for We Are Water Protectors
by Carole Lindstrom
and Michaela Goade
A young girl describes how water is viewed among her people. "Water is the first medicine, Nokomis told me . . . We come from water ... The river's rhythm runs through my veins. Runs through my people's veins." Water, Nokomis tells her, has a spirit of its own, and also connects the present generation to the ancestors and the past. The arrival of a black snake whose venom is threatening to poison the water leads the girl and her people to take action, standing together against the snake. They fight for the water, for the earth and its creatures, to defend all those who cannot fight. "We stand / With our songs / and our drums. / We are still here." A book by an Ojibwe/Métis author and Tlingit artist was inspired by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. In their notes, the author and illustrator tell more about Indigenous views, the Standing Rock Water Protectors, and their belief in the importance of this environmental activism to all. The gorgeous illustrations in overall vibrant hues convey the disruption and menace of the snakelike pipeline as it traverses some pages. The art incorporates details of Ojibwe culture while also representing "a diverse group of Indigenous Nations and allies."
CCBC Choices 2021. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2021. Used with permission.