Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pacific Northwestern Native First Nation Elder's Stories

Ellen White, an 84 year old Pacific Northwest Native First Nation elder living on Vancouver Island has written down her nation's ancient stories for future generations. A respected elder of the Pacific Northwestern Native Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, BC, White is also known as Kwulasulwut, meaning "Many Stars."

While Ellen began writing children's books in 1981, her new book, Ellen White Legends and Teachings of Xeel's, The Creator, is her first book aimed at teens and adults. She began this project of telling the stories in her native tongue to her daughter, Vicki White, who helped translate them into English. At the end of each story, White encourages readers to draw their own conclusions with questions like "What did the story tell you? Did it give you something new to think about? How did the story make you feel?"

Ellen says the stories are as relevant now as they were hundreds of years ago. People have the same issues as in the stories and it's only the forms that have changed.

For more information on culture, see Pacific Northwestern Native First Nation Art and Culture.

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