Relatives With Roots
Gabriel Dumont Institute / 11 January 2012

Relatives With Roots: A Story About Métis Women’s Connection to the Land by Leah Marie Dorion translated by Rita Flamand Published by The Gabriel Dumont Institute Review by Jessica Bickford 978-1-926795-00-3 Leah Dorion has given her all to Relatives With Roots, being the writer, illustrator, and also lending her voice to the English audio narration. Rita Flamand, a Métis elder, provides Michif-Cree translations and narrates the Michif audio track which is fascinating to listen to, as I have rarely heard the Métis language spoken. This is a lovely story about a Grandmother and her Granddaughter leaving their bush camp to go out and pick medicine, all while learning about Métis traditions. It focuses on the harmony that exists in Métis tradition between people and the earth, specifically how respect must be given to our “relatives with roots”. It includes a couple of little stories about Wisakechak (the Cree trickster) that help to further the ancestral teachings that this book is based on. The story of Relatives With Roots is both educational and endearing, but for me, the best part was the illustrations. This is the most beautiful picture book I have ever seen. Dorion’s paintings are alive with colour, authenticity,…

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