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The Chief


By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Scott B. Henderson
Series: Tales from Big Spirit
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Historical, Pre-Confederation (to 1867), Canada
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Spirituality and Ceremony, Authentic Indigenous History, Social Justice, Exploitation of Natural Resources, Impacts of Colonization and Colonialism
Cultures & Peoples: Cree, Plains Cree, Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot)
Indigenous Languages: Cree

Interest Age: 9–11
Grade: 4–6
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell W, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 540L
Paperback : 9781553796596, 30 pages, May 2016
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553796664, 32 pages, July 2018
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553797722, 32 pages, July 2018
The Ballad of Nancy April (Paperback) , The Chief (Paperback) , The Land of Os (Paperback) , The Peacemaker (Paperback) , The Poet (Paperback) , The Rebel (Paperback) , The Scout (Paperback)


On her way to school one day, Sarah is relieved to find the book she’d dropped the day before—shortly after an encounter with a bear. But when she opens it, the story within, about the Cree chief Mistahimaskwa, comes alive. It takes Sarah back to the Saskatchewan Plains of 1832, where the young boy who would become the great chief first learns the ways of his people, to the final days of his life.


 5 out of 5 stars
Although written for middle-schoolers, I nonetheless learned things from this book. I had never heard of this chief, and this book does a great job telling about the struggle and ultimately the treaty signed by both sides.

—NetGalley reviewer

Janette Forman, NetGalley