Indigenous Stories are for Everyone: The Importance of Picture Books for Indigenous Resurgence

Indigenous Stories are for Everyone: The Importance of Picture Books for Indigenous Resurgence

Thursday, July 6th, 2:00-3:00pm CDT

Don’t miss this opportunity to join an all-star panel of Indigenous/Native American authors and illustrators as they discuss the power of bringing their culture into the hands and minds of young children through picture books. Moderated by Michael Hutchinson (Swampy Cree), author of the Mighty Muskrats series, the panel features Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo (Lakota), author and illustrator of The Cottonwood Sings, Andrea Fritz (Coast Salish), author and illustrator of the Coast Salish Tales series, and Peggy Janicki (Dakelh), author of The Secret Pocket. These educators and storytellers will touch on topics like the use of Indigenous language in English books for young readers, the importance of visual art in connection with storytelling, and how they understand their role and responsibility as an Indigenous voice creating fiction and nonfiction for diverse groups of children. Bring your questions and join the conversation!

Watch the Recording


Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo

Author & Illustrator

Alfreda Beartrack-Algeo is a storyteller, poet, and artist. She is a member of the Lower Brule Lakota Nation, Kul Wicasa Oyate, Lower Brule, South Dakota, where she grew up surrounded by her tiyóspaye, her circle of family and friends. Alfreda uses various art forms to tell her stories. Currently, she lives in beautiful Palisade, Colorado.

Andrea Fritz

Author & Illustrator

Andrea Fritz is a Coast Salish artist and storyteller from the Lyackson First Nation of the Hul’qumi’num-speaking Peoples on the West Coast of Canada. Andrea strives to express her people’s history and all our futures using her art and stories. She focuses on animals and scenes of the West Coast of Canada and our intricate relationships with them.

Peggy Janicki

Author & Teacher

Peggy Janicki is a Dakelh teacher and scholar with a master’s in education (Indigenous Knowledges and Indigenous Pedagogies). Since 2001 she has been a classroom teacher, district helping teacher, Indigenous mentor teacher, and adjunct professor, and has taught in the K-12 and post-secondary system.

Michael Hutchinson


Michael Hutchinson is Swampy Cree from the Treaty 5 area and a member of the Misipawistik Cree Nation. He wrote the Mighty Muskrats Mystery series to educate young Canadians, build pride in First Nation and impoverished youth, and create a better Canadian and First Nations relationship.

Kia Heise, Ph.D. – Host

Mackin Learning

Kia Heise holds a doctorate in sociology and taught in Los Angeles and the Twin Cities for several years before joining Mackin Learning. Her approach is informed by thousands of hours learning how to navigate discussions of social inequality with diverse groups of young people. She is also the author of the Little Sock picture books.