Indigenous Services and Initatives

Treaty 7 Language Books

Indigenous languages have long been underrepresented in literature — especially in children's books. This year the Library worked with aspiring Treaty 7 writers to start changing that. In the Indigenous Writers Workshop, participants worked with author Richard Van Camp to create children's books in their traditional languages. 

Now, these books will be added to the Library's permanent collection at several community libraries. 

Niitsippooktsistaanitsi (My Braids)

by Matoomiikamoosaaki (First Steals Woman), Latasha Calf Robe

About the Book
Siipisaahkomaapi (Night Boy) is a traditional Blackfoot boy. In this story, he shares his world with his family, and the meaning and gifts of his three braids.

About the Author
Latasha Calf Robe is from the Kainaiwa First Nation and a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Latasha is the proud daughter of Marvin and Teena Calf Robe. Latasha is a mother of three beautiful Blackfoot children who she raises with her partner Adam Solway. With the support and teaching from her family, Latasha is thrilled to share Niitsippooktsistaanitsi with you.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

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Napi kii Imitaa (Napi and the Dogs)

by Natoyi’sokasiim, Tim Fox
Illustrated by Keegan Starlight and Amanda Fox-Starlight
Translation in the language of the Blackfoot Confederacy

About the Book
In this well-known and humorous Blackfoot story, mice are having a celebration that Napi and the dogs want to join. To participate, each dog must be respectful and remove their tail. Thunder and rain create chaos and the dogs scramble, accidentally grabbing the wrong tail. How will the dogs ever find their correct tails?

About the Author
Natoyi’sokasiim is a member of the Kainai Blood Tribe within Siksikaitsitapi, the Blackfoot Confederacy. His family comes from the Ahkaipohkaaks, Many Children’s Clan. Tim currently lives and works in Mohkinstsis, Calgary. He is the Vice President of Indigenous Relations for the Calgary Foundation. He is blessed and grateful to be raising his daughter, Charm, alongside her mom Dawn Fox.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

Îyâ Sa Wîyâ Wahogu-kiybi Cha (Red Mountain Woman Receives a Teaching)

by Îyâ Sa Wîyâ (Red Mountain Woman), Tina Fox
Illustrated by Tanisha Wesley
Translation by Tina Fox in the Iyethka language of the Stoney Nakoda People

About the Book
In this traditional Iyethka Nakoda story, Red Mountain Woman shares a traditional teaching that she learned from her Grandmother about protocol, respect, and sharing.

About the Author
Îyâ Sa Wîyâ is a member of the Wesley First Nation, Stoney Nakoda Nation. A great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother, she is also a counsellor and Elder at Nakoda Elementary School. A former Certified Nursing Assistant, she earned her undergraduate degree in First Nations counseling later in life. She is a passionate advocate for the retention of the Iyethka language and has contributed to language curriculum development. Together with her family, Tina sponsors the Watâga Wîyâ Language Award at Morley Community School to encourage language learning in memory of her late daughter, Kim.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

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Watâga Wîyâ A’s, Â’s and B’s ze yuthpe îkiyabich (Grizzly Bear Woman Teaches the A’s, Â’s & B’s)

by Tatâga Thkan Wagichi (Dancing White Buffalo), Trent Fox
Illustrated by Tanisha Wesley
Translation by Valentina Fox in the Iyethka language of the Stoney Nakoda People

About the Book
Watâga Wîyâ is a children’s alphabet book. Author Trent Fox and illustrator Tanisha Wesley bring to life a beautiful lesson in the world and words of the Stoney Nakoda.

About the Author
Tatâga Thkan Wagichi is a member of the Wesley First Nation, Stoney Nakoda Nation. He is a doctoral student in education at the University of Calgary. His inquiry is on the history of the Stoney Nakoda people and development of the Iyethka language. A writer and columnist, he authored Nakota Community and aspires to continue writing.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

A’pistotooki kii Ihkitsik Kaawa’pomaahkaa (Creator and the Seven Animals, why are we here?)

by Crystal Many Fingers
Illustrated by Alex Soop
Translation in the language of the Blackfoot Confederacy

About the Book
A’pistotooki kii Ihkitsik Kaawa’pomaahkaa is a delightful modern story about animals, their gifts, and why they were put on earth.

About the Author
Crystal is a Blackfoot member of the Kainai First Nation of Treaty 7. She grew up on the Blood Reserve and as a child roamed the halls of the University of Lethbridge where her mother was studying to earn her Bachelor of Education degree. This inspired Crystal to enroll at the University of Calgary, where she majored in English Literature. After completing her B.A., Crystal pursued a career in teaching. She completed her Master of Education degree with a specialty in Adult and Workplace Environmental Learning, and now works as the Indigenous Consultant to Curriculum at Bow Valley College.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

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Siksikawa Otaawahsinnowa (Where the Blackfoot People Live)

by Miikotsiminii (Red Wing), Payne Many Guns
Illustrated by Payne Many Guns

About the Book
This timeless story written by teenage Blackfoot author Payne Many Guns captures the many ways the Siksika live in harmony with the land, animals, and stars in their traditional territory.

About the Author
Miikotsiminii is a member of the Siksika Nation, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Many Guns shares his Blackfoot name with his great-great-grandfather and comes from a long line of chiefs and signatories of Treaty 7. He is very passionate about his language and culture because of the knowledge, pride, strength, and resiliency it gives him.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

Aakomimmihtanii (Love)

by Mai’stoistowaakii (Crow Pretty Woman), Sheena Potts
Illustrated by Kristy North Peigan

About the Book
A beautiful illustration of the many ways love is alive in Blackfoot traditions and culture. A soft, gentle, and pure reflection of Siksikaitsitapi values.

About the Author
Mai’stoistowaakii (Crow Pretty Woman) Sheena Potts.
Niitsi Piikaniaakii. I am a Piikani woman.
Nitsikohtatsiika’si nokosiksi kii nisotana. I am proud mother and grandmother.
Niitsikoyikitomai’takapinaan Siksitaitapisini. We practise the ways of Siksikaitsitapi.
Niitsininamsskaapinaan. We belong to the Thunder Pipe Society.
Iyipposstoyiitsi nitaanist ksinima’tstohoki’p. I have been an educator for 30 years.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

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Âba Wathtech Înâ Mâkoche (It is a Good Day, Mother Earth)

by Sheri Shotclose (Singing Across the Water)
Illustrated by Tanisha Wesley
Translation by Duane Mark

About the Book
This tale is about a young girl greeting the day and acknowledging her Stoney Nakoda family and the beautiful natural world in which she lives.

About the Author
Sheri Shotclose (Singing Across the Water) is a Stoney Nakoda member of the Bearspaw First Nation. She lives in Calgary and works in Morley as a high school art teacher. She is currently working on her Master of Education with a focus on Aboriginal Wellness. She is working to reconnect with her roots, reclaim her identity, and recover from the effects of intergenerational trauma. This book has helped her share this passion with her children, grandchildren, and others, re-learning her language and giving back to her community.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

Nadudiyiga Suh Sinajuna (Morning Star’s Family)

by DerRic Starlight
Illustrated by DerRic Starlight
Translation by Gerald Meguinis and Ellison Starlight in the language of the Tsuuti’na Nation People

About the Book
In Nadudiyiga Suh Sinajuna, author and illustrator DerRic Starlight tells the tale of Morning Star’s diverse and loving family life.

About the Author
DerRic Starlight is from the Tsuut’ina Nation. He is a comedian, puppeteer, screenwriter, and pro-wrestling promoter. At a young age DerRic wanted to become a creative writer and producer of puppet shows like his idol, Jim Henson. At 17, he set out to study at film and acting in Vancouver, Toronto, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Starlight has created his own cast of native puppet characters and has travelled across North America with them since 1997. DerRic has starred in many television productions with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and has won the Gemini Award of Canada for his voice acting.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

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Îethkaîhâ Yawabi (Counting in Stoney)

by Îyarhe Wiyapta (Shining Mountains), Natasha Wesley
Illustrated by Tanisha Wesley
Translation by by Natasha Wesley in the Îethka language of the Stoney Nakoda People

About the Book
This simple yet precious Îethkaîhâ book of numbers provides a beautiful narrative of counting. Author Natasha Wesley and her artist sister, Tanisha Wesley, portray the numbers 1 to 20 through their way of life.

About the Author
Îyarhe Wiyapta is a seventh-generation descendant of the Holy Medicine Man Chief Hector Crawler, and a sixth-generation descendant of George Crawler, who was a Treaty 7 signatory. She is also a fifth-generation descendant of Ta Otha (Moose Killer), Chief Peter Wesley, and Holy Medicine Man Chief William Snow. She enjoys skiing and being in nature with her family.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

Ne Îethka Makochî Chach (This is Our Home)

by Mînî Thnî (Cold Water), Trudy Wesley
Illustrated by Tanisha Wesley
Translation by Duane Mark in the Îethka language of the Stoney Nakoda People

About the Book
Ne Îethka Makochî Chach is a Stoney Nakoda story of the people and animals who live in the foothills and mountains of southern Alberta.

About the Author
Mînî Thnî is a member of the Stoney Nakoda Nation from Morley, Alberta. She is the sixth generation of the holy medicine man, Chief Hector Crawler. Her name was given to her by late great-grandfather, George Crawler. Her great-great-great-grandfather was among the Chiefs who signed Treaty 7 in 1877. She enjoys reading, beading, and spending time with her family.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.

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Omahkitapiksi Okakinikiiwa (Teachings from our Elders)

by Iikiinayookaa, Marlene Yellow Horn
Illustrated by Smith Wright
Translation by Shirlee Crowshoe in the language of the Blackfoot Confederacy

About the Book
Author Marlene Yellow Horn shares her personal story of the teachings she learned as a child from her Elders. These fundamental lessons speak to the traditional and sacred knowledge and visions of Omahkitapiksi (Old People).

About the Author
Iikiinayookaa is a Blackfoot author and educator from the Mamoyiksi Fish Eater Clan of the Kainai First Nation. She is a mother to Saapaata Wacey Rabbit, a professional hockey player, and has been married for 30 years to I’tsaapoyi Marvin Yellow Horn. She received her Master of Education, Bachelor of Education, and Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge, and is the current principal at Piitoayis Family School, Calgary Board of Education.

Find the book in the Library catalogue.