“This call to protect one of Earth’s most precious resources is a work of art.”
Championing the importance of protecting water from pollution, We Are Water Protectors speaks from the perspective of a young Native American girl teaching readers what she has learned about the importance of water from her people and her culture—that it is medicine; it is alive; it has a memory; it gives life to plants, animals, and humans alike. Inspired by Standing Rock, the antagonist in the book is “the black snake” or oil pipeline. The author and illustrator notes at the back of the book are lengthy, but give additional context and engender additional appreciation for the work and its cause. The message that mankind is stewards of the Earth and responsible for those who cannot speak for themselves is told through lovely poetic text with beautiful connections to water throughout (e.g. “tears like waterfalls”), but where this book truly shines is its exquisite watercolor illustrations, with repeated use of water elements in the subject matter as well as the media. What could have become a run of the mill book with an agenda to be hammered home becomes a work of art under the hands of Goade, with tableaus that absolutely enchant—the little girl’s hair cascades from her head in swirls of streams, lily pads, fish and otters is particularly poignant and mesmerizing.
This book is all about protecting water. What are some ways you personally can help protect water and respect it? Read the author's note at the back of the book to learn more about some specifics related to her experience with water and her people's protection of it.
The little girl and her people feel passionately about protecting the water. What is a cause that you feel passionately about? How can you contribute to your own cause?
Michaela Goade is an artist and graphic designer living and working in Juneau, Alaska, where she was also raised. Her childhood was spent in the forests and on the beaches of Southeast Alaska and her artistic style is rooted in the depth and beauty of its landscapes. Forever inspired by the coastal wilds of Southeast Alaska, she works to capture its magic and honor its vibrant cultures. Michaela is from the Raven moiety and Kiks.ádi Clan from Sitka, Alaska.