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Author: Phyllis Webstad
Illustrator: Karlene Harvey
Translator: Marie-Christine Payette
Learn the meaning behind the phrase, ‘Every Child Matters.’ Orange Shirt Day founder, Phyllis Webstad, offers insights into this heartfelt movement. Every Child Matters honours the history and resiliency of Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island and moves us all forward on a path toward Truth and Reconciliation. If you’re a Residential School Survivor or an Intergenerational Survivor – you matter. For the children who didn’t make it home – you matter. The child inside every one of us matters. Every Child Matters.
Author: Sunshine Quem Tenasco
Illustrator: Chief Lady Bird
A magical mirror helps a young girl understand her true beauty in this new picture book from the creators of Nibi’s Water Song.
When Challa comes home in tears after being teased about her smile, her mom gives her a special gift. It’s a magic mirror ― shiny, beaded and beautiful ― passed on from her mom, and from her djo djo before her.
Challa’s mom tells her that when anyone looks into the mirror, they will see their true self. There’s just one rule: Everyone has to say what they see in the reflection.
At first the mirror seems to work for everyone but her. Challa keeps looking and looking. The more beauty she sees in herself, the happier she feels, and the longer she looks into the mirror, the more beauty she sees, until finally Challa sees so much beauty, she can’t contain her smile!
This special story, from award-winning activist Sunshine Quem Tenasco and artist Chief Lady Bird, introduces readers to concepts of self-acceptance, self-empowerment, and recognition of the unique beauty that comes from within.
Author: Peggy Janicki
Illustrator: Carrielynn Victor
The true story of how Indigenous girls at a residential school sewed secret pockets into their dresses to hide food and survive.
Mary was four years old when she was first taken away to the Lejac Indian Residential School. It was far away from her home and family. Always hungry and cold, there was little comfort for young Mary. Speaking Dakelh was forbidden and the nuns and priest were always watching, ready to punish. Mary and the other girls had a genius idea: drawing on the knowledge from their mothers, aunts and grandmothers who were all master sewers, the girls would sew hidden pockets in their clothes to hide food. They secretly gathered materials and sewed at nighttime, then used their pockets to hide apples, carrots and pieces of bread to share with the younger girls.
Based on the author’s mother’s experience at residential school, The Secret Pocket is a story of survival and resilience in the face of genocide and cruelty. But it’s also a celebration of quiet resistance to the injustice of residential schools and how the sewing skills passed down through generations of Indigenous women gave these girls a future, stitch by stitch.
Module Specific Resources
Character Role Playing Cards
Anti Bullying Activities
Teaching about acceptance (replace acceptance for tolerance)
Mental Health/Belonging/”You are not alone”
A variation of this activity would be for students to anonymously write down the sentence, “if you really knew me…” and then finished it with something they are struggling with. Teacher collects all slips and reads aloud to debrief responses. Students are able to learn about and/or relate to some of the things other students are going through creating a sense of community within the classroom.