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Treaty Words For As Long As The Rivers Flow



Mishomis (Grandfather) sits with his granddaughter on the banks of the river where he has lived his whole life.  As he teaches her to quietly listen to nature's sounds, he also recounts how the original treaty between Mother Earth and First Nations honoured the bond between the land, the animals and his “brothers and sisters”.  The young girl soon understands how the history and culture of her Anishinaabe people have been shaped by their connections to the natural world and why her grandfather is so grateful for this place that has provided so much.  This thoughtful story, complemented by beautiful illustrations, offers unique insight into the Indigenous perspective that treaties should always be shared commitments to safeguard our environment, our planet and our people.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This book develops reading and vocabulary skills while describing aspects of  Indigenous culture and spirituality.  There is also an accompanying teacher's guide which contains additional exercises for achieving Literacy outcomes related to responding to a story, research, reflection and asking questions to enhance understanding. The story supports classroom discussions about the historic role of First Nations as environmental stewards as students learn how Mishomis has always lived in balance with nature and protected the land he lives on.  Readers will also become more aware of the role of respect and reciprocity in developing First Nations Treaties that support communities rather than cause harm.


This resource contains an important message about how we should all learn to quietly see, hear and feel nature.  The teacher's guide offers an outdoor activity that asks students to reflect on “how are the words silent and listen the same” and then spend time in a local green space observing nature.  This  learning extension provides an opportunity to integrate Science and English Language Arts.  Students could identify the organisms they observe and create a written piece about a selected species that describes their experience and contains information about the animal's habitat and life cycle.


Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

Ecosystems (1)

  • Appreciating the Natural World

Indigenous Knowledge (2)

  • Rituals, Spirituality and Worldviews
  • TEK -- Traditional Ecological Knowledge