Raised by her grandparents on their ancestral territory on the Sunshine Coast, Elsie Paul of the Tla’amin Nation spent most of her childhood surrounded by the ways, teachings, and stories of her people. As her adult life unfolded against a backdrop of colonialism and racism, she drew strength and guidance from the teachings she had learned. In As I Remember It, she shares this traditional knowledge with a new generation in an engaging style and innovative format.
With this immersive online publication, readers can learn about the Sliammon language, listen to Elsie tell her stories, and watch short animations of legends and events. They can navigate by theme – Colonialism, Community, Territory, and Wellness – explore the contents through interactive maps, browse the audio and visual galleries, or make use of the instructional materials designed for teachers and students.
Grounded in cultural criticism and acts of healing and resurgence, this book redefines digital communication and multimodal scholarship through the agency of Elsie Paul’s stories, the Sliammon language, and Sliammon teachings and knowledge.
As a digital book, As I Remember It leads by example. It shares and situates the teachings of Sliammon Elder Elsie Paul, about land, relationships, healing, and the impacts of – and resistances to – colonialism. In both its content and form, the text challenges colonial conceptions of knowledge and it asks us to think about how we engage with Indigenous knowledge and where meaning unfolds in our relationships with text and digital media. As I Remember It is an exceptional resource for a broad range of audiences.
The publication of Elsie Paul’s life history in an expressive digital format invites engagement through sound, language, and visualizations. Elsie Paul brings great emotion, sensitivity, pain, and humour to the events and moments that have marked her life – it is an honour to engage with her story in this way. As I Remember It is an eloquent and powerful work that highlights the possibilities of transformational listening and immersive digital storytelling.
This multimedia book provides a rich glimpse into the oral teachings of the Tla’amin people ... it is a powerful tool for incorporating ɬaʔamɩn teachings into the classroom. By immediately grounding learners in guest/host protocols, this digital book helps shift students mindsets so they can open-heartedly learn about local teachings and traditions. It is an excellent resource and will be invaluable to teachers for many years to come.
As a teacher, I love how this digital book allows us to hear Elsie Paul tell stories in her own voice. The interactive maps are a very informative way to learn about the areas that surround us, and the Protocol at the very beginning is interesting and powerful, as we learn about the need to receive permission to interact with – rather than just take – content about cultural knowledge and heritage.
Elsie Paul is an Elder of the ɬaʔamɩn people and a mother-tongue speaker of the Sliammon language. She is the recipient of the Canadian Historical Association’s Lifetime Achievement award and received an honorary doctorate degree from Vancouver Island University in 2010 in recognition of a lifetime of effort dedicated to supporting First Nations well-being.
Davis McKenzie of the Tla’amin Nation is Elsie Paul’s grandson. He holds a BA in sociology/anthropology from Simon Fraser University and an MA in communication management from McMaster University. He serves as executive director of communications and public affairs at the First Nations Health Authority.
Paige Raibmon is a mother and scholar of settler descent. She lives as an uninvited guest on the unceded ancestral territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people, where she was born and raised. She is professor of history at the University of British Columbia, co-editor of BC Studies, Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the author of and co-author of several books and articles, including Authentic Indians: Episodes of Encounter from the Late-Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast (Duke 2004).
Harmony Johnson is of ɬaʔamɩn (Tla’amin) ancestry and is Elsie Paul’s granddaughter. She holds a BA from Simon Fraser University and a Master’s in Health Administration from University of British Columbia. She has served in a number of policy and executive roles in BC First Nations organizations and is the Vice-President, Policy, Planning & Quality at the First Nations Health Authority.
An Invitation to Listen
The Sliammon Language
Features and Resources
About This Book
Standing Up with G̲a'ax̱sta'las
Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom
Where Happiness Dwells
A History of the Dane-zaa First Nations
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