The Caribou Feed Our Soul
by Pete Enzoe and Mindy Willet
Fifth House Publishers, 2010
$16.95, 32 pp, glossary, map, labels, captions, fact boxes, ages 7 – 10
The Caribou Feed Our Soul is the sixth book in The Land is Our Storybook series. The author, Pete Enzoe, is Denesoline (Chipewyan) from a small village in the Northwest Territories. In this book Pete describes some of the history and the many connections between the Dene and the caribou. “Our stories tell us that we Denesoline are descendants of the caribou. We call caribou ?etthen in our language, and we also use the word ?etthen for stars. We believe caribou come from the stars. My grandfather told me they come down from the stars on the northern lights, so I know that when I see the northern lights there will be caribou in the area. This makes me happy because caribou are our main food source.” Caribou are everything to the Dene people. Traditionally they provided food, shelter, clothing and tools to these people of the North. Pete accepts that one of his roles in life it to be a protector of the caribou. He shares his knowledge with others and works to keep the caribou and their natural habitat healthy.
Do you know what kind of caribou is on the Canadian quarter? The answer to this question as well as a wealth of other interesting facts can be found in The Caribou Feed Our Soul. Also included in the book is a map, a glossary of some Dene words, captions that explain the important details in the many photographs and a labelled diagram of a caribou.
Classroom Connections: This book provides teachers and students with information about the history of the Dene and their special relationship with the caribou. It supports many areas of the Social Studies and Science curriculum and would be a good resource for research and fact-finding projects.
Review by Brenda Boreham.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May/June 2012 issue.