Creators of ‘Amo’s Sapotawan’ discuss the new picture book from HighWater Press

Here’s my chat with the creators of the picture book Amo’s Sapotawan from HighWater Press. This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. And the podcast is also available on YouTube. Please like and subscribe to that video channel.

William Dumas is a Rocky Cree Storyteller born in South Indian Lake, Manitoba. For 25 years, he has been an educator and administrator; his passion for Cree language and culture are well aligned with his current position as Cree Language and Culture Coordinator for the Nisichawayasihk (Nelson House) Education Authority. As the author and Project Mentor of The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak series, William knows first-hand the power storytelling has to teach Indigenous youth about where they come from and where they are going.

Mavis Reimer is Project Director of the SSHRC Partnership Project, Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak: Reclamation, Regeneration, and Reconciliation. She is Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of English at the University of Winnipeg. She was the Canada Research Chair in Young People’s Texts and Cultures between 2005 and 2015, lead editor of Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures between 2009 and 2015, and President of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature between 2011 and 2015. She is the founding director of the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures (CRYTC) at the University of Winnipeg and founding President of the Association for Research in Young People’s Cultures.

Warren Cariou was born into a family of Métis and European ancestry in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. He has published works of fiction and memoir as well as critical writing about Indigenous storytelling, literature and environmental philosophy. He has also created two films about Indigenous communities in western Canada’s tar sands region, and he has written numerous articles, stories and poems about Indigeneity and petroleum. His visual art project, Petrography, uses tar sands bitumen as a photographic medium. He is a Professor of English at the University of Manitoba, where he directs the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture. He is a Co-Leader of the Story Team for the Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak project.

Rhian Brynjolson is a visual artist, author, book illustrator, and art educator. Rhian was named Canadian Art Teacher of the Year in 2014. She is the illustrator of over 15 children’s books and author of Teaching Art: A Complete Guide for the Classroom. Rhian has worked with the River on the Run artist collective, making and performing art to raise awareness of environmental concerns affecting the Lake Winnipeg watershed. Rhian lives and works on the edge of Treaty 3 territory, in the boreal forest of eastern Manitoba. Her work is currently exhibited as part of the Virtual Water Gallery online exhibit found at

Amo’s Sapotawan is the story of a Rocky Cree girl who must choose the skill that will define her miskanaw, the path of her life. Amō has always loved making things. Her uncle can show her how to make nipisiwata, willow baskets. Her grandmother can teach her how to make kwakwāywata, birchbark containers and plates. Her auntie has offered to begin Amō’s apprenticeship in making askihkwak, pottery. This is the second book of ‘The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak series’.

You can discover more about Amo’s Sapotawan at Portage and Main Press on HighWater Press imprint.


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