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My Powerful Hair

Jan 25, 2024

“Our ancestors say: Our hair carries energies and power. It is a celebration of our lives. Our hair is our medicine.”

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, award winning and best-selling author Carole Lindstrom, draws from her own experience to share the significance of hair in Indigenous cultures.

The story shares the journey of a young girl who grows her hair and learns from her elders that the powerful memories and events of her life are woven into her hair.

The young girl learns how tragically her grandmother’s hair was taken from her in Residential school.

“Our ancestors say: Our hair is our memories. Our source of strength. An extension of us.”

As the girl builds memories through experiences and family connections, we understand how in Indigenous cultures hair is a physical manifestation of the spirit.

“Our ancestors say: We grow our hair long to be close to Mother Earth.”

When the girls’ Nimishoomis (grandfather in Ojibwe) dies, she cuts her hair to send it into the spirit world with him so he can have her energies.

In the author’s note at the end of the book, we learn how she reclaimed her identity and power by growing her hair.

In sharing this powerful story, Carole Lindstrom helps us to understand how hair is an extension of Native Peoples and how it holds dreams, memories, trials, triumphs, courage, and strength.

The vibrant colours and illustrations, simple text, and engaging story, honours the sacred connection that Indigenous People have to the Earth and their hair.

I felt deeply touched by this story and believe all ages would benefit from reading it.

This book will help to initiate difficult conversations, with the children in your life, about the history of colonization and genocide of Indigenous Peoples in North America.

Helps with: Understanding Indigenous culture and the significance of hair, Residential schools and healing generational trauma, grief, empathy, resilience, self-acceptance, family relationships, community, and respect for Indigenous culture.

Author: Carole Lindstrom
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2023