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The Gift Is in the Making

Anishinaabeg Stories

By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Illustrated by Amanda Strong
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Short Stories, Values & Virtues
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Storytelling and Oral Culture, Diverse and Inclusive Representation, Identity, STEM, Seasonal Cycles
Cultures & Peoples: Anishinaabeg
Indigenous Languages: Anishinaabemowin, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–6
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell V, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 740L
Paperback : 9781553793762, 112 pages, June 2013
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553793816, 110 pages, June 2013
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553795711, 110 pages, June 2013
Audiobook : 9781553799153, July 2020

Table of contents



1 Our Treaty with the Hoof Nation

2 The Baagaataa’awa Game that Changed Everything

3 All our Relations

4 A Gift from a Very Smart Little Green Frog

5 She Knew Exactly What To Do

6 Zhingwaak Gets a Little Snippy

7 Please Be Careful When You’re Getting Smart

8 It’s You Who Makes the Name Powerful

9 Good Neighbours

10 Want

11 Zhigaag’s Powerful Medicine

12 The Place of Muddy Water

13 It’s a Very Good Thing to Be Yourself

14 Honouring Ojiig in the Night Sky

15 Gwiiwzens Makes a Lovely Discovery

16 The Star People Are Always Watching

17 Zhiishiib Makes Everybody Lunch

18 Makwa, the Great Faster

19 She Had a Beautiful, Speckled Design

20 The Rock on Miskwaadesi’s Back

21 The Gift Is in the Making


Further Reading

Words and images roll effortlessly off the tongue in this lively collection of short stories for young readers.


The Gift Is in the Making retells previously published Anishinaabeg stories, bringing to life Anishinaabeg values and teachings for a new generation. Readers are immersed in a world where all genders are respected, the tiniest being has influence in the world, and unconditional love binds families and communities to each other and to their homeland. Sprinkled with gentle humour and the Anishinaabe language, this collection of stories speaks to children and adults alike, and reminds us of the timelessness of stories that touch the heart.

Also available as an audiobook narrated by Tiffany Ayalik. Find it through your favourite audio retailer!


A SOLS First Nation Communities READ recommended title, 2015–2016

Southern Ontario Library Service

[These stories] embrace and embellish the teachings, reflecting their established power for today's listeners and readers of all ages. The words and images [roll] effortlessly off the tongue (and eyes). Highly Recommended.

Gail de Vos, CM Association

This was an absolutely exquisite book. ..sprinkled about with Nishnaabemowin so by the end of the book, you’ll be newly familiar with a number of beautiful words. ..This felt like a book of sacred texts.

Johannes C., Goodreads