Chief X̱ats’alanexw’s reminiscences travel as far back as 1881. He recounts neighbourhood tales, the Traditional Stories he grew up with, local genealogies, cultural histories, and detailed accounts of practices for everything from fishing sturgeon to building houses. Knowledgeable and forthcoming, Chief X̱ats’alanexw’srecollections weave a meticulous tapestry.
After centuries of violent erasure of Indigenous world views, here is a rare first-hand account detailing traditional life of the Coast Salish peoples, an insightful record rich with art, diagrams, maps, letters, and photographs. Chief X̱ats’alanexw’s observations give shape to the social and physical changes of the region, and offer an illuminating glimpse into so-called Vancouver in its infancy. Conversations with Khahtsahlano is an essential text that brings history indelibly to life.
“Chief X̱ats’alanexw provides incredible insight into the history, culture, and lifestyle of our peoples. His descriptive accounts help readers to visualize our historical villages around k’emk’emeláy̓, learn how we’ve thrived off our lands for millennia and understand how we were forcibly removed from them during colonization.”
—Syex̱wáliya Ann Whonnock, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw Councillor and grandniece of Chief X̱ats’alanexw
Edited by Major James Skitt Matthews and indexed by Mrs. Alera Way.