Prologue: A baby is found on an island where a disease called smallpox had killed all the people. A man decides to tell his wife, Tallow, about the baby.
Summer: Omakaya's family includes grandmother Nokomis, Mama, sister Angeline, brothers Pinch and baby Neewo, and their father Deydey. Omakaya communicates with the bears and makes friends a crow, Andeg.
Fall:The family prepares for winter and moves from the birchbark house to a cabin. Omakayas prays for protection from disease and hunger.