tea and baby love

About six months ago, a book came out that is near and dear to our hearts. It was one of the first collaborations with esteemed Tlicho author Richard Van Camp for his newest baby book May We Have Enough to Share (Orca Books, 2019). We were approached as a collective by Orca Books to see if we would be interested in providing the images for Van Camp’s newest baby book, and we were delighted to participate. Foe each of us, having this book out in the world means something special, and we are so happy to share this book with our communities.

All in all, images for the baby book were provided by Tenille Campbell, Shayla Snowshoe, Amanda Laliberte and Claudine Bull, and the beadwork within was created by Caroline Nichol, also of tea&bannock.

I have so happy and grateful to have been a part of May We Have Enough to Share and have shared many copies with my loved ones. To be a part of such a beautiful book with so many talented people contributing is something that we will forever treasure. Something that I have always struggled with growing up being a voracious reader is lack of representation and an inability to truly relate to the characters I read.

That my daughter can look in a book and see herself, her relations (near and far) and her beautiful culture is invaluable to us.

Richard Van Camp’s words, as always, are full of beauty and the gentle cadence reminds me that we do indeed have enough to share.

– claudine bull

It meant a lot to me to be apart of May We Have Enough to Share because it represents the connectedness of community and the deep, sacred, loving bond of an Indigenous mother.

The book was released at a special time in my life, as I was navigating my own journey into motherhood, alongside my sister. We have two daughters born one year and two days apart. And this is one of their favorite books to spend quality time reading with their mommas.

– shayla snowshoe

To be part of this collaboration featuring indigenous photographers, artists and voices means so much. I wish there had been more books representing our voices and stories through our lenses growing up. Thank you again for including our images and sharing them with the community.

So grateful to own such an heirloom on my shelf for future generations to connect with.

– caroline blechert

My eldest son is now 11 years old. When I reflect on the toddler days, I remember that life was good then. I miss those days of snuggling next to him while reading him all those storybooks. Back then I remember making an effort to seek out all the books that I could find that were written or illustrated by Indigenous authors. The most special ones that I added to our collection were written in Cree or Michif. I especially sought out stories about Saskatchewan. I did my best to avoid children’s books where non-Indigenous authors were writing about Indigenous cultures. To be honest, some of those books did end up on our shelves and I saw it as an opportunity to teach my boys about appropriation and how to be respectful to each other.

Now it is a decade later. One day, back before the quarantine hit, I found a copy of May We Have Enough to Share by Richard Van Camp, while I was out looking for something for my one year old niece.

I loved that photos in the book were taken by my friends and I.

To be part of this story and be able to share photos of two growing Bak’wam babies was such an honour. I looked around on the shelves and saw that there is now a huge selection of books by Indigenous authors and illustrators. Our voices are finally being heard. It fills my heart seeing these books being enjoyed by all our children.

– amanda laliberte

When my daughter was a baby, I used to scour the bookshelves looking for books that would represent her – images I could show her, read to her, that would show babies that looked like her and her kin. It was always a struggle. I’m grateful to be a small part of the joy that happens when our relations will pick up this book and see themselves within.

Our images matter, our stories matter, our joy matters.

– tenille k campbell

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