Harry Robinson is one of several local Indigenous authors who will be featured during the fall season of the Okanagan Online Book Club. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives photo)

Okanagan book club opens new chapter of Indigenous history

Online club features six Indigenous books and authors

Staff and volunteers of the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives have recently begun an intensive Cultural Safety Training program, led by Indigenous elders, Chris Marchand and Eric Mitchell.

“It’s the first step toward reconciliation and, we hope, further collaboration with the Sylix people of the Okanagan Nation,” GVMA executive director Steve Fleck said.

Program coordinator Laisha Rosnau adds: “Over the past several years, there’s been a groundswell of interest in the Indigenous history of the Okanagan, especially from teachers.”

Educators are often looking to the GVMA for artifacts, archival materials, and programs to help facilitate students gaining more knowledge in this area.

“We at the museum are in the position of being a predominantly white ‘settler’ staff facilitating learning the history of a rich culture and heritage that is not only not our own, but one which has been historically misrepresented and discriminated against,” Rosnau said.

READ MORE: Survivors spread reconciliation with Vernon’s cultural partners

In conjunction with the learning process facilitated by Cultural Safety Training, GVMA is hosting and facilitating the Okanagan Online Book Club’s 2020/21 season focusing on Indigenous books and authors, to all who are interested.

The book club begins with 21 Things You Might Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph, on Nov. 19, then will read and discuss books by Okanagan Indigenous authors.

“We’ll read the stories of Harry Robinson, a traditional Okanagan storyteller, who Thomas King once described as ‘the most powerful storytelling voice in North America,’” Rosnau said.

Other books that the club will discuss will be Jeanette Armstrong’s seminal novel Slash, Gerry William’s The Women in the Trees, the newly released Calling My Spirit Back by Elaine Alec, and for April poetry month Sandra Lynxleg’s Glass Beads.

“We hope to encourage a greater understanding of both the history of the Sylix people of the Okanagan, and how both this history and contemporary culture informs Sylix literature, art, and culture,” Rosnau said.

All are welcome to join the Okanagan Online Book Club by signing up for links to articles, interviews, and additional material on each book and author. As well, they’ll be a monthly online meeting to discuss the books.

“We may even have a special guest author join us for one of the online discussions, but I won’t promise too much yet,” Rosnau said.

For more information and to join the Okanagan Online Book Club, visit www.vernonmuseum.ca/okanagan-book-club.

READ MORE: Organization looks to bring urban Indiginous daycare to Vernon


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BooksIndigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm RCMP officers responded to two public COVID-19 demonstrations held in Salmon Arm on Saturday, Nov. 28. (File photo)
Organizer of Salmon Arm COVID-19 demonstration fined $2,000 by RCMP

Police said some participants weren’t aware of the public health order prohibiting gatherings

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Salmon Arm RCMP say patrons are harassing local businesses over mask requirements. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Police urge respect after Salmon Arm businesses report being harassed over mask rules

Wearing of masks in businesses and public spaces is currently mandated by the province

The video was used for (KGH Foundation - YouTube)
Okanagan filmmaker, poet win at L.A. Film Awards

Spoken word artist Shane Koyczan wrote and filmmaker David Nault produced the commercial

The Salmon Arm Observer’s annual food drive is underway. For donations of one or two bags of non-perishable items, donors receive a gift certificate from one of several participating local merchants. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm merchants, Observer team up for food drive

Gift cards and certificates available for donations of non-perishable items

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Join Rob Dinwoodie and bandmates for a Cowboy Christmas, Dec. 11 and 12 at Vernon and District Performing Arts Center. Seating is cabaret style on the stage for an intimate concert. (Contributed)
North Okanagan cowboys go virtual for Christmas

Cowboy Christmas streamed Dec. 11-25

Vernon is getting in the Christmas spirit with many homes decorating with lights and extras. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Christmas lights tour mapped out by Vernon realtor

More than 20 of the community’s best lit houses make up annual tradition

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Sunny the cat, who jumped out of the truck at the Revelstoke Landfill earlier this month, was quickly reunited with his owners. (Contributed)
Cat returns home with the help of two landfill workers

Sunny jumped out of the truck at the landfill in November

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read