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Children's Fiction Activism & Social Justice

Be a Good Ancestor

by (author) Leona Prince & Gabrielle Prince

illustrated by Carla Joseph

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
May 2022
Activism & Social Justice, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Environment, NON-CLASSIFIABLE
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k
  • Reading age: 3 to 5


Rooted in Indigenous teachings, this stunning picture book encourages readers of all ages to consider the ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and to think deeply about their behaviors.

Addressing environmental issues, animal welfare, self-esteem and self-respect, and the importance of community, the authors deliver a poignant and universal message in an accessible way: Be a good ancestor to the world around you. Thought-provoking stanzas offer a call to action for each one of us to consider how we affect future generations. Every decision we make ripples out, and we can affect the world around us by thinking deeply about those decisions.

About the authors

Leona Prince is from the Lake Babine Nation and Nak’azdli Whu’ten and belongs to the Likh Tsa Mis Yu (Beaver) Clan. She is a descendant of Chief Kwah and Stiche. Leona is an award-winning educator and is currently the District Principal of Aboriginal Education for School District 91 (Nechako Lakes). She is the author of A Dance Through the Seasons, published by Fireweed Canada. Leona lives in Burns Lake, British Columbia.


Leona Prince's profile page

Gabrielle Prince is from the Lake Babine Nation and Nak’azdli Whut'en. She belongs to the Lhts’umusyoo (Beaver Clan). Presently, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science at UNBC, majoring in psychology and minoring in First Nation Studies. Her writing advocates thoughtful action, environmental consciousness and community connections, while echoing her cultural ancestry. She is excited to blend her knowledge of psychology with her Indigenous heritage to create more stories in the future.

Gabrielle Prince's profile page

Carla Joseph is a Cree artist originally from Prince George, British Columbia. In 2016 Carla was the Artist in Residence for the Prince George Community Arts Council, and she has done design work for several organizations, including the Aboriginal Head Start Association of British Columbia, Northern Health and the First Nations Health Authority. Carla loves the way she makes people feel with her art. It inspires her to continue with her gift, and she loves to challenge herself by taking on many different types of projects, many of which can be seen around her community. She is also the illustrator of Be a Good Ancestor. Carla lives in Chilliwack, British Columbia.

Carla Joseph's profile page


  • Nominated, Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award
  • Nominated, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards - Children’s Picture Book
  • Commended, International Board on Books for young People (IBBY) Canada- From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Editorial Reviews

“So much to look at and discuss. In this short book the authors have helped readers begin to think about answers to the question: “How do you live now to help future generations?”…Will surely find a place in classrooms and libraries, especially as talk turns to Earth Day later this spring. Recommended.”

School Library Connection

“A stunning, holistic body of work (both text and art) which is grounded in the teachings of many Indigenous Nation's worldviews...Highly recommended for home, school and public libraries."

Canadian Children's Book News

“A perfect read-aloud for introducing the importance of caring for the earth.”


“The message by authors Leona Prince and Gabrielle Prince to ‘be a good ancestor’ is a deceptively simple and poignant one…These wise words are accompanied by breathtaking illustrations…A book for readers of all ages.”

Vancouver Writers Fest

“A beautiful call to action…A perfect read for teaching about empathy and demonstrating the ways we are all connected. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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