The stories in this digital publication, As I Remember It, were told orally by Elsie Paul. Elsie made audio recordings of these stories between 2005 and 2010, with the assistance of a number of friends and family members. In total, she recorded roughly thirty-six hours of audio. The audio files were later transcribed verbatim into 350 single-spaced typed pages, or over 273,000 words.
Paige Raibmon and Harmony Johnson subsequently edited these transcripts into a single narrative of about 148,000 words, which was published as the print book Written as I Remember It: Teachings (ʔəms tɑʔɑw) from the Life of a Sliammon Elder (UBC Press, 2014). This work was done in collaboration with Elsie, subject to her guidance and approval.
The authors’ goals in this editing process were to maintain Elsie’s spoken “voice” on the page, and to create an accessible, readable narrative. In some cases, the changes were minor, as with the elimination of some ums and uhs, for example. In other instances, they made significant changes to delete sentences or synthesize a single account from multiple versions of a story told on different occasions.
The text that appears in this digital book is extracted from the print book. This means that the text you see on screen departs in some way from the accompanying audio clips. The authors selected audio pieces that correspond or otherwise relate to the accompanying text, and that provide a rich sense of Elsie’s storytelling style. Thus, the audio and text complement rather than duplicate one another.
There is no single or preferred way to approach these materials. We simply invite you to do so with a spirit of curiosity and interest.
For a more in-depth, scholarly account of the work done in the transition from spoken word to text, we encourage you to read the “Introduction” in Written as I Remember It. For more of Elsie’s stories, we likewise invite you to pick up the print book.