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Children's Fiction General

Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams

Based on a True Story

by (author) Cindy Blackstock

illustrated by Amanda Strong

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada
Initial publish date
Nov 2018
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2018
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 12
  • Grade: 1 to 7


Winner of the 2019-2020 First Nation Communities Read and Periodical Marketers of Canada Indigenous Literature Award!
Spirit Bear is off on another adventure! Follow him as he learns about traditional knowledge and Residential Schools from Uncle Huckleberry and his friend, Lak'insxw, before heading to Algonquin territory, where children teach him about Shannen's Dream. Spirit Bear and his new friends won't stop until Shannen's Dream of "safe and comfy schools" comes true for every First Nations student.
Learning Guide
Spirit Bear is pawsitively thrilled about his a href="" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14.4px; line-height: inherit; font-family: "Open Sans", sans-serif; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(42, 89, 142);" target="_blank">Learning Guide to accompany Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams. The guide supports families, educators, and communities in using Spirit Bear's book to teach about equity, reconciliation, and how kids can make a difference.

About the authors

Cindy Blackstock's profile page

Amanda Strong is a Michif, Indigenous filmmaker, media artist, and stop motion director currently based out of the unceded Coast Salish territory also known as Vancouver, British Columbia. She has exhibited work and screened films worldwide, including at the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, and the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Amanda Strong's profile page

Excerpt: Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams: Based on a True Story (by (author) Cindy Blackstock; illustrated by Amanda Strong)

Then I remembered what my mom told me. “What are First Nations schools like today? Mom said I should ask you about something called Shannen’s Dream.”

“Ah, yes,” said Lak’insxw with a smile. “You need to go back to Ottawa and ask the children about Shannen Koostachin. Shannen is their hero.”

“Good idea!” My uncle clapped his paws together. “Let’s pack you a lunch of huckleberries, trout, and cookies for the train.”

“How will I find the children when I get there?” I asked.

“Don’t worry,” said Lak’insxw. “The ancestors will guide you. Look up at the sky tonight, Spirit Bear.”

I smiled. Another train trip—and cookies too!

Other titles by Cindy Blackstock

Other titles by Amanda Strong