320 pages, 6 x 9
18 b&w photos
Release Date:01 Oct 2013


The Life of a Stó:lo Matriarch

Athabasca University Press

Comprising a series of conversational recollections, this book tells the story of Rena Point Bolton, a Stó:lo matriarch and craftswoman. The narrative touches on Point Bolton's childhood by the Fraser River during the Depression, her ancestor, the warrior Xéyteleq, and her later years on a reserve. While the Stó:lo people kept secret their cultural practices to avoid persecution by paternalistic institutions, Point Bolton helped to revive some of the old crafts and ceremonies. The result of a long-term collaboration between Richard Daly and Point Bolton, this book attests to Point Bolton’s desire to inspire her people to blend traditional “ways of knowing” with the pursuit of modern education.

Rena Point Bolton is a Xwélmexw artist and weaver who lives in northern British Columbia.

Richard Daly is a social anthropologist, translator, editor, and Aboriginal rights consultant. Originally from a fishing and forestry community on the Pacific Coast, Daly now resides in Norway near Oslo.


List of Illustrations – vii

Foreword - ix

Acknowledgements – xi

Map of Northern British Columbia – xiv

Map of Xwélmexw (Stó:lo) territory and surrounding Coast Salish areas – xv


Introduction (Richard Daly) – xvii


1. Born at a Very Young Age – 3

2. Xéyteleq – 25

3. Devil’s Run – 51

4. School, Work, and Marriage – 69

5. Life of the Spirit – 103

6. Breaking the Silence – 133

7. Moving North – 165

8. They Begin to Listen – 199

9. Life Cycles – 217


Epilogue – 227


Family Trees – 231

Pronunciation Guide – 239

Glossary – 243

Works Cited – 247

Index – 253
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