This reading guide is designed to accompany David A. Robertson’s picture book When We Were Alone. We hold the belief that anti-racist practice is a process of learning (and unlearning) over time. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and possibilities for action around racial justice in our communities.
Lesson content was written by Zapoura Newton-Calvert and was designed to start and deepen anti-bias/anti-racist conversations in families and other learning communities.
IDENTITY, ASSIMILATION, RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS, BELONGING, FAMILY
While gardening with her grandmother, a young Cree girl asks questions about some of their traditions and practices. As her grandmother talks about her language, long braided hair, and colorful clothing, she also teaches her granddaughter about the Canadian government’s practice of taking Indigenous children to residential schools. While explaining the harm she experienced in school, the grandmother also celebrates the strength, resilience, and joy in being connected to her community and the ways this helped her survive such a difficult experience.