Author Nella Nelson

Aboriginal voices highlighted in new book

On Thursday, Sept. 20 from 7 to 8 p.m., everyone is welcome to attend a book reading of Welcome Friends and Family to Our Bighouse.

The book reading takes place at the K’omoks Cultural Bighouse, at 3310 Comox Road.

The book is written by Northwest Coast First Nation author Nella Nelson and illustrated by Karin Clark to show that Aboriginal voices, traditions and ceremony are alive and well in contemporary Canada.

It is written for children and youth. It seems like good timing coinciding with Potlatch 67–67: The Potlatch Ban – Then and Now, a multi-artist thematic program at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, which examines the impacts of the attempted cultural genocide through the Potlatch ban. The book is a very gentle and affectionate look at the Potlatch as it is practised today.

Nella Cook Nelson, originally from the N’amgis Nation, was born and raised in Alert Bay, B.C. Her father George Cook is from the Tsakis N’amgis and K’ómoks Nations and her mother, Ruth Sewid-Mundy, descends from the Da’naxda’xw and the Mamallikula Nations.

Karin Clark, who lives in Union Bay, is a writer, teacher, and artist with over 35 years experience working with both children and adults. She has learned from and taught with British Columbia’s First Nations in public and private schools, colleges, and art classes, as well as university teacher education programs. She co-wrote the book Framework for Developing First Nations Curriculums with Nella Cook Nelson.

Clark regards this book as a family book to be shared. The children and adults in this story are all different ages and at different stages of knowing and learning about Kwakwaka’wakw culture. Parents, grandparents, older and younger siblings and cousins, as well as older and younger friends can read it and learn together.

During the book reading, Kumugwe Dancers will perform.

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