For National Aboriginal History Month we’ll be dedicating our June posts to Aboriginal titles published by Groundwood Books.
What makes today’s titles particularly special is that they offer two languages on each spread. Ningeokuluk Teevee, an Inuit artist from Cape Dorset, wrote Alego in both Inuktitut and English. For Niwechihaw / I Help, author and illustrator Caitlin Nicholson originally wrote the text in English, which was then translated to Cree by Leona Morin-Nelson.
Written and illustrated by Ningeokuluk Teevee, one of the most interesting young artists in Cape Dorset, home to the great tradition of Inuit art, this is a beautifully simple story, written in Inuktitut and English, about a young Inuit girl who goes to the shore with her grandmother to collect clams for supper. Along the way she discovers tide pools brimming with life – a bright orange starfish, a creepy-crawly thing with many legs called an ugjunnaq, a hornshaped sea snail and a sculpin. This is an enchanting and utterly authentic introduction to the life of an Inuit child and her world.
About Niwechihaw / I Help
This simple story in Cree and English explores a young child’s relationship to his kôhkom, his grandmother, as they go for a walk in the bush to pick rosehips. The young boy follows his grandmother, walking, listening, picking, praying, eating, just as she does. In doing so, he absorbs the rich cultural traditions and values of his Cree heritage.