Northwest Coast Native Americans: Literature Connection: Shi-shi-etko

Updated: 10/30/2020
Northwest Coast Native Americans: Literature Connection: Shi-shi-etko
You can find this storyboard in the following articles and resources:
Northwest Coast Indigenous Peoples

First Nations of the Northwest Coast

Teacher Guide by Liane Hicks

The First Nations of the Northwest Coast of North America began their permanent settlements about 5,000 years ago where the mild climate, along with the ocean and forests’ abundance of resources, provided an excellent home. They are expert fishermen, artists, wood carvers, and maintain a close-knit society that lives in harmony with the earth. Their rich history and culture continues today.

Indigenous Peoples of the Northwest Coast

Storyboard Description

Shi-shi-etko by Nicola I. Campbell is about a Native American girl from the Pacific Northwest forced to go to a residential school in the 1900s. This book beautifully illustrates her lst few days with her family as she tries to soak up all the love and memories before leaving for school.

Storyboard Text

  • Shi-shi-etko by Nicola I. Campbell
  • "My girl, we will not see each other until the wild roses bloom in the spring and the salmon have returned to our river. I want you to remember the ways of our people. I want you to remember our songs and our dances, our laughter and our joy, and I want you to remember our land."
  • "My girl, these are the things you must always remember"
  • "This, my girl, is a bag for you to keep all your memories. No matter where you go, no matter what you do, remember to keep them safe."
  • "I will remember everything."
  • END
  • Shi-shi-etko is a girl from the Northwest Coast. Her name means, "Loves to play in water". She only has 4 more sleeps until she has to leave her family and go to a residential school. Each day she soaks up all the beauty in the land and in her family trying to hold on to every memory.
  • Shi-Shi-etko's mother plays with her in the water and sings songs while they admire all the beauty around them. At home they cook salmon and eat with their large extended family, including her beloved grandmother Yayah.
  • Shi-shi-etko's father takes her on a canoe ride where they take in all the beautiful animals, trees, mountains, beaches, and valleys. They sing songs passed down from generations. At night, Shi-shi etko packs her things for the residential school.
  • On her last day, Shi-shi-etko's grandmother gives her a special, small, deer-hide bag in which to keep all her treasures and memories. Shi-shi-etko and her grandmother explore the forest and valley collecting plants, rocks, and flowers.
  • On the day Shi-shi-etko is forced to leave her family, she hides her bag of memories promising herself that she will try to remember where she comes from.