“Kindness Is…” will be the first book of its kind to be translated into all nine official Indigenous languages of the Northwest Territories.
In partnership with the Northwest Territories SPCA (NWT SPCA), the Canadian company Green Bamboo Publishing is releasing nine translated versions of the children’s book Kindness Is… The plan is to launch the first two books in Inuktitut and Tłı̨chǫ translation on June 21, 2020 in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, with the next seven translations to follow within the next year.
This is potentially the first time in Canadian history that a book of this nature will be available in the nine official Indigenous languages of the NWT. The English version of Kindness Is… launched in 2017 and was a donation to the NWT SPCA from volunteers Simone Tielesh (the author) and her husband Aidan Cartwright (the illustrator). They combined a love of animals, their creative minds, and a desire to help animals and people through education by providing a fundraising product for the NWT SPCA. Kindness Is… has become a beloved book in the NWT and can now be enjoyed by Indigenous children NWT-wide in their traditional languages.
A Story of Kindness
Kindness Is… teaches children and adults alike the importance of compassion, kindness, and empathy through a series of common but important examples of responsible pet ownership. Green Bamboo Publishing founder, Jasmine Cabanaw, believes that all children should have the joy of reading stories in their traditional languages and was eager to help when she learned about the project.
Dana Martin of the NWT SPCA explains that the purpose of translating Kindness Is… “is important to help teach kindness, compassion, and empathy to children and adults in Indigenous languages of the NWT. Our northern animals and our northern peoples are important to the NWT SPCA. It brings great joy to help kids learn about kindness while also helping to strengthen and preserve the traditional languages. Kindness Is… becomes a bridge that joins together the different peoples of the North, giving rise to a stronger community with common goals.”
Kindness Is… is best suited for ages 0-5 and is written in a cheerful style that is relatable and fun. The illustrations are bright and colourful, using high contrast imagery, and have a unique feature — the fur for each illustrated dog is from a photograph of a real dog from the NWT SPCA. Children can view the gallery of doggy models at the beginning of the book.
Get Involved! Activities Planned for the Launch
National Indigenous Peoples Day is a time for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Launching the Inuktitut and Tłı̨chǫ versions of Kindness Is… on this day is a way to celebrate Indigenous youth. The book launch will also encourage children of all backgrounds to honor Indigenous cultures and participate in kind and responsible pet ownership.
Storytelling has long played an important role in Indigenous cultures and will be the main activity for the book launch. There will be virtual readings that parents and children all across Canada can access on June 21. There will also be a coloring contest and books available to purchase online. More activities for the launch will be announced on the Green Bamboo Publishing Facebook page leading up to the event.
Of the two currently translated books one is an Inuit language (Inuktitut) and one is a Dene language (Tłı̨chǫ). The remaining seven will be released over the course of the next year. Included in every book is the English version of the original poem, information about the Indigenous language, and a map of the Official Languages of the NWT.
Kindness Is… books retail at $10 CDN on the Green Bamboo Publishing website and will be available for purchase online at sites such as Amazon, Indigo, and Walmart.
ABOUT THE NWT SPCA
NWT SPCA is a grassroots animal welfare organization dedicated to improving life for Northern companion animals and the people who love them. In addition to providing life saving animal health programs in partnership with community governments across the NWT and Nunavut, NWT SPCA operates the largest animal shelter in the NWT. Working collaboratively with community members to provide options for unwanted animals, support for animal control initiatives, education for pet owners of all ages and a safe haven for companion animals in between homes.
ABOUT GREEN BAMBOO PUBLISHING
Green Bamboo Publishing is a philanthropic social enterprise that publishes quality children’s books about animal rescues and animal tales. The stories Green Bamboo publishes are light and fun, but touch on the important subjects of friendship, sharing, overcoming challenges, and loving one another despite our differences. Proceeds from book sales are donated to animal rescue organizations and children’s charities.