Whale in the Door

A Community Unites to Protect BC's Howe Sound

Knowing Our Place Book Club fall schedule

Knwoing Our Place Book Club Fall

Researching and writing Whale in the Door inspired me to create a book club to read Indigenous authors. It’s part of my Knowing Our Place initiative. The idea is to learn about Indigenous culture, governance and worldview from those who live it and write about it. The monthly gatherings take place at the Bowen Island Library. We began last March with The Truth About Stories by Thomas King. The group […]

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We Wrote We Folded We Sang for the Orcas

Folding for the Orcas

On August 11, the Alice McKay Room at the Vancouver Public Library was vibrant with young and old coming together to ask for more protection for the Southern Resident Orcas. Their letters to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans were folded into origami Orcas while poets Miranda Pearson, Barbara Pelman, and Marlene Grand Maitre read from the poetry anthlogy, Refugium: Poems for the Pacific, also published by Caitlin Press. Latash […]

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Fold for the Orcas at Vancouver Public Library

Whale in the Door" Fold for the Orcas

Looking forward to this very special event at the Vancouver Public Library from 2-4 pm on August 11 at the downtown library branch. My friend, Rebecca Duncan, dynamic Squamish Nation storyteller, will be telling the Whale in the Door story. There will be whale puppets and whale songs, poets reading poems about the Pacific, and I will be reading from Whale in the Door and singing songs about Howe Sound/ […]

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National Indigenous Peoples Day on Bowen Island

Bowen celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

For the very first time, we celebrated this important day on Bowen Island. The weather, the performers, the smiling faces all added up to an evening to remember, outdoors in front of the library. (All photos by Len Gilday) Rebecca Ducan, whose ancestral Squamish name is Tsitsayxemaat, enthralled everyone with the creation story of Raven stealing the Sun from Seagull. And she sent a shiver through the youngsters with her […]

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Signing at Armchair Books in Whistler

armchair books whistler

This was my first time for a bookstore signing for Whale in the Door. Here’s how it works. You sit in a bookstore surrounded by your books, waiting for people to take notice, ask about your book and maybe buy one so you can sign it. The whole afternoon was made enjoyable by the welcoming presence of Dan Ellis, the owner of Armchair Books, who had set up a nice […]

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Never too early to start caring about Howe Sound/Atl’kitsem

My friend, Mai Yasue, who teaches a course in Community and Conservation at Quest University in Squamish, sent me this photo of her darling precocious daughter Melia reading Whale in the Door. She captioned it “never too early to start”… Never too early to start teaching our children about caring for the place we call home.  Never too early to fall in love with this beautiful fjord. Never too early […]

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Alanna Mitchell and I at the Toronto Public Library

What a thrill it was to meet Alanna, a highly respected science journalist, author and playwright. Her book Seasick, published about ten years ago affected me profoundly and alerted many of us to the necessity of taking better care of our oceans. The play, based on her book, starred Alanna and received standing ovations all over the country. Alanna is smart and funny and one of the best interviewers I […]

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Building Bridges at the Creative Nonfiction Conference in Toronto

Waubgeshig Rice and Pauline Le Bel

I’m back from the Big Smoke – the Centre of the Universe – Toronto where I gave a workshop with Waubgeshig Rice at the Creative Non Fiction Collective Conference. The conference was remarkable for the diversity in its presenters: Lee Maracle and Tanya Talaga in conversation; Carol Off, Elizabeth Renzetti and Naben Ruthnum in a panel on Voice; and Kamal Al-Solaylee who gave the keynote on the Friday night. Waub, […]

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Toronto here I come!

Waubgeshig Rice

In a few days, I will travel to Toronto for the Creative NonFiction Collective Conference. May 4 – 6. On the Saturday, I will be giving a workshop with Waubgeshig Rice, an Anishinaabe journalist and author. The subject? Building Bridges: Narrative and the Relationship Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians. I met Waubgeshig last June at the TWUC (The Writers Union of Canada) conference in Vancouver. We began a conversation on […]

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