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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

The Diamond Willow Walking Stick

A Traditional Métis Story About Generosity

illustrated by Leah Dorion

translated by Norman Fleury

Gabriel Dumont Institute
Initial publish date
Jan 2012
Native Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8
  • Grade: 3


Leah Marie Dorion's The Diamond Willow Walking Stick: A Traditional Métis Story About Generosity focuses on a Métis Elder's remembrances of traditional teachings about generosity that were taught to him by his grandparents during his childhood. These lifelong lessons imparted on him "how to live in a good Métis way," and taught him how to live with respect within the circle of life. In this charming children's book, the third in an ongoing series on traditional Métis culture, author and illustrator Leah Marie Dorion takes the reader on another enchanting journey while once again honouring the special bond between Métis children and their grandparents. With breathtaking artwork and an elegant Michif translation by Norman Fleury, this heartfelt, coming of age story will resonate with both young and old. This book also includes a chart on the uses of the willow tree and an accompanying narration CD in English and Michif-Cree. This retelling of a traditional Métis story is most suitable for younger children.

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

Originally from St. Lazare, Manitoba, Norman Fleury is a gifted storyteller and teacher. Dedicated to the conservation and promotion of the Michif language, he has contributed to dozens of language resources. He currently teaches Michif in the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan.

Norman Fleury's profile page


  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - Publishing Award
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - Publishing in Education
  • Winner, Saskatchewan Book Awards - First Peoples' Publishing Award
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Book Awards - Aboriginal Peoples' Writing Award

Librarian Reviews

The Diamond Willow Walking Stick: A Traditional Métis Story About Generosity

A young Métis boy learns from his grandparents about the importance of generosity. Their belief in the circle of life extends to sharing what you have without reservation as your return will be fourfold. The boy learns from the example of both of his grandparents and observes the respect in which they are held in the community. Eventually he must put this belief into practice himself by giving away his most treasured possession, the diamond willow walking stick.

The text is written in both English and Michif and is followed by three pages of information about willow trees and their traditional uses. The included CD has both English and Michif narration of the text. The brightly coloured, primitive style illustrations reflect traditional Métis bead designs.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2013-2014.

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