Piisim Finds Her Miskanow

by William Dumas | Illustrated by Leonard Paul

Grade: for grades 4–12
(4 customer reviews)
SKU: 978-1-55379-394-6 Categories: ,


  • Hardcover

In 1993, the remains of a young woman were discovered at Nagami Bay, Southern Indian Lake, Manitoba. Out of that important archaeological discovery came this unique story about a week in the life of Piisim, a young Cree woman, who lived in the mid 1600s. In the story, created by renowned storyteller William Dumas, Piisim begins to recognize her miskanow – her life’s journey – and to develop her gifts for fulfilling that path. The story is brought to life by the rich imagery of Leonard Paul, and is accompanied by sidebars on Cree language and culture, archaeology and history, maps, songs, and more.

Great ideas for using this book in your classroom can be found in the Teacher’s Guide for Piisim Finds her Miskanow. A printable eBook of the guide is available for downloading.



Winner of the Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) 2014 Public Communications Award, Author Category

Shortlisted for the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, 2014

Approved resource for Manitoba classrooms

4 reviews for Piisim Finds Her Miskanow

  1. Stephen Loring

    In imagining the life of a young Cree woman, this volume provides a wonderful evocation of the wisdom and language of Cree elders that seamlessly incorporates archaeology, ethnology, and oral traditions.

  2. Brian Fagan

    The brilliant teamwork between archaeologists, the Cree, and an accomplished storyteller gives us … a beautifully written and illustrated journey into a centuries-old world … the book promises to be a classic of Canadian history.

  3. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair

    This rich story … brings alive the history and language of Asiniskow Ithiniwak in Manitowapow while illustrating the cultural breadth of a dynamic community. This book is a joy to read, teach, and share with my daughter.

  4. Jury Members

    Pisim Finds Her Miskanow by William Dumas is a beautifully imagined story about a young Cree woman uncovering her miskanow – her life’s journey. This one-of-a-kind book incorporates archeology, maps, Cree wisdom and songs, into a literary experience that is deep and powerful, transporting the reader back in time to a rich, meaningful culture that must be remembered.
    -Julie Burtinshaw, Cathy Ostlere, and Fred Penner

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