Young authors speak at Morrisburg Public

Lauren Thomas and Ariana Roundpoint

MORRISBURG – Two Cornwall-area young authors talked to Grade 4, 5 and 6 students at Morrisburg Public School March 29th. The authors, Ariana Roundpoint and Lauren Thomas are Grade 12 students from Cornwall Collegiate.

They spoke to students about the books they authored, and the themes in them. Roundpoint is one of three authors who co-wrote the children’s book Sila and the Land, along with Shelby Angalik and Lindsay DuPre.

The book is about Sila, who goes on a journey learning from the land and from the animals and plants.

“I took my perspective from a personal level,” said Roundpoint. “To my roots and teachings in my community.”

Roundpoint is a member of the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne and lives on Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island).

The story takes Sila through the four directions on a compass, east, south, west and north. In each, Sila learns from plants and animals, lessons of respecting the environment, and perseverance when facing issues.

“My favourite part is the caribou, talking about taking only what you need,” said Grade 6 student Billy Donaldson.

“I liked the story of the Ptarmigan and how it could see ahead,” said Grade 5 student Zack Puffer.

Sila and the Land was created as part of Climate Action 150, and had financial support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation.

Thomas’ book, The Extraordinary Life of Edith Monture, tells the story of Edith Monture, a indigenous woman from the Brantford-area who was the first female high school graduate from her reservation. She was a trailblazer who graduated nursing school.

During World War One she served in combat hospitals in Europe, one of only two First Nations nurses to serve in that war. After the war, she worked in her community for nearly 50 years as a nurse helping others. She also was the first indigenous woman allowed to vote in Canada.

“I think it is important to highlight Edith’s story, because it is one of many unknown stories,” said Thomas.

Thomas wrote and illustrated the story for a class project, and was encouraged to self-publish it online.

Sila and the Land is available in print or for e-readers on Amazon.ca at https://tinyurl.com/silaandtheland The Extraordinary Life of Edith Monture is available to download at Thomas’ website: https://tinyurl.com/edithmonture