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What is Truth, Betsy?

A Story of Truth

By Katherena Vermette
Illustrated by Irene Kuziw
Series: The Seven Teachings Stories
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Values & Virtues, Indigenous, Girls & Women
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Medicine Wheel or Sacred Hoop, Spirituality and Ceremony, Sweat Lodge, Contemporary Setting, Diverse and Inclusive Representation, Identity, Social Emotional Learning, Character Education, Honesty, Respect, Seven Sacred Teachings
Cultures & Peoples: Anishinaabeg
Indigenous Languages: Anishinaabemowin, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 3–5
Grade: p–k
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell O, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 460L
Paperback : 9781553795254, 24 pages, March 2015
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553798293, 24 pages, October 2018
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553798286, 24 pages, June 2019
Ebook (Mobi) : 9781553798309, 24 pages, June 2019
Amik Loves School (Paperback) , Kode's Quest(ion) (Paperback) , Misaabe's Stories (Paperback) , Singing Sisters (Paperback) , The First Day (Paperback) , The Just Right Gift (Paperback) , What is Truth, Betsy? (Paperback)

Join Miskwaadesi as she explores the question “What is?” in this thoughtful book for curious readers.


Miskwaadesi is learning so much in school. She is learning about the world she lives in and what it means to be a part of it. However, when her class learns about the teaching Truth, Miskwaadesi doesn’t understand. Her teacher Betsy asks Miskwaadesi to think about what is in her life and what she knows to be true. Miskwaadesi knows she is a girl and that she is Anishinaabekwens. Together, they explore what the teaching Truth is about.

In this thoughtful story, an Anishinaabe girl explores the meaning of Truth and what she knows is true about the world she lives in. A pronunciation guide for the Anishnaabemowin words can be found at the back of the book.

Rich in culture and grounded in traditional knowledge, Katherena Vermette’s The Seven Teachings Stories series features themes of love, wisdom, humility, courage, respect, honesty, and truth. Contemporary Indigenous children explore the Seven Teachings of the Anishinaabe through stories of home and family that will look familiar to all young readers in these books for ages 3–5.


Katherena Vermette’s The Seven Teachings Stories series is a collection of books that holds all the qualities children’s literature can have; her tales are educational, joyous, vivid, and have an irresistible cadence. But the stories have something more. Rich in culture and traditional knowledge, Katherena’s series addresses important topics—such as the residential school system—with the very teachings the series embodies: love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility, and truth.

David A. Robertson, author When We Were Alone