Kú7pece (Porcupine) always struggled with his emotions. He pushed his relations away. Kú7pece did not like this part of himself and thought to explore his identity and learn more about himself and others. He knew that learning ultimately supported the well-being of the self, his family, his community, and the land.
To connect with his relations and his friends, Kú7pece decides to build a gathering place: a c7ístkten̓ (winter home). This is a place he is hoping his relations can gather and learn about each other through sharing stories. However, Kú7pece traps the sun and soon gets distracted by the sun’s heat and light. So much so, he forgets who he is and his purpose. Soon he is trapped too and can not see that he is neglecting his responsibilities.
It takes the sacrifice of his relations and friends to help him realize he was trapped in his own reality. Once he realizes the lesson of the sacrifice of his friends—that they were trying to help him reconnect to his own place and purpose—he turns away from the sun. It takes all his courage to break away from the sun’s heat and light. Slowly, he remembers his identity, purpose, and responsibilities. In the end, Kú7pece finds himself again and reconnects with his relations to gather and tell stories. Together they are learning and supporting one another through their journey of life.
This is a contemporary story about Kú7pece (Porcupine), who always struggled with his emotions. Through his struggles he pushes his relations away. Kú7pece did not like this part of himself and thought to explore his identity and learn more about himself and others. He knew that learning ultimately supported the well-being of the self, his family, his community, and the land. Kú7pece learns some hard lessons that support him in being healthier and more mindful of others, but most important, himself.
This story connects to the BC First Peoples principles of learning and provides opportunity for those reading to reflect, explore, connect and learn on a personal interpretative level.
Themes / Subjects: Emotions; Relations; Identity; Self Exploration; Porcupines; Self-Realization; Indigenous Canadian; Community; Family.
This story works well with others by Mike Bowden and Kelsey Jules, including Four Winds, Bear and Coyote, and Chief Goose.
Recommended for grades 3 to 7.
24 Pages | Colour illustrations | 22 x 28 cm | Paperback
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