SD Nelson: artist and storyteller

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Kasten, Penny
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SD Nelson has written and illustrated numerous award-winning children’s books, most of which focus on his rich Lakota culture. Nelson has a passion for sharing his Indigenous culture and providing his readers with historically accurate information, while at the same time telling enchanting stories through his words and artwork. This thesis is a narrative biography (Kridel, 2021) designed to intentionally honour the ways in which SD Nelson chose to tell his own stories and make sense of his experiences as an Indigenous author and artist. Data was generated through emails and over sixteen hours of telephone and in-person conversations. This biographical thesis contributes to both educators’ and children’s literature scholars’ understandings of SD Nelson’s work by obtaining a first-hand account of the processes and drive behind his storytelling and art making. In-depth research into the life and work of S.D. Nelson also contributes to possibilities for educators to engage in more nuanced and contextualized teaching of his books, which focus mainly on Indigenous characters and stories. Biographical research allows SD’s personal recollection of the experiences he has lived, so that he can offer his understandings of Lakota culture and his insights into his journey as an artist and storyteller.
Narrative Biography, Lakota, Author, Artist, Storyteller, Indigenous