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As I Remember It: Teachings (Ɂəms tɑɁɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder

About This Book

Meet Sliammon Elder Elsie Paul and discover her stories, family history, and teachings – ʔəms tɑʔɑw – in a multimedia, online book that captures the wit and wisdom of her storytelling.

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 adapted from Written As I Remember It, 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, 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.

This media-rich, multi-path book offers a rare glimpse into the life of a Coast Salish woman and the history and lifeways of her people. It stands as a model for collaborative research and digital storytelling. Accessible and engaging, it will be a welcome resource for anyone learning about the legacy of colonialism in Canada, the resilience of First Nations people, the possibilities of reconciliation, and the importance of sharing and listening.

“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.”

Susan Roy, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Waterloo

“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.”

Jentery Sayers, Associate Professor of English, University of Victoria

"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.”

David Gaertner, Assistant Professor, Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, University of British Columbia


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.


UBC Press acknowledges the generous financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which has made RavenSpace possible.

The authors thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Public History Initiative in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Fieldwork Grant Program in the Department of History at UBC, and the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Grant at UBC for funding in support of this publication.

Digital Developmental Editor: Crystal Chan
Additional editorial services provided by: Jillian Shoichet and Heather Ross
Indexer: Margaret de Boer
Custom design: Vincent Design Inc.
Custom design for Curriculum Explorer: Erik Loyer and Craig Dietrich

This book is set in Aboriginal Serif, designed by Chris Harvey of Languagegeek to enable speakers of Indigenous languages throughout the world to use their language on computers and the internet.

This book is built using a custom version of Scalar, a born-digital, open source, media-rich scholarly publishing platform designed by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture.

Published by UBC Press
The University of British Columbia
Unceded Traditional Musqueam Territory
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z2 Canada
www.ubcpress.ca


June 2019
Photographs, videos, animations, audio, and interactive maps
ISBN 978-0-7748-6125-0

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