As Long as the Rivers Flow
Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction
From the mid-1800s to the late 1990s, the education of Indigenous children was taken on by various churches in government-sponsored residential schools. More than 150,000 children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures.
As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last traditional summer before entering residential school. It is a time of adventure and learning from his Elders. He cares for an abandoned baby owl, watches his kokom (grandmother) make winter moccasins, and helps his family prepare for summer camp, where he will pick berries, fish and swim. While searching for medicine plants in the bush with Kokom, he encounters a giant grizzly bear. Gently but truthfully written, the book captivates its readers and reveals a hidden history.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.
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About the Author
Author Larry Loyie was born in Slave Lake, Alberta. He spent his early years living a traditional Cree life and treasures the lessons he learned from the elders. He went to residential school from the age of 10 to 14, then began his working life. Larry returned to school later in life to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a writer. He received the 2001 Canada Post Literacy Award for Individual Achievement (British Columbia). In 2003, Larry was the first First Nations writer to win the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction for his first children's book As Long as the Rivers Flows.
CONSTANCE BRISSENDEN, longtime partner of Larry Loyie and co-author of As Long as the Rivers Flow, is a freelance writer and editor. She has assisted in the creation of more than forty-eight books as author, co-author or editor, and continues to write from her home base in Edmonton, Alberta.
HEATHER D. HOLMUND graduated with honors from the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at York University where her main concentrations were painting and metal sculpture. Since completing her degree, Heather's artistic practice has led her to explore the exchange between the Canadian environment and the act of representation through art forms. Heather works between her studios in Pickering, Ontario, and Rainy Lake, Ontario. Her work is found in private and corporate collections, and is exhibited throughout Canada.
Holmlund's realistic and detailed watercolors expertly illuminate events throughout the story, in vignettes, plates, and a few full-page pictures.
Loyie's quite words and Holmlund's authentic watercolor art capture the happy wilderness home...