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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

Dancing With Our Ancestors

by (author) Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson

illustrated by Janine Gibbons

Publisher
Portage & Main Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Category
Native Canadian, Dance, Death & Dying, Multigenerational
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781774920244
    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price
    $21.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781774920251
    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price
    $18.00

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Description

In this tender picture book, Sara Florence Davidson transports readers to the excitement of a potlatch in Hydaburg, Alaska—her last memory of dancing with her late brother.

It feels like my brother and I have always known how to sing the songs and dance the dances of our Haida ancestors. Unlike our father, we were born after the laws that banned our cultural practices were changed. The potlatch ban did not exist during our time, so we grew up dancing and singing side by side.

The invitations have been sent. The food has been prepared. The decorations have been hung. And now the day of the potlatch has finally arrived! Guests from all over come to witness this bittersweet but joyful celebration of Haida culture and community.

Written by the creators of Potlatch as Pedagogy, this book brings the Sk'ad'a Principles to life through the art of Janine Gibbons.

About the authors

Sara Florence Davidson (she/her/hers) is a Haida/Settler Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Previously, she was an educator working with adolescents in the K-12 system in British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Sara is the co-author of Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony­, which she wrote with her father, and Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii, which she wrote with her stepmother, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson.

When she is not reading or writing, Sara can be found walking with her dog, drinking tea, or listening to stories and learning something new.

 

Sara Florence Davidson's profile page

Robert Davidson is a carver, sculptor, painter, printmaker and jeweller, whose work is in private and public collections internationally. He is also a student of the Haida language, culture and history, and performs Haida songs and dances as a member of the Rainbow Creek Dancers. Two books have been published on his work, Robert Davidson, Haida Printmaker by Hilary Stewart and Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn edited by Ian M. Thom, in conjunction with a major retrospective of his work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Robert Davidson's profile page

Janine Gibbons, a Haida Raven of the Double-Fin Killer Whale Clan, Brown Bear House, is a multi-disciplinary artist and award-winning illustrator. Janine’s works are inspired by the waters and lands of the Pacific Northwest, and their myriad colours, energies, and languages. Janine graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Janine has illustrated four books in the Sealaska Heritage’s Baby Raven Reads series, including Raven Makes the Aleutians, an AIYLA Honor Book, and most recently Nang Jáadaa Sg̱áana ‘Láanaa aa Isdáayaan (The Woman Carried Away by Killer Whales), which is entirely in the Haida language Xaad Kíl.

Janine Gibbons' profile page

Awards

  • Long-listed, PMC Indigenous Literature Award
  • Short-listed, First Nations Communities READ Award
  • Short-listed, Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher

Editorial Reviews

The book is exciting, powerful, and educational for readers.

Anishinabek News

The colorful, painted illustrations set a festive tone while the text also teaches that there were once laws banning these celebrations. The celebratory book will find a ready home in public library and elementary school library shelves, and anywhere looking to expand picture book knowledge of Indigenous cultures.

School Library Journal

Among Quill & Quire's Fall Preview: Books for Young People – Picture Books

Quill & Quire

Each of the four books documents a different day in the authors’ lives, including learning to carve argillite and fishing on the Yakoun River. Along the way, they immerse the reader in an Indigenous approach to teaching and learning. The collection really honours the people in the stories.

Vancouver Sun

A Globe and Mail top 10 kids' book of 2022

The Globe and Mail

Among CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2023

CCBC

Among IBBY Canada's 2020-2022 From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Book Collection

IBBY Canada

Among American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) Best Books 2022

American Indians in Children's Literature

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