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Children's Nonfiction Native Canadian

Gaawin Gindaaswin Ndaawsii / I Am Not a Number

by (author) Jenny Kay Dupuis & Kathy Kacer

illustrated by Gillian Newland

translated by Muriel Sawyer & Geraldine McLeod

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Native Canadian, Post-Confederation (1867-), Native American, Prejudice & Racism
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 11
  • Grade: 3 to 6
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


The dual language edition, in Nishnaabemwin (Ojibwe) Nbisiing dialect and English, of the award-winning I Am Not a Number. When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.

About the authors

Jenny Kay Dupuis (she/her/hers) is a sought-after public speaker, best-selling author, educator, and accomplished Woodland pop artist whose focus is raising awareness about Indigenous realities. She is well-known for her exceptional knowledge of Indigenous care theories, leadership models, and engagement frameworks, and has shared this expertise to support corporations, non-governmental organizations, school districts, and post-secondary institutions around the world in shifting their organizational practices.

As co-author of the award-winning children’s book I Am Not a Number, Jenny Kay shared her granny’s experiences at a residential school in Canada. Her latest book for children, Heart Berry Bling, brings together some of her own experiences and those of many others to highlight how the rights of thousands of First Nations women were taken by the Indian Act.

A certified teacher and learning strategist, Jenny Kay holds her Bachelor of Arts in History and Visual Arts, Master of Education in Special Education, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Jenny Kay is a member of Nipissing First Nation and lives in Toronto, Ontario. Follow her on social media @jennykaydupuis.

Jenny Kay Dupuis' profile page


Kathy Kacer est une auteure primée qui a écrit de nombreux livres sur l'holocauste pour les jeunes lecteurs, dont The Magician of Auschwitz, L'histoire d'Edith, Le journal de Sara et Les espions de la nuit. Elle s'estime honorée de contribuer à faire connaître l'histoire familiale de Jenny Kay Dupuis. Kathy vit avec sa famille à Toronto.


Kathy Kacer has won many awards for her writing, including the American Jewish Library Association Award. In 1999, she wrote the first book in Second Story's Holocaust Remembrance Series, The Secret of Gabi's Dresser. Since then, she's penned four other books in the series. Kacer now writes about the Holocaust for young readers and travels the country speaking about it. Kacer lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her family.

Kathy Kacer's profile page


Gillian Newland est une artiste qui travaille principalement à l'aquarelle, à l'encre et au crayon. Elle trouve son inspiration en dessinant à l'extérieur de son studio. On la voit parfois dans un café, en train de faire des croquis des autres clients. Elle a illustré The Magician of Auschwitz et de nombreux autres livres. Gillian vit à Toronto.


Gillian Newland is an artist who lives and works in Toronto. In addition to illustrating a number of picture books, her artwork can be seen on several young adult novels and in magazines. She has won the Ruth Schwartz Award and been nominated for the Lane Anderson Award.


Gillian Newland's profile page

Muriel Sawyer's profile page

Geraldine McLeod's profile page


  • Long-listed, Native Voices in November: A Booklist for Students, Parents & Educators
  • Winner, Red Cedar Award for Information Book
  • Winner, Hackmatack Award
  • Short-listed, Silver Birch Express Award
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Commended, Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Winner, Diamond Willow Award
  • Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Short-listed, Information Book Award
  • Commended, CCBC Choices - Best Books of the Year
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids & Teens - Spring 2017
  • Commended, CBC Books' Best Books of the Year
  • Commended, Ontario Library Association's Best Bets - Junior Nonfiction
  • Commended, Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Notable Children's Books
  • Commended, American Indians in Children's Literature Best Books of the Year

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