Kou-Skelowh/We are the People : A Trilogy of Okanagan Legends

SKU: 9781894778664

"Authorless" and copyrighted to the Okanagan Tribal Council
Barbara Marchand
Grade Levels:
Four, Five, Six, Seven
English, Salishan languages
Book Type:
Theytus Books
Copyright Date:

Sale price$20.95


The original Kou-skelowh Series was published with black and white illustrations by Theytus Books in 1984, when the Series won a Children's Book Centre "Children's Choice Award." In 1991, the Series was reformatted and published with new full-colour illustrations by Barbara Marchand. In 1999 the three legends were reformatted and published under one cover. In 2004 the legends have been translated into the Okanagan language. This 2009 revised edition has been reformatted in both languages for the Okanagan language learners and the English reader's pleasure. This revised edition was reprinted in 2022 and includes a trilogy of three legends. The three legends are - How Food Was Given, How Names Were Given, and How Turtle Set the Animals Free.

One of the most valuable aspects of the Kou-skelowh Series is how it was developed with Okanagan cultural protocol. In 1981 the Okanagan Elders Council was approached and asked if some traditional legends could be used in the project. When the Elders gave permission for the three legends to be used, they were translated into English. The English versions were then taken back to the Elders Council for examination and edited until they were approved for educational use by Okanagan children.

The Elders Council was then asked if Theytus Books could have permission to publish the legends for sale in the book trade. After lengthy discussions, Theytus was granted permission on the grounds that several conditions were met, including that no individual would claim ownership of the legends or benefit from the sales. The Elders Council also named the Series, Kou-skelowh, meaning "we are the people". The Series is "authorless" and copyrighted to the Okanagan Tribal Council

The methodology that was used in the Kou-skelowh Series could stand as a model in which all possible concerns with Indigenous cultural protocol were dealt with in a proper manner, as well as an example of the uniqueness of Indigenous editorial practice.

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