Interior Salish

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Deaf Heaven
Format: Paperback
Poetry that takes us inside present-day First Nations reality to reveal the wounds of history and the possible healing to come.

As the title suggests, this new collection of poetry from Garry Gottfriedson of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation deals with the ways in which the world is deaf to the problems First Nations people face in Canada today.

Follow Garry Gottfriedson in this new collection of combative poems as he compels us and Heaven to listen to the challenges facing First Nation communities today. Employing many of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) images and stories, Gottfriedson takes us inside the rez and into the rooming houses in the city cores, but always drawing new strength from the land and the people who have moved upon it. He speaks of “the smell of grandmothers and grandfathers / breathing the stories into our blood” so as to “wrap our newborn in freshly made Star Quilts.”

Gottfriedson examines such issues as the Truth and Reconciliation movements as well as the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. The poems focus not only on postcolonial issues but also on First Nations internal problems. Although the book speaks of age-old themes, it explores them through fresh modern eyes offering thought-provoking and engaging prespectives. Eloquent and witty, these poems are power-packed with imagery that uncovers the raw politics of race. There is nothing polite about them. While frequently offering a bleak view of present-day First Nation conditions, the poems also provide a sense of optimism: "the hope/that the coldest day in winter/will promise serenity in spring."

Reviews
“Gottfriedson’s poetry is built to endure and it will remain with you long after this book is closed.” – Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting, finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

“Garry Gottfriedson rides double, calling out the violence and corruption he’s seen, while reminding us that grounded strength comes from staying connected to grandmothers, grandfathers, horses, and the land.” – Rita Wong, author of Forage, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

“Gottfriedson writes us the sound of his blood, the splatter of ink on wood, and the dripping sweat and tears of prayer — all of it telling us who we are and chanting, as if in chorus, ‘survival is brilliant.’ Will we be wise or strong enough to listen?” – Shane Rhodes, author of X: Poems & Anti-Poems

Educator Information
This book of poetry would be useful for Indigenous Studies courses or literature courses such as Indigenous Literatures, Canadian Literature, and Creative Writing.

Additional Information
100 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"
Authentic Canadian Content
$15.95

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Harry Robinson: Living by Stories: A Journey of Landscape and Memory
Authors:
Harry Robinson
Editors:
Wendy Wickwire
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Okanagan;
Following on two previous collections— Write It on Your Heart: The Epic World of an Okanagan Storyteller (1989) and Nature Power: In the Spirit of an Okanagan Storyteller (2004)—Living by Stories is the third volume of oral narratives by Okanagan storyteller Harry Robinson. This third collection documents how the arrival of whites forever altered the Salish cultural landscape.

Living by Stories includes a number of classic stories set in the “mythological age” about the trickster/transformer, Coyote, and his efforts to rid the world of bad people— spatla or “monsters,” but this new volume is more important for its presentation of historical narratives set in the more recent past. As with the mythological accounts, there is much chaos and conflict in these stories, mainly due to the arrival of new quasi-monsters—“SHAmas” (Whites)—who dispossess “Indians” of their lands and rights, impose new political and legal systems, and erect roads, rail lines, mines, farms, ranches and towns on the landscape.

With permission from Harry Robinson, Wendy Wickwire began recording Robinson's oral stories in 1977. Robinson took his role as a storyteller very seriously and worried about the survival of the oral tradition and his stories. “I’m going to disappear”, he told one reporter, “and there’ll be no more telling stories.”

Review
Whenever I need to be reminded that language is magic and that stories can change the world, I go to Robinson.
- Thomas King

Additional Information
288 pages | 6.00" x 9.00"

Stories from Harry Robinson
Edited and compiled by Wendy Wickwire
Authentic Canadian Content
$24.95

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Secwepemc People, Land, and Laws: Yeri7 re Stsq'ey's-kucw
Authors:
Marianne Ignace
Ronald E Ignace
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Secwepemc (Shuswap);
Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws is a journey through the 10,000-year history of the Interior Plateau nation in British Columbia. Told through the lens of past and present Indigenous storytellers, this volume detail how a homeland has shaped Secwépemc existence while the Secwépemc have in turn shaped their homeland. Marianne Ignace and Ronald Ignace, with contributions from ethnobotanist Nancy Turner, archaeologist Mike Rousseau, and geographer Ken Favrholdt, compellingly weave together Secwépemc narratives about ancestors’ deeds. They demonstrate how these stories are the manifestation of Indigenous laws (stsq'ey') for social and moral conduct among humans and all sentient beings on the land, and for social and political relations within the nation and with outsiders. Breathing new life into stories about past transformations, the authors place these narratives in dialogue with written historical sources and knowledge from archaeology, ethnography, linguistics, earth science, and ethnobiology. In addition to a wealth of detail about Secwépemc land stewardship, the social and political order, and spiritual concepts and relations embedded in the Indigenous language, the book shows how between the mid-1800s and 1920s the Secwépemc people resisted devastating oppression and the theft of their land, and fought to retain political autonomy while tenaciously maintaining a connection with their homeland, ancestors, and laws. An exemplary work in collaboration, Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws points to the ways in which Indigenous laws and traditions can guide present and future social and political process among the Secwépemc and with settler society.
$39.95

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The Lil'wat World of Charlie Mack
Authors:
Randy Bouchard
Dorothy Kennedy
Format: Paperback

Early in their ethnographic work, Randy Bouchard and Dorothy Kennedy were privileged to meet Charlie Mack. Born on the Mount Currie Reserve in 1899, he was a fascinating character and a font of wisdom, exemplifying by his way of life, his skills in trapping and canoe-making, and his knowledge of the history of his people, the living world of the Lil’wat, which the young ethnologists were able to record on tape and in their notes and photographs. Most important among what Charlie Mack gave them was a wide corpus of stories; he was a master storyteller, holding his listeners spellbound with his animated and dramatic delivery in both Lil’wat and English.

Charlie Mack’s stories were originally recorded in his native language as part of a systematic government-sponsored effort to create public awareness of the threatened indigenous languages of British Columbia and Washington State, and were eventually published as a highly popular translated and edited collection, Lillooet Stories (1977), by the British Columbia Archives.

More time spent with Charlie Mack before his death in 1990 revealed to Kennedy and Bouchard that his worldview embedded a moral code, information about the environment and the self-evident truths of his world not easily comprehended out of context: an interweaving of myth, history and experience invoked in daily conversation and deeply rooted in a sense of place. Now, two decades after Charlie Mack’s passing, the authors present a selection of his English renditions of some of these stories, drawing on their transcribed interviews, correspondence and field notes to re-contextualize the narratives he wanted to share, and guide the reader to a more holistic understanding of this Lil’wat elder’s world.

This book is a tribute to a long friendship; the result of the authors reflecting on a lifetime of listening to a man who had something to say.

Authentic Canadian Content
$24.95

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These Are Our Legends
Authors:
Jan van Eijk
Artists:
Marie Abraham
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Lil'wat;

Like all First Nations languages, Lillooet (Lil'wat) is a repository for an abundantly rich oral literature. In These Are Our Legends, the fifth volume of the First Nations Language Readers series, the reader will discover seven traditional Lillooet sptakwlh (variously translated into English as "legends," "myths," or "bed-time stories.")

These texts are presented in a technical transcription that can be used by linguists, and also in a practical orthography that can be used by Lillooet speakers themselves. An English translation is also given. Basic information on the Lillooet language, its grammar, and a glossary are included in the volume.

With thanks to the Mount Currie Cultural Centre and the Tszil Publishing House.

Series Information
These Are Our Legends is part of the First Nations Language Readers series. With a mix of traditional and new stories, each First Nations Language Reader introduces an Indigenous language and demonstrates how each language is used today. The University of Regina Press’s long-term goal is to publish all 60+ Indigenous languages of Canada.

Additional Information
120 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | Narrated by Lillooet Elders | Transcribed and Translated by Jan van Eijk 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Authors:
Bev Sellars
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Xat'sull; Secwepemc (Shuswap);

Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only-not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family-from substance abuse to suicide attempts-and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. 'Number One' comes at a time of recognition-by governments and society at large-that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Third Place Winner

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit Place-Conscious Learning - Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.67" x 8.20"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Where Rivers, Mountains and People Meet
Format: Paperback
Our Squamish and Lil'wat ancestors and leaders protected and preserved our knowledge systems through practice, rather than the written word. It is by our people's tenacity, grace and collective memory, passed on from generation to generation, that we maintain an intimate connection to our lands and traditions.

This book reflects a small part of the Ancestors teachings that we carry in our hearts and beings. This beautiful collection of photographs and words tells stories of our relationship with the lands and highlight the ancient skills of cedar carving and weaving, canoe building and textile production as well as the rich traditions of hunting, fishing and gathering. Through this book we share legends and spiritual messages that connect our people to the land from ancient times to modern life.
$29.95

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