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Mirth, Magic, & Meaning: Indigenous Storytime for Toddlers “Forever Our Home / kâkikê kîkinaw” by Tonya Simpson

June 24, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am PDT

On five Saturdays through spring, join Massy Arts, Massy Books and Orca Book Publishers for Magic, Mirth & Meaning, Indigenous Storytime for Toddlers, a series of launches for children’s books, read by their authors, online!

This project has been made possible by the British Columbia Arts Council, supported by the Province of British Columbia.

Venue & Accessibility

The event will be hosted online. Registration is free, open to all and required. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/mirth-magic-meaning-indigenous-storytime-for-toddlers-tickets-607826755187

For more on accessibility and how to request ASL interpretation please visit: massyarts.com/accessibility


Saturday, June 24th, 10am PDT

Forever Our Home / kâkikê kîkinaw by Tonya Simpson (Orca Book Publishers)

About the Book

A lullaby of reconciliation and reclamation, celebrating the ancestral relationship between Indigenous children and the land that is forever their home.

Under glowing morning sun and silvery winter moon, from speckled frogs croaking in spring to summer fields painted with fireweed, this meditative lullaby introduces little ones to the plants and animals of the Prairies and the Plains. Featuring stunning artwork by celebrated artist Carla Joseph, Forever Our Home is a beautiful and gentle song about our spiritual connection to the land.

About the Author

Tonya Simpson is of Scottish and Cree ancestry. She is a member of Pasqua First Nation and was born and raised in central Alberta. Tonya completed the MA program in anthropology at the University of Alberta and now works as a research assistant while raising her children at Pigeon Lake in Westerose, Alberta. Forever Our Home is her first picture book and was originally written as a lullaby for her son.

Past books read in this series:


Saturday, April 15th, 10am PDT

The Secret Pocket by Peggy Janicki (Orca Book Publishers)

About The Book

Mary was four years old when she was first taken away to the Lejac Indian Residential School. It was faraway from her home and family. Always hungry and cold, there was little comfort for young Mary. Speaking Dakelh was forbidden and the nuns and priest were always watching, ready to punish. Mary and the other girls had a genius idea: drawing on the knowledge from their mothers, aunts and grandmothers who were all master sewers, the girls would sew hidden pockets in their clothes to hide food. They secretly gathered materials and sewed at nighttime, then used their pockets to hide apples, carrots and pieces of bread to share with the younger girls.

Based on the author’s mother’s experience at residential school,The Secret Pocket is a story of survival and resilience in the face of genocide and cruelty. But it’s also a celebration of quiet resistance to the injustice of residential schools and how the sewing skills passed down through generations of Indigenous women gave these girls a future, stitch by stitch.

About the Author

Peggy Janicki is an award-winning Dakelh teacher from the Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation. She holds a master of education in Indigenous knowledges/Indigenous pedagogies from the University of British Columbia. Peggy has worked for decades to reveal the hidden stories and histories of Indigenous Peoples, as featured in UBC’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Reconciliation through Indigenous Education.” When her mother shared a secret story that changed all their lives and highlighted the impacts of colonization, Peggy also became a storyteller. She lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia.


Saturday, April 29th, 10am PDT

We Belong to the Drum / mistikwaskihk kitipêyimikonaw by Sandra Lamouche (Orca Book Publishers)

About the Book

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.

About the Author

Sandra Lamouche is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree woman) from the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta. She is a wife, mother of two boys with braids, champion women’s hoop dancer, award-winning educator and two-time TEDx speaker. She has a bachelor of arts in Native American studies and is currently completing a thesis on Indigenous dance as a determinant of well-being. Sandra and her family live in Blackfoot Territory (Treaty 7), the heart of powwow country in southern Alberta.


Saturday, May 13th, 10am PDT

Fluffy and the Stars by T’áncháy Redvers (Orca Book Publishers)

About the Book

Shay and their dog Fluffy are best friends. Through the years they are each other’s source of comfort and companionship in times of both sadness and joy. When Shay learns that Fluffy is sick and they must say goodbye, they feel angry and scared. But Fluffy offers a gentle reassurance—as she always has—and Shay reflects on the meaningful bond they have shared with their friend and the love for her that they will hold in their heart forever.

This heartfelt imagining of what happens when a beloved pet dies offers children a caring introduction to the emotions of grief and loss, from a perspective of love and healing.

About the Author

T’áncháy Redvers is a Dene/Métis two-spirit writer, creator, speaker, advocate and multidisciplinary performer belonging to Deninu K’ue First Nation in Treaty 8 territory. They have been nationally and internationally recognized for their work and advocacy across many forms. T’áncháy co-founded We Matter, a national Indigenous-led organization dedicated to Indigenous youth hope and life promotion. T’áncháy has recently been enjoying screenwriting youth content for networks such as Apple TV+ and PBS Kids. They can usually be found dreaming up diverse stories and cuddling on the couch with their partner and their dogs, Yákay and Mocha, in Tkaronto (Toronto).


Saturday, May 27th, 10am PDT

I Hope / nipakosêyimon by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Book Publishers)

About the Book

Poignant words from award-winning Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith about all the hopes adults have for the young people in their lives.

The hopes we have for the children in our lives are endless. We want our young people to thrive and experience all that life has to offer, but we also feel protective of them. Using simple but powerful statements, Monique Gray Smith delivers a touching message about loving, nurturing and wishing the best for our children. Paired with Gabrielle Grimard’s warm and enchanting illustrations, the message in I Hope will resonate with all parents, grandparents and caregivers.

About the Author

Monique Gray Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author and public speaker. Her books cover a broad spectrum of ages, topics and emotions. Woven into all of Monique’s writing and her speaking engagements is the teaching that Love is Medicine. Her books include Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, My Heart Fills With Happiness, You Hold Me Up, Lucy and Lola, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, Tilly and the Crazy Eights, When We Are Kind and I Hope. She has also created the young adult adaptation of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Monique is Cree and Scottish. She lives with her family on the Traditional Territories of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples.


June 24, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am PDT
Event Category:


online event