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 Featured Title
Written as I Remember It
Teachings (??ms ta?aw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder
Elsie Paul   Paige Raibmon   Harmony Johnson  

$125.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 4/21/2014
ISBN: 9780774827102    

$39.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/15/2015
ISBN: 9780774827119    

488 Pages

Women and Indigenous Studies series


About the Book

Winner, 2015 Armitage-Jameson Prize, Coalition for Western Women's History

Winner, Aboriginal History Book Prize, Canadian Historical Association

Honourable Mention, 2015 BCHF Historical Writing Awards, British Columbia Historical Federation

Elsie Paul is the recipient of the Canadian Historical Association's Lifetime Achievement award.

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 Author(s)

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.

Table of Contents

A Note on the Sliammon Language / Honoré Watanabe

Introduction: Listening to ??ms t???w / Paige Raibmon

Where I Come From

1 The Territory and People

Legends: A Man Taken by the Seal Family | Twins Are Gifted


2 Life with My Grandparents

Sliammon Narrative: They Invited Them to a Feast

3 Teachings on Learning

Legends: Mink and Cloud | Mink and Salal | Mink and Eagle | Mink and Pitch | Mink and Grizzly

4 Residential School

Legend: The Wild Man of the Woods


5 Teachings for Moms

Legend:The Young Girl and Eleven Puppies

6 Married Life

Sliammon Narrative: They (Spirits) Just Came and Told You Something

7 Teachings on Grief

8 Community Work

Legends: Mink and Whale | Mink and Wolf


9 Naming My Family

10 Healing Work

Sliammon Narrative: You Thank the One Who Looks after All of Us

11 Teachings on Spirituality

Thoughts about Ma / Cliff Paul


"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

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

Aboriginal Studies
Women's Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Written as I Remember It from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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