Monday, January 25, 2021

Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade--Two Tribally Enrolled Women--Made History Today, for WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS

Two tribally enrolled women made history today when the American Library Association awarded the Caldecott Medal to their book, We Are Water Protectors. Prior to this, the only Native person to be selected for recognition from the Caldecott was Velino Herrera of Zia Pueblo. In 1942, his illustrations for Ann Nolan Clark's In My Mother's House won a Caldecott Honor. Clark was a white woman who taught in Native schools. 

Carole Lindstrom, the author of We Are Water Protectors, is tribally enrolled at Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and Michaela Goade, the illustrator, is Tlingit, a member of the Kiks.ådi Clan.

Published in 2020 by Roaring Book Press its text and illustrations carry tremendous meaning for Native people around the world who are active in ongoing work to stop exploitation. Here's a screen capture of the livestream announcement earlier today (Jan 25). It shows the gold seal on the cover of the book:

As Native people page through the book, they will see many images that resonate with them. That starts by looking at the cover. 

Some will remember the photos of a young person kneeling before a line of law enforcement officers, holding an eagle feather in front of them. The photos are taken from behind. For the book cover, Goade shows us a young person from the front. 

Behind her, you see a line of people holding hands. You'll likely remember photos from Standing Rock that show Native people holding hands to ward off law enforcement. 

The last two pages of the book are a double-page spread of Indigenous people. Some of you went to the marches held across the country. Elders and children were there. You will remember that some of us were in traditional clothes, and some of us were holding signs. Carole and I were together for the march in Washington DC on March 20, 2017. It looked a lot like this:

Because We Are Water Protectors won the Caldecott Medal, children around the world will read about Water Protectors, for generations to come. Kúdaa, Carole and Michaela, for giving this book to all of us. 

Water is Life

Mini Wiconi


All Nations

Protect the Sacred

Stand with Standing Rock


Articles in news media:

School Library Journal: A Grateful Michaela Goade Makes Caldecott History 

Indian Country Today: The First Indigenous Caldecott Medal winner

1 comment:

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

"Because We Are Water Protectors won the Caldecott Medal, children around the world will read about Water Protectors, for generations to come."

This is everything.