In The Barren GroundsMorgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.

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Robertson David A. The Barren Grounds BookCover

Published By

Illustrated By

Natasha Donovan

About the Writer/s

  • David Robertson

    David A. Robertson is an award-winning author and a member of Norway House Cree Nation. He is also the creator, writer, and host of the CBC podcast Kīwew. He lives in Winnipeg.