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We Are Water Protectors (2020)

by Carole Lindstrom

Other authors: Michaela Goade (Illustrator)

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1,0206119,339 (4.46)8
Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all... When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people's water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth's most sacred resource. Inspired by the many indigenous-led movements across North America, this bold and lyrical picture book issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption.… (more)
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» See also 8 mentions

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92
  TaylorOnyx | Oct 30, 2023 |
In this story, the narrator, an Ojibwe girl, recalls her grandmother, Nokomis, teaching her about the importance and sacredness of water. “Water is the first medicine. We come from water.” Their people foretell a black snake that will one day destroy their land and poison their water. This black snake has arrived in the form of an oil pipeline. She rallies her people against the black snake and to protect their water supply. “We fight for those Who cannot fight for themselves: The winged ones, The crawling ones, The four-legged, The two-legged, The plants, trees, rivers, lakes, The Earth.” The girl encourages her people by declaring "We are water protectors. We Stand! The black snake is in the fight of its life.”

This story is inspired by the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at the Standing Rock Reservation in 2016. Linstrom was so taken by it, that she wanted to do something about it. This book, with its beautiful illustrations by Michaela Goade, is the result of their efforts. The story is short and meaningful. It is easily approachable for the young audience. For reference, Carole Lindstrom, the author, is Ojibwe. Michaela Goade, is a member of the Tlingit and Haida tribes.

I encountered this book via a “StoryWalk” along a trail. The StoryWalk Project is nationwide initiative to entice kids (and grownups) moving/exercising by placing all pages of a book along a neighborhood trail, which incidentally is at a water treatment plant. ( )
1 vote varwenea | Aug 23, 2023 |
Moving and inspiring picture book about protecting the world’s water from harm and corruption. “Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America” In this story a young girl picturesquely describes her and her peoples connection to the water. When her people's water is threatened by a black snake that wants to destroy the Earth and poison the water, the young water protector will stand up to defend Earth's most sacred resource. The beautiful illustrations in vivid and vibrant hues support the story while incorporating details of the Ojibwe culture.
  DeborahMc | Jul 25, 2023 |
Description: Inspired by indigenous wisdom, this book encourages children to stand up for nature and protect our precious water resources.
Age Group: 4-8 years
  DanielSA | Jun 12, 2023 |
Okay. This book will also will win something at ALA Midwinter. I'm calling it now. This book is absolutely positively stunning.

First, I love that this is an #ownvoices tale. The illustrator sought to honor the author's Ojibwe culture in the forms of dress and symbols that hold significance in traditional teachings. I love that. I also love that there is a glossary with words in various tribal languages. An excellent way to drive home that ALL of us need to be heard.

This book is a tribute to Standing Rock and fighting the oil pipeline. See, here is the thing: water is so important. We need it to LIVE! And when water is in short supply or bad, people will suffer. We saw it with Flint, Michigan. We saw it with the nature surrounding Standing Rock.

Some will argue that there is too much of a political message with this book. Indeed, I can hear the "it's too Mother Earth/save the world/people are against oil which can help America become less dependent on other countries." Well guess what, I don't think it hurts us to remember that everything comes at a cost. AND we have given the Native Americans the short end of the stick. And don't we all want a beautiful world to leave future generations?! ( )
  msgabbythelibrarian | Jun 11, 2023 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carole Lindstromprimary authorall editionscalculated
Goade, MichaelaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Dad and Sam. And to water protectors everywhere - C. L.
For Mother Earth and all who defender her - M. G.
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Water is the first medicine, Nokomis told me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all... When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people's water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth's most sacred resource. Inspired by the many indigenous-led movements across North America, this bold and lyrical picture book issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption.

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