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As told to Dolby Evan Turner; illustrated by D. Johnnie Seletze
Victoria, Orca Book Publishers, 1992.108pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-909501-87-7. CIP.

Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Kay Kerman.

Volume 21 Number 3
1993 May

Author Dolby Turner retells old-rime stories that were shared with her by the people of the Khenipsen band. She began her lifelong friendship with them when she spent her teenage years at Green Point on Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island. It took many years to write this book, as she was waiting to get the permission and approval of the elders of the band. Only recently did some elders give their permission. They recognized the danger of their stories being lost as more of the elders pass away.

It is quite obvious that Dolby Turner has nothing but love and respect for the history and culture of Canada's First Nations. She writes of their hardship and hunger, yet explains how she never knew them to lose self-esteem or to betray the beliefs they had been taught by the counsel of their elders.

Some of the legends included are "The Legend of Kis-ack and the Stonehead People," "The Legend of Red Eye and White Eye," "The Legend of See-la-tha and the Monster of Octopus Point." Each legend was told to Dolby Turner by various people in the band starting as far back as the 1920s.

Archival photographs from the author's collection illustrate the people who have shared these stories and their lives with the author. The illustrations are done by the great-grandson of one of the elders who shared a story with the author. The book begins with some words from Johnnie Seletze He extends his thanks and appreciation to the author for the respectful way she has lived and worked with his people.

I recommend this book to people who are interested in the legends of Canadian Native peoples. They are good "stories" and are worth taking the time to read.

This is an interesting compilation of legends from the Khenipsen band in British Columbia. It is retold without attempting to transcribe the dialects of the story-teller. It is a valuable addition to a collection of aboriginal legends of Canada.

Kay Kerman teaches a combined Kindergarten and grade 1 class at Chelsea Elementary School in Chelsea, Quebec.
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