A narrative of resistance and resilience spanning seven decades in the life of a tireless advocate for Indigenous language preservation.
Life histories are a form of contemporary social history and convey important messages about identity, cosmology, social behaviour and one's place in the world. This first-person oral history--the first of its kind ever published by the Royal BC Museum--documents a period of profound social change through the lens of Sti'tum'atul'wut--also known as Mrs. Ruby Peter--a Cowichan elder who made it her life's work to share and safeguard the ancient language of her people: Hul'q'umi'num'.
Over seven decades, Sti'tum'atul'wut mentored hundreds of students and teachers and helped thousands of people to develop a basic knowledge of the Hul'q'umi'num' language. She contributed to dictionaries and grammars, and helped assemble a valuable corpus of stories, sound and video files--with more than 10,000 pages of texts from Hul'q'umi'num' speakers--that has been described as "a treasure of linguistic and cultural knowledge." Without her passion, commitment and expertise, this rich legacy of material would not exist for future generations
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