Treaty Words: For as Long as the Rivers Flow

Aimée Craft, illus. by Luke Swinson. Annick, $14.95 (60p) ISBN 978-1-77-321496-2
An Anishinaabe grandfather (Mishomis in Anishinaabemowin) and granddaughter take in the view of the river that flows past Mishomis’s home, where he has spent a lifetime bringing balance to nature. His city-dwelling granddaughter listens intently as Mishomis imparts beliefs: “Treaties are the basis of all relationships. We use the word Aagooiiddiwin to explain the treaty. It means that we agree to work together.” A treaty, Mishomis continues, needs “respect, reciprocity, and renewal” to thrive. That respect is warmly evident in the granddaughter’s love for Mishomis and for nature. Craft (who is Anishinaabe/Métis) employs quiet, tender language in an oral storytelling style. Swinson (also Anishinaabe), offers sinuous, stylized graphic drawings that further emphasize the harmony of thoughtful relationships: between Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, the child and her grandparent, and the sun and ice working together to free the river from its winter coat. This pocket-size picture book elegantly reveals the intended beauty and harmony of a treaty from an indispensable Indigenous perspective. Back matter includes an author’s note that delves further into the making of a treaty. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 07/21/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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