Buffalo in garden wins South Slave storybook contest

A Fort Smith student’s story inspired by a neighbour’s buffalo encounter will be turned into a published work by the South Slave Divisional Education Council.

The council chose a work by Canan Olvera, a student at Paul W Kaeser High School, to win its fourth annual children’s storybook contest. The book will be printed in English, Chipewyan, Dene Yatıé, and Cree.

Olvera’s book is entitled: What Would You Do With A Buffalo In Your Garden?


In a news release, the school board said Olvera’s story follows a character named Kokum Nan dealing with that precise quandary.

Kokum Nan “considers several methods for removing the buffalo before it can trample her herbs and vegetables,” the news release stated, adding Olvera wrote the book after hearing of something similar happening to a Fort Smith resident.

As well as a print edition, the book will be available as an ebook on the school board’s First Nations Storybook app, which can be downloaded for free on Android or Apple phones.

Dorie Hanson, the school board’s division principal, said the book’s “uniquely northern predicament makes for fun reading that our younger students will enjoy for years to come.”