A young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak Cree and spend so much time with her family? As she asks questions, her grandmother shares her experiences in a residential school, when these things were taken away.
When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from. When she goes home for the summer, her parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But what will happen when they disobey the law?
When Cass learns she had a grandmother who has just died and left her and her mother the first house they could call their own, she is full of questions. Who was this relative? And what is the unusual mask, forgotten in a drawer, trying to tell her? Strange dreams, strange voices, and strange incidents all lead Cass closer to solving the mystery.