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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

We Dream Medicine Dreams

by (artist) Lisa Boivin

Portage & Main Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Native Canadian, Wolves & Coyotes, Bedtime & Dreams, Birds, Bears, Values & Virtues, Death & Dying, Deer, Moose & Caribou
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: k to 2


From Dene artist and bioethicist Lisa Boivin comes this healing story of hope, dreams, and the special bond between grandfather and granddaughter.

When a little girl dreams about a bear, her grandfather explains how we connect with the knowledge of our ancestors through dreams. Bear, Hawk, Caribou, and Wolf all have teachings to share to help us live a good life. But when Grampa gets sick and falls into a coma, the little girl must lean on his teachings as she learns to say goodbye.

Masterful prose and stunning collage weave a gentle story about animal teachings, the power of dreams, and the death of a loved one.

About the author

Lisa Boivin is a member of the Deninu Kue First Nation and the author/artist of two illustrated books, We Dream Medicine Dreams (shortlisted for the 2022 Rocky Mountain Book Award) and I Will See You Again (AICL's Best Books of 2020, nominated for First Nation Communities READ Award). She is an interdisciplinary artist and a PhD candidate at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. Lisa uses images as a pedagogical tool to bridge gaps between medical ethics and aspects of Indigenous cultures and worldviews. She is writing and collaging an arts-based thesis that addresses the colonial barriers that Indigenous patients navigate in the current healthcare system. Lisa strives to humanize clinical medicine as she situates her art in the Indigenous continuum of passing knowledge through images. @redbioethics

Lisa Boivin's profile page


  • Long-listed, First Nations Communities READ
  • Short-listed, Indigenous Voices Awards, Published Graphic Novels, Comics, and Illustrated Books
  • Short-listed, Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards, Children’s Illustration
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award

Editorial Reviews

How we deal with loss, and the personal, cultural, and community ways we do that, is an urgent issue. Lisa Boivin's work is as soulful and compelling as it is beautiful!

Dr. Allison Crawford

We Dream Medicine Dreams is a beautiful depiction of Indigenous kinship and healing. It reminds us of how our cultural teachings and relationships with family and the land are acts of everyday ceremony and revitalization. The vivid collages that illustrate the book remind us of the beauty and wellbeing to be found in the natural world and how these elements contrast with the fear and discomfort that can be felt in Western health care systems. This is a story of how our holistic ways of knowing bring us comfort in times of grief and challenge and keep us forever connected to those we love.

Jaime Cidro, Canada Research Chair in Health and Culture, University of Winnipeg

Among USBBY 2022 Outstanding International Books List


In We Dream Medicine Dreams, Lisa Boivin uses her powerful words and pictures to show us natural laws and teachings. These teachings about the medicine power of dreams, family, loss, and connection resonate with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. In sharing these teachings with us, Lisa has given all those that read her book a great gift that allows the ancestors to speak with our children. This little book full of stories and teachings, which are the core of who we are, will bring us back to our ancestral selves. I encourage everyone, young and old, to spend an evening with this charming masterpiece – you will not regret it.

The Honourable Yvonne Boyer, J.D., L.L.M., L.L.D.

Boivin’s thoughtful story is exquisitely complemented by stunning collage illustrations.

The Globe and Mail

The illustrations are a bright and colourful collage, full of depth. texture and pattern. The illustrations not only help serve to tell the story, but also demonstrate the warmth and beauty in nature, connection, and the medicine all around us. Highly recommended for home and public libraries.

Canadian Children's Book News

A moving and insightful picture book honouring the enduring relationship between a child and her grandfather. Boivin's exquisite, digitally created collages are luxuriantly alive with colour, pattern, and texture.

Quill & Quire, a starred review

Among OLA Best Bets Top Ten, Junior Picture Book

OLA Best Bets

Other titles by Lisa Boivin

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