Anishinaabemowin & English
Brittany Luby & Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley
Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh This is How I Know is a beautiful bilingual book with colorful illustrations and a plethora of Anishinaabe knowledge about the seasons and nature. The story follows a child and her grandmother as they take walks, enjoy time outdoors, and forage for different foods throughout the year.
Like the seasons, the book is divided into four sections with a question that the narrator asks about how they know which season it is. The reader is greeted with lyrical text and rich colors that talk about seasonal aspects of nature like ripe berries, orange mushrooms, and seagulls sitting on their eggs. The pair clearly have an incredibly close bond, and the book is a beautiful representation of how important it is to pass on knowledge to younger generations, both linguistic and traditional.
The Anishinaabemowin language is at the forefront of the story, another testament to the power of words. The phrasing of “this is how I know” empowers the young narrator to share her own knowledge with the reader, showcasing how observation can be as much of a teacher as an educator in the classroom (and in many situations, probably even more impactful). This is a fantastic addition to any science curriculum, and a great way to bring as many voices as possible into STEM and nature learning.
This book was kindly sent by Groundwood Books, but all opinions are my own!
BRITTANY LUBY (Anishinaabe-kwe, atik totem) is the many-greats granddaughter of Chief Kawitaskung, an Anishinaabe leader who signed the North-West Angle Treaty of 1873. With a pen stroke, Kawitaskung agreed to share parts of what is now northwestern Ontario with settlers and their descendants. Because of her many-greats grandfather, Brittany believes that ink is a powerful tool. The words we write lay the foundation for our future. Brittany writes for social justice. She is also a history professor at the University of Guelph, specializing in Indigenous history in North America.
Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley is an Ojibwe Woodland artist and a member of Wasauksing First Nation. His work aims to reclaim and promote traditional Ojibwe stories and teachings in a contemporary Woodland style. He works mainly in acrylics, digital illustration and screen-printing, and has had several solo art exhibitions across Turtle Island. Joshua spends his time living between Vancouver and Wasauksing First Nation. The photo of Joshua was retrieved from this article!