Join us as book author Elder Elsie Paul recounts some of her life story and explores the importance of Sliammon teachings for present and future generations. Elsie and her collaborators, Paige Raibmon and Harmony Johnson, will also share more about the unique process of writing this important history.
Book Launch event is free with museum admission.
About the Book
Long before vacationers and boaters discovered BC’s Sunshine Coast, the Sliammon, a Coast Salish people, called it and surrounding regions home. In this remarkable book, Elsie Paul, one of the last surviving mother-tongue speakers of the Sliammon language, collaborates with a scholar, Paige Raibmon, and her granddaughter, Harmony Johnson, to tell her life story and the history of her people, in her own words and storytelling style.
Raised by grandparents who took her on their seasonal travels, Paul spent most of her childhood immersed in Sliammon ways, stories, and legends. Paul’s adult life unfolded against a backdrop of colonialism and racism. As she worked to sustain a healthy marriage, raise a large family, cope with tremendous grief and loss, and develop a career and give back to community, she drew strength and guidance from the Sliammon teachings she had learned as a child. She shares this traditional knowledge for the first time in Written as I Remember It.
This rare glimpse into the life of a Coast Salish woman and the history of the Sliammon people stands as a fruitful model for collaborative research and storytelling, a model that has the power to transform relations between settlers and indigenous peoples in Canada.
About the Authors
Elsie Paul, a Sliammon Elder, has spent her life and career in service to others. In recognition of a lifetime of effort dedicated to supporting First Nations well-being, she received an honorary doctorate degree from Vancouver Island University in 2010.
Paige Raibmon is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia.
Harmony Johnson is Elsie Paul’s granddaughter. She holds a BA from Simon Fraser University and has served in a number of policy and executive roles in BC First Nations organizations.
“Written As I Remember It is warm and honest, partly a memoir; part ethnography; part Farmer’s Almanac. It draws on a Sliammon Elder’s oral history of a skilled and prosperous people who lived and died here long before they built a company town and named it for an English surgeon…[it] captures a vanished world that survived for 10,000 years, and was just as worthy as mill towns with telephones.”
– Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter, June 21, 2014
“In this superb example of oral history and knowledge sharing, Elsie Paul brings to life the history of the twentieth century as she lived it. It is told through a wonderful line of poignant, personal stories and teachings that keeps the reader turning the pages.”
— Wendy Wickwire, Department of History and the School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria
“An eloquent and powerful text that invites the possibility of transformational listening … Elsie Paul brings great emotion, sensitivity, pain, and humour to the events and moments that have marked her life.”
— Susan Roy, Department of History, University of Waterloo