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Pisim Finds Her Miskanaw


By William Dumas
Illustrated by Leonard Paul
Series: The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Ithiniwak
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Pre-Confederation (to 1867), Business, Careers, Occupations, Girls & Women
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Spirituality and Ceremony, Storytelling and Oral Culture, Worldviews, Teachings, and Protocols, Authentic Indigenous History, STEM, Seasonal Cycles, Strong Female Characters
Cultures & Peoples: Cree, Asiniskaw Ithiniwak (Rocky Cree)
Indigenous Languages: Cree, Rocky Cree, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–6
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell X, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 940L
Hardcover : 9781553799092, 60 pages, May 2020
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553799276, 60 pages, June 2020
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553799283, 60 pages, June 2020


NOW REVISED! This edition features updated Rocky Cree translations and an expanded glossary, augmented with new maps to give a more detailed look at Pīsim’s journey. These enhancements make this book a great tool for teachers and a great addition to any library.

Out of an important archaeological discovery came this unique story about a week in the life of Pīsim, a young Cree woman, who lived in the mid 1600s. In the story, created by renowned storyteller William Dumas, Pīsim begins to recognize her miskanaw – the path for her life – and to develop her gifts for fulfilling that path. The story is brought to life by the rich imagery of Mi’kmaw artist 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 Pīsim Finds Her Miskanaw. A printable eBook of the guide is available for download.

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanaw is book one in The Six Seasons of the Asiniskow Īthiniwak series about the Asiniskow Īthiniwak (Rocky Cree) of Northern Manitoba. Corresponding to the six seasons of sīkwan (spring), nīpin (summer), takwakin (fall), mikiskow (freeze-up), pipon (winter), and mithoskamin (break-up), the books explore the language, culture, knowledge, territory, and history of the 17th century Rocky Cree people through story and images. The groundbreaking series centres Indigenous ways of knowing and includes insights from a wide range of disciplines – cross-cultural education, history, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, literature, oral culture and storytelling, experiential and community-based learning, and art.

To find more information about The Six Seasons project and the Picture Book App: Pisim Finds Her Miskanaw visit


  • Joint winner, Manitowapow Award 2023


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.

Stephen Loring, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC

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.

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Native Studies University of Manitoba

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

Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of The First North Americans

Winner of the Public Communications Awards, Writer Category

Canadian Archaeological Association

Shortlisted for the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration

The Atlantic Book Awards Society

This enchanting book deserves a place in every school.... It is a beautiful rendition of historical fiction that can give all young people a collective understanding of the power of our history in shaping who we are.

Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor