YK student publishes first book about exploring Bushkids

Last modified: February 6, 2022 at 2:19pm

An avid young reader will get to see his own book on the shelf when he visits Yellowknife’s library.

École St Joseph School student Sebastian Bernabe recently published his first book, which he also illustrated, titled The Alaskan Boy Who Explored Bushkids. 

“I wrote my book because I like reading books and I like drawing,” the seven year old said. 


“The reason why I wanted to publish a book is because I want kids to make more books and to inspire them.” 

Bernabe, who was born in Alaska and moved to Yellowknife when he was four years old, wrote the book about the time he has spent at Bushkids. 

He said his favourite part about the on-the-land learning program in Yellowknife is playing outside. 

“In Bushkids we eat different types of meat like bear meat and moose meat and bison and rabbit,” Bernabe said, adding they also learn Indigenous words. 

Oyuka Bernabe said the program helped her son adjust to the move from Alaska, where he grew up surrounded by mountains and trees.


“In 2019 we were renting an apartment, it was so hard for him,” she said. “Bushkids supported him a lot.” 

Oyuka said she’s proud of Bernabe for publishing his book. She said he often writes stories and makes comics, and has long been a voracious reader.

“He always reads a lot,” she said. “Now I even couldn’t stop him, because he reads in the middle of the night, every room he has a book.”

Oyuka said her family regularly goes to the library to take out new books. When it was closed due to Covid-19, she said they got books from free libraries around the city, and the NWT Literacy Council. 


Oyuka said École St Joseph School has printed 50 of her son’s books to share with students. You can also find The Alaskan Boy Who Explored Bushkids at the Yellowknife Public Library.

Correction: February 6, 2022 – 14:17. This article initially gave the name of the family involved as Bernarbe. The name is in fact spelled Bernabe and has been corrected.