Stolen Words

Book, 2017, 24 pp
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How do you say grandfather in Cree?

When a little girl comes home from school one day and asks her grandpa how to say something is his Cree language, he is sad that he cannot teach her. He tells her that his words were stolen from him when he was taken to live at a residential school as a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandpa find his language again.

This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

Includes a translation and pronunciation guide.

"To say that Florence’s story has a happy ending is an oversimplification. Her text, combined with illustrator Gabrielle Grimard’s pictures, shows that language reclamation is a process – more complex than a simple case of lost and found.... Readers are left with the message that language has not been destroyed, only rendered dormant by its captivity." - Quill & Quire
ExpressionIllustrated/Picture Book
TopicResidential Schools
PublisherSecond Story Press

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