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Celebrating a Diverse World Through Children's Books

As Long as the Rivers Flow
By (author): Larry Loyie By (author): Constance Brissenden Illustrated by: Heather D. Holmlund
Larry Loyie , Constance Brissenden ,

Illustrated by :

Heather D. Holmlund


Groundwood Books - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Juvenile: Age (years) 8, Grade (US) 3
Sep 04, 2005
$12.99 CAD


10in x 7.25 x 1.28 in | 0.32 lb

Page Count:

48 pages
Groundwood Books Ltd
Groundwood Books
JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island / General
Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction 2003, Winner First Nation Communities READ 2006, Winner Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice 2004, Commended Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2004, Commended
  • Short Description
The story of Larry Loyie's last summer before entering residential school.

Winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction

From the mid-1800s to the late 1990s, the education of Indigenous children was taken on by various churches in government-sponsored residential schools. More than 150,000 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 traditional summer before entering residential school. It is a time of adventure and learning from his Elders. He cares for an abandoned baby owl, watches his kokom (grandmother) make winter moccasins, and helps his family prepare for summer camp, where he will pick berries, fish and swim. While searching for medicine plants in the bush with Kokom, he encounters a giant grizzly bear. Gently but truthfully written, the book captivates its readers and reveals a hidden history.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

LARRY LOYIE (1933-2016) was a residential school survivor and an author of best-selling books on Indigenous history and traditions. As Long as the Rivers Flow is his moving contribution to understanding the traditional Cree childhood he loved and its loss when he was taken away to residential school. Larry Loyie regained his culture, and in his later years accomplished his goal of becoming an award-winning author and educator.

CONSTANCE BRISSENDEN, longtime partner of Larry Loyie and co-author of As Long as the Rivers Flow, is a freelance writer and editor. She has assisted in the creation of more than forty-eight books as author, co-author or editor, and continues to write from her home base in Edmonton, Alberta.

HEATHER D. HOLMUND graduated with honors from the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at York University where her main concentrations were painting and metal sculpture. Since completing her degree, Heather’s artistic practice has led her to explore the exchange between the Canadian environment and the act of representation through art forms. Heather works between her studios in Pickering, Ontario, and Rainy Lake, Ontario. Her work is found in private and corporate collections, and is exhibited throughout Canada.

A haunting combination of art, story and document. - Toronto Star

Holmlund's realistic and detailed watercolors expertly illuminate events throughout the story, in vignettes, plates, and a few full-page pictures. - School Library Journal

Loyie's quite words and Holmlund's authentic watercolor art capture the happy wilderness home... - Booklist

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