Shi-shi-etko

illust. Kim LaFave
2005, 32 pp
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This story is about a little native girl named Shi-Shi-etko, which means 'she loves to play in the water'. Shi-shi-etko's people have always lived in North America, hunting, fishing and gathering traditional foods and medicines, making their own clothing and building their own houses, making their own rules and taking care of their traditional territories, telling stories, singing and dancing. Native children were loved so much that the whole community raised them together - parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and elders.

But now Shi-shi-etko has to go to Indian Residential School. It is the law. The school is far away from her home, and she will have to travel for a couple of days to get there. Once she arrives at school she won't see her parents for many months or even years, she will lose her traditional name, and she will be forced to speak English - a language she doesn't know.

See also the sequel Shin-chi's Canoe.

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