Naaahsa Aisinaki! / Naaahsa is an Artist!-ebook

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A powerful story of a young girl who celebrates her grandmother’s art and the connection between them, in dual language Blackfoot and English!

Naaahsa says art is a language everyone understands. Sometimes we make art together. We draw, we bead, we sing. Sometimes Naaahsa tells stories in Blackfoot. I even get to go with her to see her art show at the National Gallery. Naaahsa is famous for her art, but I love her hugs best!

Naaahsa is an Artist! is a celebration of art, artists, and Indigenous women artists in particular. Each page comes to life with bold patterns, shapes, and Naaahsa's encouraging words that may inspire young readers to want to make art themselves.

This dual language edition contains the story in both Blackfoot: Kainai Nation and English.

Praise & Recognition

“The vibrant digital illustrations are filled with bold patterns and shapes, and the use of texture creates the illusion of collage art…. Understated yet heartfelt, this is a lovely addition to art and dual-language Indigenous picture-book collections.”


"Readers learn that, together, the collaborating duo express their imagination through drawing, beading, singing, and storytelling. Furthermore, readers see them engaged in music-making via the first of Heavy Shield’s expressionistic visual images that make use of neutral and cool colours which capture the tenderness of the strong emotional and arts-based connection between the two.... Naaahsa Is An Artist! is truly a gem of a picture book.... Highly Recommended."

Canadian Review of Materials

Globe 100: Best Book of 2023

Globe & Mail's Top Ten Children's Book of 2023

Galleries West Best Art Books of 2023


Publication Date: October 3, 2023

Reading Age: 6 - 8

Genre: Picture Book, Children's Fiction

Product Format: E-book – EPUB

Pages: 24

ISBN: 978-1-77260-355-2

Weight: 0

About the Author

Hali Heavy Shield

Hali Heavy Shield is a multidisciplinary artist and a member of the Blood Tribe of Southern Alberta. Her first book for children was inspired by the many adventures she’s had with her mom, Faye, who is also an artist. Hali’s work is influenced by experiences in her home community, including Blackfoot stories, significant sites, family, and women as sources of strength and goodness. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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About the Translator

Norma Jean Russell

Norma Jean Russell is a graduate of the Native American Studies program at University of Lethbridge, and is a native speaker of Blackfoot.

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About the Translator

Faye Heavy Shield

Faye Heavy Shield has been one of Canada’s preeminent artists within Alberta and the Blackfoot Confederacy for the past 30 years. Currently living on the Blood Reserve in southwestern Alberta, Faye studied at Alberta University for the Arts in Calgary.

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