Dancing With Our Ancestors - Hardcover Children's Picture Book

Recommended for ages 6 to 8.

About:

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 is a Haida/Settler educator and an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she teaches Indigenous education and English Language Arts methods. She is also the co-author, with her father, Robert Davidson, of Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony. She loves walks with her dog, reading books, drinking tea, and knitting.

Robert Davidson is one of the most respected and important contemporary artists in Canada. A Northwest Coast native of Haida descent, he is a master carver of totem poles and masks and works in a variety of other media as a printmaker, painter, and jeweller. A leading figure in the renaissance of Haida art and culture, Robert is best known as an impeccable craftsman whose creative and personal interpretation of traditional Haida form is unparalleled.

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. "Like the burning of dried cedar branches,” says Janine, "I try to ignite sparks of connection through my creations."

Janine graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Janine has illustrated three books in the Sealaska Heritage’s Baby Raven Reads series, including Raven Makes the Aleutians, an AILA Honor Book. 

Reviews:

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.

-Carrie Voliva, School Library Journal

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.

-Kaitlyn Bailey, Vancouver Sun

Category: Children’s Fiction (Interest Age: 6–8, Grade: 1–3), Indigenous

Dimensions: 20.64 x 0.79 x 22.86 cm | 40 pages 

Shipping: The price includes shipping to Canada & the USA. International shipping will be calculated at checkout.