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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

I Can't Have Bannock but the Beaver Has a Dam

by (author) Bernelda Wheeler

illustrated by Herman Bekkering

Portage & Main Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2016
Native Canadian, Environment, Mammals, Cooking & Food
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k


This beloved Indigenous classic begins when a little boy asks, “Mom, can I have some bannock?” Despite having all the ingredients, Mom can’t make bannock.

As the little boy asks “why,” beginning readers learn about the connections between living things in an ecosystem through the ripple effects of a beaver building a dam.

Children will be eager to chime in as Mom answers the little boy’s questions about the power outage in their community and how it impacts his family. Enjoy Mom’s bannock with your young reader using the recipe in the back of the book.

About the authors

Bernelda Wheeler (1937–2005) was an author, poet, journalist, actor, broadcaster and social activist, perhaps best known for her work on CBC Radio’s “Our Native Land.” For her pioneering work in media and literary circles, she was awarded the Order of Canada (1991) and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Anskohk Aboriginal Literacy Festival (2005). Her children’s books explore the importance of relationships to the land, as well as traditional Indigenous knowledge passed from generation to generation.

Bernelda Wheeler's profile page

Herman Bekkering is a freelance illustrator from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Herman Bekkering's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The First Lady of Indigenous Broadcasting ...[left] behind a huge legacy and a lasting impact on future Indigenous writers, journalists and her own descendants.


Recommended for all elementary school libraries.

CM Association

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