ABOUT THE STORY
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.
IDENTITY, FORCED ASSIMILATION, RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY, CREE PROTAGONISTS, BELONGING, FAMILY, LOVE
ABOUT THE CURRICULUM
Our curriculum and ongoing practices are rooted in emergent strategy: “the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.” The interactions we have with books, among reading partners, inside classrooms, and within reading communities are relatively simple. What is cultivated from those interactions is something much more complex – lifelong, daily abolitionist, decolonizing, heart/body-centered, and anti-racist practices. These include learning how to make the ground more fertile for ongoing identity, healing, discussion, action, and imagination practices in ourselves and with each other.
This reading guide was written by Zapoura Newton-Calvert and was designed to accompany David Robertson and Julie Flett’s picture bookWhen We Were Alone. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper learning, conversation, and possibilities for action around racial justice and liberation in our communities.
THE CURRICULUM KIT: we'll send you the book, sticky note conversation starters, and our social justice curriculum
THE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: download the social justice curriculum now