residential school system brought intergenerational trauma, assimilation, and loss of Traditional Knowledge as Indigenous children were forced to give up their cultural identity. As a result, the Indigenous Voice was lost. In 2015, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission called for the revitalization and preservation of Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being, particularly among Indigenous children. Picture books are one way to strengthen and educate Indigenous children whilst reclaiming the Indigenous Voice which was lost during the residential school era. The following are children’s picture books written by Indigenous authors which provide Indigenous children an opportunity to strengthen their cultural identity, and help them create a positive self-image. Moreover, these picture books serve as tools to educate children on the importance of acceptance and relationality with one another despite our differences.
Alyssa Pappalardo has a Specialized Honours in Psychology degree, and a Bachelor of Education degree, both obtained from Lakehead University. She works at Thunder Bay Public Library as a library assistant, and is a supply teacher for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board. Thunder Bay, Ontario is located on the traditional land of the Anishinaabe Peoples of Fort William First Nation, signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850. Alyssa would like to continue working at her local public library upon completion of her MLIS, preferably in the children’s department, as she has a special interest in children’s services, programming, and books. She has a child of her own, Violet, who shares in her passion for books, and demonstrates this by nibbling on their edges.
Cassandra Norris has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in English and a minor in Indigenous Studies. She works at Yellowknife Public Library as a library assistant in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories which is located on the traditional land of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation as well as the homeland of the North Slave Métis Alliance. Cassandra is looking forward to becoming an official librarian upon graduating from the University of Alberta’s MLIS program. She shares her love of reading children picture books with her ten-month-old daughter, Lily who is only quiet and still when she is being read to.
Jody Bergerman attended post-secondary at the University of Saskatchewan, attaining both an Arts degree, specializing in English and History, and a Bachelor of Education degree. She currently works for the Saskatoon Public Library (SPL) doing programming for people of all ages. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is proudly located on Treaty 6 territory and the Traditional Homeland of the Métis. After the completion of her MLIS, Jody plans to continue her work at the library by promoting SPL’s awesome programs and services and creating partnerships with local organizations to extend SPL’s outreach opportunities. Jody has two daughters, Rebecca and Olivia, who share her love of reading great books.