Surrey – Surrey Libraries is inviting the community to meet and hear from Indigenous Authors & Storytellers share their stories at several events around Surrey in April. Inspiring and passionate storytellers, Nicola Campbell, Wanda John-Kehewin, Richard Van Camp, and Michael Kusugak each have a unique voice and have written books for all audiences, from babies to adults.
On Thursday April 25 at 6 pm Richard Van Camp will share his stories at the Surrey Nature Centre. There will also be a special story dance performance by Shyama-Priya. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday April 28 at 2 pm, Michael Kusugak will read on the grand staircase of Surrey Libraries City Centre Branch. Participants will see and touch artifacts of seal skin, caribou, kamiks, a qulliq, and listen to his grandmother’s stories come alive. To register, call 604-598-7427.
At each event, there will be an opening blessing, light refreshments, and a keepsake book by the author available to each family to take home, to share the stories and spread literacy throughout the community.
“It has been a privilege to work with the local Indigenous community to select authors and storytellers that they most want to meet,” says Sara Grant, Surrey Libraries’ Manager of Youth Services. “This project would not have been possible without the generous support of the Telus Vancouver Community Board’s grant funding, as well as the many community partners who made themselves available for consultation and support. We want to extend our thanks to the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association, Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Council, Surrey Schools, and other community members.”
The Indigenous Author and Storyteller for Children Series brings students from Surrey Schools together to meet these Indigenous authors and learn about the art of writing at ten weekday events hosted at various branches of Surrey Libraries. Limited spaces have been reserved for home-learners and community members interested in attending these events. For event times and registration details, visit surreylibraries.ca/events.
“It is our hope that many Surrey children will be able to experience the authentic voices of First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors and storytellers, and support their learning more about Indigenous culture through this project,” says Michelle Meech, Surrey Libraries’ Coordinator Youth Services.
Surrey Libraries provides safe gathering spaces where our patrons can learn and discover the realities, history, and cultures of these First Nations, Metis, and Inuit storytellers in the spirit of openness and mutual understanding in support of reconciliation.
More information about the authors:
- Nicola Campbell is Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx and Métis from the Nicola Valley, British Columbia. She is the award -winning author of many children’s picture books including Shi-shi-etko, Grandpa’s Girls and her most recent release A Day With Yayah.
- Wanda John-Kehewin is a local Cree poet with two beautifully illustrated children’s readers coming out this Fall. Wanda has two books for adults: In the Dog House and Seven Sacred Truths.
- Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Tłı̨chǫ Dene from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. He is a prolific author for all ages and his latest novella on Reconciliation When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! which is also a flip book with Monique Gray-Smith’s Lucy and Lola has been shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize.
- Michael Kusugak grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut) living a traditional Inuit lifestyle. He is the well-recognized popular author of twelve children’s books, including A Promise is A Promise, The Littlest Sled Dog, and T is for Territories.