As Long as the Rivers Flow

By Larry Loyie with Constance Brissenden

Illustrated by Heather D. Holmlund

CDN $12.95/U.S. $8.95.

Size: 7 ¼ x 10, 40 pp, ages 9 and up. Paperback. ISBN 0-88899-696-9

To order a book: Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada. Tel: 416-321-2241/1-800-387-0117. Fax: 416-321-3033/1-800-668-5788. Distributed in the U.S. by Publishers Group West (PGW), 1 (800) 788-3123. Also available from, a Native-owned distributor of First Nations/Metis/Inuit books.

The First Nations People of North America have traditionally educated their children within the extended family, through observation, practice, stories and ceremonies. In the 1800s, various churches, in government-sponsored residential/boarding schools, took on the education of First Nations/Native American children in Canada and the United States. Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their traditional languages and cultures.

As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned

baby owl. He watches his grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting and gathering trip. Confronted by a grizzly bear while picking medicine plants, Lawrence's grandmother kills the bear with one bullet - at the time, it was the biggest ever to be shot in North America. Later, when the family gathers for a feast, Grandfather gives Lawrence his new name: Oskiniko, or Young Man. Not long after, a truck comes to take Lawrence and his siblings away to their new school. Constance Brissenden is Larry's partner and co-author.

Expressive illustrations by Heather D. Holmlund beautifully capture the joy and drama of a family's last summer together. There are 34 full-color illustrations in the 40-page book, as well as a section devoted to explaining the history and impact of residential/boarding schools. Photographs of Larry Loyie's family and the school he attended are included.

The book is suitable for ages 8 and up. It is a wonderful, touching story that parents and grandparents will want to share with their children. The book takes its readers into the traditional lifestyle that native people once enjoyed, to learn about animals, nature, self-worth, bravery, traditions, and cultural pride. For those who went to a residential/boarding school, it will open a door to dialogue and understanding.

As Long as the Rivers Flow is available in Canadian and United States bookstores.

For more information, contact the authors.


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