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Gaawin Gindaaswin Ndaawsii / I Am Not A Number

Dual language edition of powerful children's book about residential school experience reflects Indigenous language revitalization.

The dual language edition, in Nishnaabemwin (Ojibwe) Nbisiing dialect and English, of the award-winning I Am Not a Number. When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And what will happen when her parents disobey the law? Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn from and relate to.

"Residential and boarding school stories are hard to read, but they're vitally important... books like I Am Not a Number should be taught in schools in Canada, and the U.S., too."— Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature

"It’s important to teach children about true Canadian history, but it’s not easy to talk about it in a way that children will understand. I Am Not a Number is perfect to get the conversation about residential schools started with your children. It opens the door for them to ask questions about the subject and the story is relatable in a way they can follow."— Residential School Magazine

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 7-11
Guided Reading: V

Dual-language: Nishnaabemwin (Ojibwe) Nbisiing dialect and English.

Subjects: Character Education (Empathy, Prejudice & Tolerance); History & Social Studies (Canadian History, First Nations & Indigenous Peoples); Government & Citizenship; Reflecting Diversity

Additional Information
44 pages | 8.50" x 11.00" | Translated by Muriel Sawyer and Geraldine McLeod with contributions by Tory Fisher