Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 8
- Grade: p to 3
- Reading age: 4 to 8
A vivid dream teaches Little Wolf about courage and acceptance of those who are different, and inspires her to show her daughters their classmates how to be proud of their diverse cultural backgrounds.
Throughout her life, Little Wolf has been troubled by the injustice she sees all around her. When she was young, she was bullied for her Indigenous heritage. Her mother, White Raven, spent ten years in a residential school, separated from her family and isolated from her culture. Little Wolf’s own children are growing up in a different, more open society, but hatred and racism still exist. Little Wolf worries about the world her daughters will inherit. One night, a vivid dream helps her realize her own strength as a leader and peacemaker in her community. Told with powerful imagery and symbolism, Abalone Woman is the third book in the Little Wolf series, which presents themes of racism, trauma, and family unity through relatable, age-appropriate narratives.
About the authors
Teoni Spathelfer is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation from coastal BC. Since childhood she has loved immersing herself in her own culture and learning about other cultures around the world. Spathelfer has worked as a publicist; a radio journalist, host, and producer; and an arts and music writer. Her documentary Teoni’s Dream, informed by her mother’s residential school experience, has aired nationwide on CBC Radio. Her photography has been featured across various media and sold privately. She has been blessed with three daughters and four grandchildren. She lives in Sooke, BC.
Natassia Davies is a Victoria-based artist and graphic designer, and is of Coast Salish ancestry from W̱SÁNEĆ territory. For nearly a decade, Natassia has worked traditionally and digitally to create illustrations, develop visual brand identities, and design various other visual communications tools for local businesses, individuals, and non-profits. She also works with other First Nations Peoples and Indigenous groups to create educational tools and public art pieces. Natassia has collaborated on multiple large-scale Indigenous murals that can be found throughout Sooke and Victoria’s harbour.
“Abalone Woman is a beautiful story of courage and identity, grounded in the values of sharing our culture and heritage. It is a gentle and impactful story, interwoven with resilience, healing and family. Teoni Spathelfer is a gifted modern-day Indigenous storyteller whose voice comes at a crucial time in our history as Indigenous Peoples.”
—K̓áwáziɫ Marilyn Slett, Chief Councillor, Heiltsuk Tribal Council
“This beautiful book draws from traditional ways of knowing and living with each other, such as dreams and intuition, to help all of us to see through contemporary, real-world challenges such as fear of difference, racism, and self-doubt so that we can step forward and lovingly guide our Nations forward.”
—Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, QC, co-author (with Sara Florence Davidson) of Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii
“The story of Abalone Woman touched my heart as I experienced racism as a youth. Teoni’s story of how she overcame it through her culture speaks of the power of stories and dreams. Being recognized for not copying the harmful actions of others is inspirational to all Nation groups. Respect the diversity.”
—Elroy White, archaeologist of Haíɫzaqv descent and a potlatch historian, Central Coast Archaeology
“Teoni Spathelfer seamlessly educates and encapsulates the importance of Indigenous history within this book. Abalone Women is the perfect example of educating people with Canada’s tragic past while ultimately displaying the resilience of Canada’s First Peoples. The dream inside this book is a healing tool for all who wish to reconcile together.”
—Tchadas Leo, creator and host of Our Native Land