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Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance

By Charlene Bearhead & Wilson Bearhead
Illustrated by Chloe Bluebird Mustooch
Series: Siha Tooskin Knows
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Dance, New Experience
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Powwow, Contemporary Setting, Diverse and Inclusive Representation, Identity, Social Emotional Learning, Character Education, Friendship, Social Justice, Impacts of Colonization and Colonialism
Cultures & Peoples: Nakota
Indigenous Languages: Nakota, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–6
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell R, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 920L
Paperback : 9781553798521, 40 pages, May 2020
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553798538, 40 pages, May 2020
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553798545, 40 pages, May 2020

Thundering drums, rattling hooves, clinking jingles—come along with Paul, Jeff, and Uncle Lenard to the powwow!


Paul Wahasaypa—Siha Tooskin—has invited his friend, Jeff, to a powwow. It’s Jeff’s very first powwow, and is he ever nervous! What if he says or does the wrong thing? Grass dancers, Fancy Shawl dancers, Chicken dancers—what does it all mean? Follow along as Jeff learns all about the dances and their beautiful traditions. See you at the powwow!

The Siha Tooskin Knows series uses vivid narratives and dazzling illustrations in contemporary settings to share stories about an 11-year-old Nakota boy.


  • Long-listed, SOLS First Nations Communities READ, Children's Category 2021


Among Toronto Public Library's TD Summer Reading Club Top Recommended Reads (2021) list

TD Summer Reading Club

Among The Globe and Mail's twelve children’s books that will inspire and enlighten

The Globe and Mail

Among Best Books for Kids & Teens, a starred selection of exceptional caliber

The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC)

#SihaTooskinKnows. .., with its words and illustrations, is a love letter to our family, culture, resilience, and pride.

Tanya Talaga, journalist and author

Reconciliation is a big word, and it is a big job. Authors Wilson and Charlene Bearhead show us that even storybook characters can help when they are brought alive in authentic cultural settings. Meet Paul Wahasaypa, also known as Siha Tooskin or Little Foot, as he dances his way through these colourful pages, sharing some of the things he loves most with his new, non-Indigenous friend Jeff…his culture, his powwow dances, and even his beloved Uncle Lenard with all his teachings and teasing! More than an adventure between new friends, this is a colourful, youth-friendly, cultural exchange based on kindness, respect, and willingness to share and to learn.

Marie Wilson, Commissioner, TRC of Canada , 2009-2015

. ..the use of humour, historical content and details of how a powwow is run helps bridge gaps of knowledge for readers who may have no knowledge of what a powwow is.  Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance sets out to inform, educate and include the reader and does it in a way that works. Highly Recommended

John Dryden, CM Association

There are many reasons to love this series.  Highly Recommended.

Bit About Books

5 out of 5 stars

I loved this story. Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance is a beautiful story about friendship and curiosity. I loved the way this story explains powwows and the importance of each type of dancer. In this story, Jeff goes to the powwow with Siha Tooskin and gets to learn and experience something so special.