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 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 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 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.