We Belong to the Drum / mistikwaskihk kitipêyimikonaw

  • Illustrated By: Azby Whitecalf
    Translated by: Dolores Greyeyes Sand
  • Pages:32
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:belonging, powwow, family, separation anxiety, daycare
  • Available:05/16/2023
  • Lexile:AD520L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:L
9781459834408 LICENSE OPTIONS

The drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth. We all belong to the earth and we all belong to the drum.

Nikosis grew up going to powwows with his family, happily immersed in music, dance and the sounds of the drum. But when he starts going to daycare, he doesn’t feel like he belongs. Nikosis cries every time his mother leaves him in the unfamiliar environment until, one day, she and the teachers use drums to help Nikosis find connection and comfort.

Inspired by her son’s experience—and her family's love of powwow music and dance—Indigenous educator and champion hoop dancer Sandra Lamouche shares this uplifting true story of the transformative effects of culturally safe and inclusive early childhood education.

Orca Book Publishers is proud to offer this picture book as a dual-language (English and Cree) edition.

“Flowing lines and colorful details to enliven this simple yet emotionally resonant story. ­Offering an appreciative glimpse of Cree culture and traditions, and a gentle message of ­inclusion, this is a welcome addition to the ‘first day of school’ shelves in school and public ­libraries.”
– School Library Journal
“This upbeat story, accompanied by exuberant watercolor illustrations, demonstrates the power of sharing and appreciating varying cultures.”
– Booklist
“A delightful picture book…Tells a classic family story of a child’s introduction to the world outside of their family and the growing pains involved. Lamouche sweetly emphasizes the importance of family and culture, particularly for Indigenous families.”
– CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Download the We Belong to the Drum Poster.