Stories from the Magic Canoe

SKU: 9781771603379

Cecil Paul, Briony Penn
Grade Levels:
Twelve, Adult Education, College, University
Book Type:
Rocky Mountain Books
Copyright Date:

Sale price$25.00


The Stories from the Magic Canoe of Wa’xaid are those of Cecil Paul, also known by his Xenaksiala name, Wa’xaid, and who is a respected Xenaksiala ​elder, activist and orator, and one of the last fluent speakers of his people’s language. Who better to tell the narrative of our times about the restoration of land and culture than Wa’xaid (the good river), or Cecil Paul, who pursued both in his ancestral home, the Kitlope — now the largest protected unlogged temperate rainforest left on the planet. Cecil Paul’s cultural teachings are more relevant today than ever in the face of environmental threats, climate change and social unrest, and his personal stories tell of loss from residential schools, industrialization and theft of cultural property (the world-renowned Gps’golox pole). Told in Cecil Paul’s singular, vernacular voice by Briony Penn, Stories from the Magic Canoe spans a lifetime of experience and provides a valuable documented history of a generation that continues to deal with the impacts of colonization and environmental change. Cecil Paul states: My name is Wa’xaid, given to me by my people. ‘Wa’ is ‘the river’, ‘Xaid’ is ‘good’ – good river. Sometimes the river is not good. I am a Xenaksiala, I am from the Killer Whale Clan. I would like to walk with you in Xenaksiala lands. Where I will take you is the place of my birth. They call it the Kitlope. It is called Xesdu’wäxw (Huschduwaschdu) for ‘blue, milky, glacial water’. Our destination is what I would like to talk about, and a boat – I call it my magic canoe. It is a magical canoe because there is room for everyone who wants to come into it to paddle together. The currents against it are very strong but I believe we can reach that destination and this is the reason for our survival. There is foreword by Roy Henry Vickers.

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