Ispík kákí péyakoyak | When We Were Alone

by David A. Robertson | illustrated by Julie Flett | translated by Alderick Leask

Grade: for grades K–3
(1 customer review)
SKU: 978-1-55379-905-4 Categories: ,


Pub Date: 09/22/2020
  • Hardcover
  • eBook

When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength.

When We Were Alone won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award in the Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books) category, and was nominated for the TD Canadian’s Children’s Literature Award. This edition includes the text in Swampy Cree syllabics and Roman orthography, as well as the original English.


We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the National Translation Program for Book Publishing, an initiative of the Action Plan for Official Languages —2018–2023: Investing in Our Future, for our translation activities.

Ispík kákí péyakoyak is available as an ebook in .epub and .pdf formats. Select a format using the drop-down menu to the left and checkout as usual. You will be sent an email with instructions to download the file.

Winner of the Bookstagang Best of 2020 Picture Books, Future Classics (#Bookstagang)


1 review for Ispík kákí péyakoyak | When We Were Alone

  1. Karen MacAulay

    When We Were Alone is one of a kind. It is an accurate depiction of what was experienced by many. Written in a way that you can imagine it happening to you.

    Illistrations are gentle. Love the detail and the colors.

    I love the fact that it’s been translated into Swampy Cree. There is not much representation of that dialect in books. Most is Michif , Oji-Cree, plains Cree or Anishinaabe. We need more Swampy Cree representation. Thanks for doing that in this book.

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