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New children’s book celebrates Lheidli T’enneh history

Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan and Krystal Leason of the Huble Homestead.

The Huble Homestead children’s history book series now features four titles to spark historical imagination in little readers.

Huble Homestead/Giscome Portage Heritage Society, the non-profit charity that operates Huble Homestead Historic Site, has already published three children’s books. Mr. Huble Builds a House, Mrs. Huble Grows a Garden, and Mr. Seebach and the New Store are now joined by a new book celebrating Lheidli T’enneh history: Ceepee and the Fish Camp.

Set in the early 20th Century, Ceepee and the Fish Camp follows Ceepee, a young Lheidli girl, and her family through the seasons as they travel their territory gathering food and resources. The highlight of the year is the annual salmon run, and Ceepee can’t wait to get to the fish camp. The story is enhanced by beautiful illustrations, the result of collaboration between watercolour artist Cliff Mann and Lheidli artist Jennifer Pighin. Mann’s precision watercolours incorporate Pighin’s First Nations designs for a visual delight on every page.

The new book advances the society’s mission to preserve and promote the history of the Huble Homestead, Giscome Portage, and surrounding area.

“We’re excited to share a story that centers around Lheidli T’enneh history,” Krystal Leason, executive director. “I think the book helps paint the broader picture of the historical life of this region, and it’s both our honour and and our duty to use our reach and audience to share Lheidli T’enneh history with the public.”

The book incorporates vocabulary words in Dakelh, the traditional language of the Lheidli T’enneh, provided by Elder and language teacher Edith Frederick. The Lheidli dialect of Dakelh is fluently spoken by only a handful of Elders and is at risk of extinction as a result of colonization and cultural assimilation. While the words may be a little intimidating to English speakers, the book includes a pronunciation guide, and readers will soon be able to visit Huble Homestead’s website to hear recordings of the words by Elder Frederick.

Edith Frederick has worked with Huble Homestead in the past on the Lheidli T’enneh Fish Camp exhibit and other interpretive materials to help share the history of the Lheidli T’enneh with visitors to the historic site. According to Leason, her assistance with the new publication was invaluable.

“I can’t say how deeply grateful we are to elder Frederick, not only for her support and language assistance, but for the incredible gift of some of her family’s names for characters in the story; we feel very privileged to help celebrate the Lheidli T’enneh’s rich history, and authentic names really make the story extra special,” she said.

The society would also like to thank elder Clifford Quaw, for his early assistance, and Lheidli T’enneh administrative office staff for their direction and assistance with distribution of the books to Lheidli members.

Targeted to children aged three to eight years old, the book is also suitable for Dakelh language beginners, art lovers, and local history enthusiasts of all ages.

Ceepee and the Fish Camp is now available for free to members of the Lheidli T’enneh; members may contact the downtown office on Brunswick Street to request copies to be picked up or mailed.

The book will be donated to Dakelh language classrooms and First Nations education programs in early May with release to the general public on May 22, the first day of Huble Homestead Historic Site’s 2021 season. The books will be available for $10 through the Seebach & Huble General Store at Huble Homestead, as well as at local bookstores and museum partners including Books & Company, Two Rivers Art Gallery, Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum, Whistle Stop Gallery, Valley Museum & Archives, and Mackenzie & District Museum.

Ceepee and the Fish Camp was made possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Province of B.C.’s Community Resilience through Arts and Culture program, Northern Health IMAGINE grants, and the Fraser-Fort George Endowment Fund (Area G).

Huble Homestead Historic Site is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh, 40km north of Prince George, just off Highway 97 on Mitchell Road. It is open daily from 10:00 to 5:00, May 22 to September 6, and admission is by donation. Find information about the Huble Homestead children’s book series, public programming, and more at www.hublehomestead.ca, or call 250-564-7033.

 


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