Indigenous Literature

Here you will find a number of links to information about using Indigenous texts in the classroom. If there is a book and/or resource you would like to share please contact Omarla Cooke @ [email protected]  

Book Profile:

A new book will be profiled every 2 weeks. To get a copy of archived book profiles contact Laura Tapson

Tittle: Fatty Legs

Authors: Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Illustrated by Liz Amini-Homes

Recommended for Division 2 and up

Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools.

At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls — all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school.

In the face of such cruelty, Margaret refuses to be intimidated and bravely gets rid of the stockings. Although a sympathetic nun stands up for Margaret, in the end it is this brave young girl who gives the Raven a lesson in the power of human dignity.

Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s collection and striking artworks from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl’s determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers. ~ Annick Press

Lesson plans and Resources for Fatty Legs

  • Fatty Legs Webinar Series & Resources
    • From Empowering the Spirit: This two part webinar series is about the book Fatty Legs, which includes meeting the author of the book and her mother-in-law (whom the book is about) and a teacher who has used the book with her grade seven classroom. You will learn about the origin of the book and how it can be used to support student learning about the topic of residential schools.
  • Annick Press
    • ​Lesson plans, Book Talk,  and listen to the Author 
  • Learn Alberta - grade 6 sample lesson plan
    • Lesson plan leads students to discuss the role of resiliency as an aspect of our individual identity and collective identity. Students will consider the importance of how resiliency was essential to endure a harsh life in a residential school
  • Empowering the Spirit - Page 217 - 219 of document
    • Many ideas on how to use in the classroom, how it connects to First Nations, Metis and Inuit Foundation Knowledge and curriculum connections