Nicola I. Campbell

Named after her home, British Columbia's Nicola Valley, children's book author Nicola Campbell is Interior Salish on her mother's side and Métis from Saskatchewan on her father's side. Nicola currently lives in North Vancouver, B.C. with her son. She is completing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

Shin-chi's Canoe is Nicola's second free-verse picture book and was released in fall 2008. It received the 2009 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and was a finalist for the 2009 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and a 2008 Governor General's Award for illustration. Shin-chi's Canoe is the sequel to Shi-shi-etko.

Her first free-verse children's book, Shi-shi-etko, was published in September 2005. It was a finalist for the 2006 Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, the 2006 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and the 2006 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and was the co-winner of the 2006 Anskohk Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award.

Nicola writes adult and children's short fiction, poetry and has several works in progress including another free-verse picture book. She loves the outdoors; biking and hiking and has been participating in traditional cedar dug-out canoe racing for eleven years. She has a strong respect and an absolute belief in First Nation's spirituality, culture and tradition.

In the author's own words:

"I heard an elder speak of the importance of our languages and our culture. He said that our words are powerful; our stories are elastic; our languages are music: they dance, they move and they are medicine for our people. He said they are a spirit within themselves and we are only the channel that brings them to life. I write because I know what he said is true.

Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's Canoe are inspired by stories that I heard from my family, elders and community. As a child, I didn't understand why my mom, aunties and uncles and the elders in our community were taken away. I didn't understand why as children, they weren't allowed to speak — Indian. I knew that because of what my grandparents went through, they did not teach my mom or aunts and uncles to speak Nlekepmxcin and this was a common decision among many parents at that time. As children, my cousins and I could not fathom why all First Nations children everywhere were taken from their parents and forced to attend these schools. These two books are my efforts to illustrate these two children finding strength and resilience within themselves along with finding as many adventures as they could find."

A Day With Yayah
Content Territory: First Nations, Okanagan
Format: Hardcover

Set in the Okanagon, BC, a First Nations family goes on an outing to forage for herbs and mushrooms. Grandmother passes down her knowledge of plant life to her young grandchildren.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

Grandpa's Girls
Format: Hardcover

A young girl delights in a visit to her grandpa's farm. She and her cousins run through the fields, explore the root cellar where the salmon and jars of fruit are stored, swing on a rope out the barn loft window, visit the Appaloosa in the corral and tease the neighbor's pig. The visit is also an opportunity for this child to ask Grandpa what her grandmother, Yayah, was like, and to explore the "secret room," with its old wooden trunk of ribbons, medals and photos of Grandpa in uniform.

There is a wonderful blend of fun and family history in this visit to a grandparent, and the realization that there can be some things about the people we know and love that will always remain a mystery. But above all, there's nothing like being with Grandpa.

In her two previous picture books, Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's Canoe, Nicola Campbell worked with elders and survivors of residential schools, documenting the tragic experiences that many endured. This new book, based on her own childhood memories, is a sunny, joyful story, vibrantly illustrated by Kim LaFave.


La pirogue de Shin-chi
Format: Hardcover
Sélection Communication-Jeunesse 2011-2012

Shi-shi-etko s’apprête à retourner au pensionnat indien pour une deuxième année, cette fois-ci accompagnée de son frère de six ans, Shin-chi. Cependant, comme ils y auront interdiction de se parler, sur le chemin, à l’arrière de la camionnette à bestiaux, Shi-shi-etko lui remet une pirogue de cèdre miniature, cadeau symbolique de leur père qui représente tout ce dont Shin-chi doit se souvenir et garder secret. Ils ne reverront leur famille que lorsque le saumon rouge remontera la rivière, à l’été.
Les mois passés à l’école à apprendre des leçons, à travailleur dur et à assister à la messe sont longs et solitaires. Shin-chi a toujours faim. Pour se consoler, il se rend sur les bords de la rivière, serrant fermement sa petite pirogue et surveillant le retour des saumons.

Cette suite touchante et poétique du livre primé Shi-shietko constitue un apport important à la littérature jeunesse sur l’expérience dévastatrice vécue par les Premières Nations, au Canada et aux États-Unis, dans ces « écoles résidentielles » soutenues par l’État et dirigées par l’Église. Cette histoire enrichie d’illustrations aux somptueux coloris, repose sur des entrevues de Nicola I. Campbell avec des membres de sa famille et des aînés survivants de ces pensionnats.

? Lauréat du TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (2009)
? Finaliste du Governor General’s Literary Award (Illustrations, 2008)
? Nominé au OLA Silver Birch Express Award (2010)
? Nominé au Chocolate Lily Award - Picture Book (2009)
? Sélection du Cooperative Children’s Book Center - Choices (2009)
? Sélection du USBBY Outstanding International Books (2009)

Content Territory: Interior Salish
Format: Hardcover
In just four days Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school. She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world. This gentle story of a child on the verge of great loss was selected as the Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year.

Shi-shi-etko (French)
Format: Hardcover
La loi l’exige : dans quatre jours à peine, la jeune Shi-shi-etko devra quitter sa famille et tout ce qui lui est cher pour aller à « l’école résidentielle », au pensionnat indien. Ces journées précédant son départ, elle observe et savoure chaque détail de son univers : la lumière chatoyante du soleil, les herbes hautes, les pierres luisantes, les têtards du ruisseau, le chant que son grand-père fredonnait en pagayant. Sa mère, son père et sa grand-mère lui transmettent tour à tour des valeurs identitaires dont ils veulent qu’elle se souvienne. Et elle se fait une promesse, celle de se souvenir.

Kim LaFave s’est appuyé sur des photographies d’archives et des discussions avec des aînés pour créer les illustrations aux somptueux coloris qui enrichissent cet émouvant récit poétique. Le lecteur fera connaissance avec une enfant qui trouve du réconfort dans tout ce qui l’entoure à la veille d’une grande déchirure, déchirure attribuable au système des pensionnats indiens dont les peuples autochtones ont souffert pendant plusieurs générations.

? Finaliste du TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (2006)
? Sélection du Ruth Schwartz Award (2006)
? Finaliste du Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award (CCBC) (2006)
? Nominé au Chocolate Lily Award (2006)
? Sélection CCBC Our Choice (2006)
? Colauréat de l’Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year (Ânskohk Aboriginal Literary Festival)

Shin-chi's Canoe
Content Territory: Interior Salish
Format: Hardcover
This moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too. As they begin their journey in the back of a cattle truck, Shi-shi-etko takes it upon herself to tell her little brother all the things he must remember: the trees, the mountains, the rivers and the tug of the salmon when he and his dad pull in the fishing nets. Shin-chi knows he won't see his family again until the sockeye salmon return in the summertime.

When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko gives him a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from their father. The children's time is filled with going to mass, school for half the day, and work the other half. The girls cook, clean and sew, while the boys work in the fields, in the woodshop and at the forge. Shin-chi is forever hungry and lonely, but, finally, the salmon swim up the river and the children return home for a joyful family reunion.


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