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A part of the movement, a part of the history, a part of the change

Cover of We are Still Here! Native
A review of We are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessec

Twelve topics related to Native Americans' experiences are represented in this picture book designed as a student information fair. The story starts in a classroom with students signing up for ten-minute long presentations. Topics range from assimilation and allotment to relocation, the Indian New Deal and language revival. In the subsequent pages, each topic receives a full spread illustration depicting the topic during the time period in which it took place, always ending with the words, "We are still here!"

Some of the topics are specific to historical time periods while others are ongoing. All of them affect Native Citizens and Native Nations today. The final illustration portrays students at their various triptych tabletop displays at "Presentation Night" in honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day. The room is busy and full of students and families engaged in learning.

Author Traci Sorell and illustrator Frané Lessec meticulously pick up where the award-winning We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga leaves off. More information is shared at the end of the book including definitions of the twelve topics, a timeline, glossary of terms, sources, and an author's note.

Take the Read Native 2021 reading challenge provided by the American Indian Library Association, and enjoy these and other books by Indigenous authors and illustrators.

Sep 14, 2021