Tani’s Search for the Heart
Tani’s Search for the Heart is a children’s book authored by Keith Egawa, and illustrated by Keith and Chenoa Egawa; a brother and sister team of Lummi and S’klallam Indian ancestry. It is the story of Tani, a young Coast Salish girl, exploring the mystery of one’s purpose and place in the world. Following the death of her grandmother, Tani embarks on a journey through the forests of the Pacific Northwest, abiding by her grandmother’s instructions to find “the heart of all things.” As Tani finds her way into a world of Coast Salish legend, tradition and self-discovery, she is helped along the way by animals such as Bear, Otter and Salamander, the magical Stick Indian, and the spirit of her departed grandmother. As she overcomes challenges of the landscape and her own self-doubt, Tani begins to realize the special gifts within her, awakening traditional knowledge carried by her people through the generations. Readers experience the first peoples, creatures and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, they explore qualities of character such as self-confidence, respect for nature, and courage in the face of uncertainty. Tani’s quest reminds us of the ever-increasing need to preserve our environment, fostering a mutual respect for that which sustains us all.
About The Author:
Keith and Chenoa Egawa are a brother and sister of Lummi and S’Klallam Indian ancestry. Keith is a published novelist (Madchild Running; Red Crane Books, Inc.) with background in the fields of education reform and social work. His extensive work with families has provided him with both inspiration and insight into his subject matter. In addition to literary readings for adult audiences, Keith has conducted writing workshops for Native youth throughout the U.S.
Chenoa has worked as a professional illustrator, international indigenous human rights advocate, actor, and is a traditional ceremonial leader and singer. She was a fellowship recipient from the Institute of Current World Affairs, and traveled throughout Central and South America facilitating communication among indigenous peoples to protect and preserve traditions, languages and homelands. Chenoa has also worked in the public school system to create programs that teach Native American culture and history, empowering Native youth and improving racial equity.
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