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Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

By Chief Jake Swamp

Illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr.


For as long as anyone can remember, Mohawk parents have taught their children to start each day by giving thanks to Mother Earth. Also known as the Thanksgiving Address, this good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift. The whole universe — from the highest stars to the tiniest blade of grass — is addressed as one great family.

Now readers of all ages can share in this tribute to the environment, adapted especially for children by Chief Jake Swamp, whose efforts to share this vision of thanksgiving take him all over the world. Chief Swamp's inspirational message, along with Erwin Printup, Jr.'s unforgettable landscapes, make Giving Thanks a timeless celebration of the spirit of nature.

Teacher's Guide

Activity: Make a Thanksgiving Book

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

"Editor's Choice"
San Francisco Chronicle

50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know 2001
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)

Children's Books of the Year
Bank Street College

Reading Rainbow Feature Title

More awards...
Interest Level
Grades K - 6
Reading Level
Grades 3 - 4
Environment/Nature, Family Traditions, Native American Interest
Accelerated Reader
Level: 3.3
Points: .5
About the Creators

Chief Jake Swamp (Tekaronianeken) was a founder of the Tree of Peace Society, an international organization promoting peace and conservation. Chief Swamp delivered the Thanksgiving Address throughout the world, as well as at the United Nations. He was born on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation in upstate New York, and lived in Hogansburg, NY where he worked as a cultural adviser for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne's Child and Family Services. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message is his first picture book. He passed away in October 2010.

Erwin Printup, Jr. is a Cayuga/Tuscarora painter who received a degree in fine arts from the Institute of American Indian Art, in Santa Fe, NM. Born in Niagara Falls, he now lives in Lewiston, NY. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message is his first picture book.

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