott

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Native Canadian, Multigenerational, Dogs
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
Recommended Reading age
6 to 8
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Auntie always greets Cree in Nehiyaw when she comes for a visit. When Auntie arrives with a surprise gift hidden in her bag, Cree can’t wait to discover what it is. The first clue? It’s from the rez. As Cree tries to figure out what it might be, the bag starts to move. Cree is thrilled when the bag opens and out jumps a rez puppy!

Cree asks Auntie how to take care of the new puppy. Auntie talks to Cree about the importance of dogs in their culture. They are our relatives, she explains, and need to be well taken care of. Cree decides she will name her new puppy "Atim", the Nehiyaw word for dog.

About the authors

Heather O'Watch is a Nakota and Nehiyaw woman from Okanese First Nation, located in Treaty 4 Territory. She lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. Heather is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan and hopes to continue a career in governance and policy. Heather enjoys spending time with her family, relatives, and five dogs.

Heather O'Watch's profile page

ELLIE ARSCOTT has been sharing her love of color and paint with a wide range of clients for twenty years. She has painted scenic art for Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre and the National Ballet of Canada, and she has worked with the Toronto District School Board creating mural projects with school children. Ellie is currently painting a series of portraits for her own initiative, Girls Stand Tall, which encourages young girls to believe in themselves and their dreams. This is her first picture book.


Ellie Arscott's profile page


  • Joint winner, Second Story Press Indigenous Writing Contest

Other titles by Heather O'Watch

Other titles by Ellie Arscott

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