The Legend of the Buffalo Stone

Dawn Sprung (Author) Charles Bullshields (Illustrator)


The Legend of the Buffalo Stone is based on the history of the Blackfoot people--specifically their dependence on the buffalo and how they hunted the great animals on foot before horses were brought to North America--and is retold with the permission and under the advisement of a First Nations scholar and member of the Blackfoot nation. The story centres on Hanata, a young Blackfoot girl who understands the importance of the buffalo for her peoples' survival. She not only helps to hunt the great animals, but also prepares the meat and skins and makes toys for the younger children using bison bones. She knows that without the buffalo, her people would lose their main source of food and shelter. Then, a long winter descends on the land and the buffalo disappear. Hungry and desperate, Hanata goes on a quest in search of an iniskim, a stone shaped like a sleeping buffalo and possessed of powers that will make the buffalo return. After a long and dangerous journey with only basic supplies and courage in her heart, Hanata finds the stone and comes back to her village. She uses the iniskim to the call the buffalo and, sure enough, the animals return. Hanata and her people are saved. This story is ideally suited to children aged eight to eleven, and it can be incorporated into Alberta's social studies curriculum for Grade 4 and 5. A detailed Teachers' Guide can be downloaded from the link in our Reader Resources (see left side of page). Also available in paperback.

Product Details

Heritage House
Publish Date
August 01, 2015
8.1 X 0.2 X 10.1 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Dawn Sprung has a lifelong passion for storytelling and the outdoors. She lives on a ranch in southern Alberta, where the land and wildlife at her doorstep constantly inspire her.
Charles Bullshields is an artist from the Blood Tribe (Kainai Nation), part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Charles is self-taught and uses his artwork to reflect and keep in touch with Native heritage and traditions. He lives in Standoff, Alberta.


"This lovely story celebrates the culture and traditions of the Blackfoot Nation, and the plants and animals of their traditional territory. Beautifully illustrated--a delightful book for readers from age 4." >--FernFolio-- (04/24/2014)
"The Legend of the Buffalo Stone depicts the interconnectedness that many Aboriginal tribes have with animals. Hanata, the heroine of this tale, is also a good example of a strong female protagonist. Recommended for ages 8-11; grades 4-6." --#WeHaveDiverseBooks Catalogue, Association of Canadian Publishers-- (02/17/2016)