New N.W.T. children’s book explores the question ‘Where did I come from?’

'You Come from the Stars' by Tanya Snow is inspired by a real mother-to-son conversation.

(Courtesy of Tanya Snow and Ian Down/CKLB photo)

When Tanya Snow’s son Kaize was young, he asked her a profound question: “Where did I come from?”

“On the spot, I didn’t know how to respond,” she says. “But I also know at that young age, kids are quite impressionable. So what you share with them, they’re going to carry into their youth, teenage years and adulthood. So I wanted to focus on what it means to develop healthy relationships between mothers and fathers before they have children so that I could solidify this idea that creating a family is intentional.”

Snow’s answer to her son’s question sparked the idea for a book. With some help from N.W.T. author Richard van Camp, the idea came to life.

In the book, a young boy asks his mother where he came from, just as Snow’s son asked her. In response, the mother weaves a tale that begins in the heavens and ends with a grateful mother and father receiving a baby boy.

The book is called “You Come From the Stars.” It would be on bookshelves if book sellers could keep it in stock. “Everyone has been so kind and very loving about it,” says Snow. “I’m surprised how excited everyone is partially because I didn’t tell a lot of people that I was working on this.”

The story also draws on traditional Inuit naming practices in recognition of Snow’s heritage: The mother tells her son he was named after her late aunt. “Through your name, my auntie came back to me my family again!” she says.

Growing up in foster care, and coming from a family of Residential School survivors, Snow says she didn’t have many good models for what a healthy family looked like. “I was not exposed to healthy relationships, healthy family dynamics, and even being comfortable having conversations about reproductive health and family building. And I want for that to be a very normal conversation for the newer generation because I think family planning should be an intentional act.”

With this book, she wants to pass on to both her son and to all of her young readers a model of what a healthy family looks like. “When you think of a baby who’s recently been born, all they want is love, comfort, food and safety,” she says. “So at the base, who we are as people, I believe, comes from love. And we lose sparks of that along the way as we get older. And I wanted for my son to have a strong awareness that at the base, we’re good people, we’re healthy people, and we are naturally caring and loving.”

The book is available through the Yellowknife Book Cellar, and will be available through Amazon in April 2024.

About the Author

Ian Down
Ian Down is a general news reporter from the West Island of Montreal. After studying journalism and computer science at Concordia University, he came to Yellowknife in 2021, joining the CKLB team in September 2022. When not behind his desk, you can find him at a local Yellowknife poetry reading, or annoying his roommates by playing his clarinet at odd hours. Feel free to reach out with any tips or story ideas at, or follow him on Twitter at @IanDown1996.