Whale in the Door

A Community Unites to Protect BC's Howe Sound

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, […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

Gulf Islands Book Tour

Pauline Gulf Islands Tour

Another book tour completed and I have come home with very special memories of the Gulf Islands and the old and new friends I met. On the left of this photo is the beautiful shawl given to me by Linda and Joyce Williams of the Squamish Nation at the Squamish launch last November. Whales of course. And there were even whale cookies  made by my friend Brenda and her daughter […]

Continue Reading →

Magnificent Herring Spawn in Upper Howe Sound

John Buchanan and herring spawn

John Buchanan, citizen scientist and protector of everything that swims, flies or moves in Howe Sound, sent me this fantastic video of the herring spawn in Upper Howe Sound. John told me it was the biggest herring spawn he has ever seen in all the years he has been spying on these small important fish that feed just about everything in Howe Sound/Atl’kitsem. That’s not snow on the kelp, that’s […]

Continue Reading →

David Suzuki’s Walk of Fame

David Suzuki

Canada’s Walk of Fame honours Canadians who have made major contributions in culture, business, science, sports and technology. On March 23, the Walk of Fame unveiled a plaque in Vancouver to commemorate David Suzuki, award-winning scientist,  author, environmentalist and broadcaster, fondly remembered for his CBC TV show, The Nature of Things. Previous inductees include: Michael J. Fox, Terry Fox, Glenn Gould, Karen Kain, k.d.lang, Gordon Lightfoot, Sarah McLachlan, Deepa Mehta, […]

Continue Reading →

An Afternoon Quest

Pauline and Quest University Students

Yesterday, I spent a delightful hour with seventeen eager, committed and super smart students from Quest University, Canada’s first independent, not-for-profit secular university. The students left their spectacular coastal mountain community in Squamish at the crack of dawn, and arrived on Bowen Island to spend the day with Maï Yasue who teaches their Communities and Conservation course. Maï, a conservation scientist with a focus on how to motivate people to […]

Continue Reading →

A Whale on the Ferry

Whale in the Door on BC Ferries

Next time you travel on BC Ferries, go into the bookstore and check out their wonderful display of BC books. My friend, Judi, was so pleased to see the Whale on the shelves that she sent me this photo. Next to Whale in the Door is Carbon Play, a fascinating book by Robert Falls. Robert and I read together last fall at a Read Local BC event at Co-op Books […]

Continue Reading →

The Second Discovery of America

In my research for Whale in the Door, I read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, the Indian Act, and many books written by Indigenous authors. As part of my Knowing Our Place initiative, it became clear that a book club addressing the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous in Canada would be a worthwhile endeavour. Here is the article I wrote about the book club for The Undercurrent, our local […]

Continue Reading →

Protecting the Exquisite Glass Sponge Reefs

glass sponge reef

I received an email from Glen Dennison – citizen scientist,  marine life activist and scuba diver. In Whale in the Door, I wrote about Glen’s first dazzling encounter with the glass sponge reefs – common during the Jurassic period and thought to have become extinct 60 million years ago. Today they are found only on BC coasts and there are several reefs in Howe Sound/Atl’kitsem. “Loved reading your book,” wrote […]

Continue Reading →