Tales from Big Spirit series
Published by HighWater Press
Grade: for grades 4–6
On her way to school one day, Sarah is relieved to find the book she’d dropped the day before – shortly after an encounter with a bear. But when she opens it, the story within, about the Cree chief Mistahimaskwa, comes alive. It takes Sarah back to the Saskatchewan Plains of 1832, where the young boy who would become the great chief first learns the ways of his people, to the final days of his life.
The Chief is one book in the Tales from Big Spirit series. Tales from Big Spirit is a unique seven-book graphic novel series that delves into the stories of seven great Indigenous heroes from Canadian history—some already well known and others who deserve to be. Designed to correspond to grades 4–6 social studies curriculums across Canada, these full colour graphic novels could be used in literature circles, novel studies, and book clubs to facilitate discussion of social studies topics. These books will help students make historical connections while promoting important literacy skills. The series also includes:
The Ballad of Nancy April: Shawnadithit, the last remaining member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland.
The Land of Os: John Ramsay, a Saulteaux man from the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, who, though dispossessed from his land, helped the Icelandic settlers who arrived in 1875 withstand the smallpox epidemic of the following year.
The Peacemaker: Thanadelthur, a young Dene woman enslaved by the Cree, who becomes a guide for the Hudson Bay Company. In 1715 she negotiated a peace between longstanding enemies, the Cree and Dene.
The Poet: Pauline Johnson, born on the Six Nations Reserve, who wrote and performed her work throughout North America, and was a pioneer of Canadian literature.
The Rebel: Gabriel Dumont, his role in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, and the Metis of Batoche.
The Scout: Tommy Prince, a decorated Aboriginal war hero, and his exploits on the European battlefields of the Second World War.