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The Sockeye Mother

By Hetxw’ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson
Illustrated by Natasha Donovan
Series: Mothers of Xsan
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Nonfiction, Environmental Science & Ecosystems, Indigenous, Fishes, Seasons
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Worldviews, Teachings, and Protocols, STEM, Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, Ecosystems, Life Cycles, Seasonal Cycles
Cultures & Peoples: Gitxsan
Indigenous Languages: Gitxsanimx, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–6
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell T, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 1140L
Hardcover : 9781553797395, 32 pages, November 2017
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553797401, 32 pages, December 2017
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553797418, 32 pages, December 2017

Explore the life cycle of the sockeye salmon in this engaging look at how an ecosystem’s animals, people, and seasons are intertwined.


To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the sockeye salmon is more than just a source of food. Over its life cycle, it nourishes the very land and forests that the Skeena River runs through and where the Gitxsan make their home. The Sockeye Mother explores how the animals, water, soil, and seasons are all intertwined.


  • Winner, Science Writers and Communicators of Canada book award 2017
  • Winner, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Awards, Younger Category 2018
  • Nominated, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction 2018


Highly recommended!

Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature

Huson eloquently conveys the fragile interconnectedness of the natural world and the moral imperative to protect it.

Publishers Weekly

A wonderful exploration of science and culture with many ties to curricula. A top selection for nonfiction collections.

Meaghan Nichols, Ontario School Library Journal

An excellent addition to curriculums that tie scientific principles to cultural practices; the work should be embraced by libraries to help educate readers about the Gitxsan.

Kirkus Reviews

Accessible to fluent readers in the late primary and intermediate grades, this book is a rich source of information and fits well with the Social Studies and Science curriculum.

Brenda Boreham, Canadian Teacher Magazine