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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

Relatives with Roots

A Story About Métis Women’s Connection to the Land

illustrated by Leah Dorion

translated by Rita Flamand

Gabriel Dumont Institute
Initial publish date
Jan 2011
Native Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2011
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5
  • Grade: k


Relatives With Roots: A Story About Métis Women’s Connection to the Land is a heartfelt story about a Métis grandmother who takes her granddaughter out into the bush to teach her how to pick traditional medicines. As the granddaughter learns the traditional beliefs and stories about how the Métis people use the plants for food and medicine, she feels happy to be a Métis child with access to such wonderful cultural knowledge. This charming and vibrant book introduces young readers to key concepts in the traditional Métis worldview while focusing on the special relationship between a young Métis girl and her grandmother. Relatives With Roots is the second in a series of children’s books relating to traditional Métis values by Leah Marie Dorion. This book also includes a glossary of terms, charts on the Anishnabeg Order of Creation and traditional Métis learning philosophy, and an accompanying narration CD in English and Michif-Cree.

About the authors

Leah Dorion (B.Ed., B.A., M.A.) is a Metis artist raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. A teacher, painter, filmmaker and writer, Leah views her Metis heritage as providing her with a unique bridge for knowledge that connects all people. She has numerous creative projects to her credit, including academic papers for the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples, books for children, gallery showings of her art works, and numerous video documentaries that showcase Metis culture and history. Leah’s paintings honour the spiritual strength of Aboriginal women and the sacred feminine.

Leah Dorion's profile page

Rita Flamand's profile page


  • Short-listed, High Plains Book Awards - Art and Photography
  • Winner, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards - Bronze Medal - Environmental Issues
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - Book of the Year
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - First Peoples' Publishing Award
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - Children's Literature Award
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - Publishing in Education
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - First Peoples' Writing Award

Librarian Reviews

Relatives With Roots: A Story About Métis Women's Connection to the Land

This story tells of a Métis child who is taken by her Grandmother into the bush to learn about traditional plant medicines. Along the way the wise old woman passes on important lessons about gratefulness, respect and the interdependence of living things. The illustrations are bursting with bright colours. The plant life is detailed. The author also engages the other senses: a woodpecker drums to the rhythm of Grandmother’s singing, a muskeg leaf tickles the child’s fingers, she smells the odour of highbush cranberries, and tastes rose hip tea. A Michif-Cree translation accompanies the text. Includes a glossary and CD narrated in English and Michif-Cree.

Dorion also wrote The Giving Tree.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2011-2012.

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