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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome

by (author) Nancy Cooper

illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Native Canadian, Environment, Mammals, Native American, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: 3 to 12


Busy beavers have a family reunion in this story that celebrates Indigenous perspectives

It’s a special day for Amik the beaver and her little sister, Nishiime. Their cousins are coming to visit! Amik is excited, but Nishiime feels nervous about meeting new people, and when the cousins finally arrive, Nishiime disappears.

Lively, immersive illustrations show Amik and her cousins as they search the woods for Nishiime. Each creature they encounter, introduced to readers using their Anishinaabe names, reveals how beavers help the forest community. A fish thanks them for digging canals in the mud that they swim through. A deer thanks the beavers for cutting down trees so they can reach the tastiest leaves. None of the creatures have seen Nishiime, but keen-eyed kids will have spotted her hiding in the background throughout the story.

Eventually, Nishiime returns to the group, having overcome her shyness by learning an important lesson: despite being from different places, the beavers are all united by the ways they support the forest ecosystem. With the perfect blend of fact and fun, this salute to the industrious beaver is also an energetic celebration of Indigenous perspectives, languages, and diversity.

About the authors

NANCY COOPER is from the Chippewas of Rama First Nation in southern Ontario. She grew up all over northern Ontario, and her favorite place to be is out in the forest seeing and learning new things. Nancy lives in Toronto now and loves to spend time with her twin sons, her wife, and their poodle Joy.

Nancy Cooper's profile page


JOSHUA MANGESHIG PAWIS-STECKLEY est un artiste Ojibwé pratiquant le woodland art (art autochtone représentant entre autres les légendes et la médecine). Il vient de Barrie, en Ontario, et il est membre de Wasauksing First Nation. Par son travail, il cherche à promouvoir et à reconquérir les histoires et les enseignements traditionnels Ojibwé, en modernisant le woodland art et en le plaçant au-devant de la scène à l’aide d’une variété de médiums.


JOSHUA MANGESHIG PAWIS-STECKLEY is an Ojibwe woodland artist from Barrie, Ontario, and a member of Wasauksing, First Nation. His work aims to promote and reclaim traditional Ojibwe stories and teachings, while modernizing the woodland style and bringing it into mainstream focus through a variety of mediums.


Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley's profile page


  • Commended, FOLD Kids Book-of-the-Month

Editorial Reviews

"A vibrant work laden with messages, from accepting differences to fostering respect for the natural world."

Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley