Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books

Announcing the 2021 edition of From Sea to Sea to Sea Indigenous Picture Book Collection

IBBY Canada and Bibliovideo are proud to present the launch of the 2021 edition of From Sea to Sea to Sea: Celebrating Indigenous Picture Books.

25 of the best Indigenous picture books published in Canada between 2018–2020 were selected for this collection. Care was taken to ensure that the collection reflects the diversity of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit voices from sea to sea to sea, and that the titles are available and in print for anyone who wishes to access them. 

The collection will launch on June 9, 2021, at 7:00pm EDT at a virtual event at youtube.com/bibliovideo, followed by a Meet & Greet on Zoom. The virtual event will be hosted by celebrated author and journalist Waubgeshig Rice, and will feature interviews with authors and illustrators Rebecca Thomas, Jenny Kay Dupuis, David Alexander Robertson, Leah Marie Dorion, Richard Van Camp, Monique Gray Smith, and Nadia Sammurtok. Registration details are available on Eventbrite.

We honour the children and families of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and all Indigenous communities. And we honour the writers who share stories from their families and their communities because others cannot. The From Sea to Sea to Sea project was initiated in 2016 in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Actions and IBBY Canada’s mission to support the right of every child to become a reader. We hope that the post-event Zoom event will give us an opportunity to discuss the important role that picture books play in educating Canadians of all ages about the truth and legacy of Residential Schools and the mirrors and window they provide to Indigenous families, communities, and cultures today — their strength, their rich teachings, and infectious joy.

The Zoom event will be hosted by Project Chair Colette Poitras (Métis Nation of Alberta) and Consulting Member Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis (Nipissing First Nation). Panelists will include authors Richard Van Camp (Tłıchǫ), Leah Marie Dorion (Métis), and Rebecca Thomas (Mi’kmaq).

“When I was growing up, I didn’t have books with kids in them who looked like me or had lives that looked like mine. I felt alone and out of place,” says Rebecca. 

“I wrote the books that I needed when I was younger. I know there are kids today who need to feel like they matter, that their lives are worth telling stories about. Every kid has the right to not be forgotten because we’ve seen the tragedy that occurs when we do. More importantly, children deserve to be represented and worthy of seeing themselves on the pages of the books they read.” 

The selection committee — Colette Poitras (Métis Nation of Alberta), Indigenous Public Library Outreach, Government of Alberta; Allison Taylor McBryde, Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia and recently retired children’s librarian at North Vancouver District Public Library; Joanne Schwartz, award-winning author and children’s librarian with the Toronto Public Library; and Lorisia MacLeod (James Smith Cree Nation), Online Reference Co-ordinator with The Alberta Library and communications lead with the Canadian Federation of Library Association’s Indigenous Matters Committee; with the support of Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis (Nipissing First Nation), educator, researcher and author; and Mary Beth Leatherdale, award-winning author and editor — considered over 100 titles in curating this collection. The previous edition of the collection was released in 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Emma Hunter
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
416.975.0010 ext. 2

Photo of Rebecca Thomas by Erica Penton

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People, was founded in 1953 and represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada, one of over 80 IBBY national sections worldwide, is a volunteer organization promoting quality French, English, and Indigenous Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally. To become a member of IBBY Canada and to support our activities, please join us.

Bibliovideo, a project of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, is the destination for young readers, librarians, teachers, parents, authors, illustrators, researchers, and others who want to locate and learn more about great Canadian books for young people. New videos are added to the channel twice weekly. Subscribe to Bibliovideo now!

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chalmers Family Fund administered by the Ontario Arts Council.