The launch of the last two books of the children’s book series by the writing team of Haida and his daughter | cut news

When writer Sarah Florence Davidson grew up, much of her love of storytelling was inspired by her father, the famous sculptor and artist Robert Davidson.

“It’s a lovely kind of ongoing contribution from both of my parents to my passion for literacy, for reading and writing stories,” Sarah said in an interview with “I have that kind of love for reading that comes from my mom. And my love for stories comes from my dad, who shares more of his stories orally.”

Enter Back to the Yacon and Dance with Our Ancestors, by Sarah and Robert.

The books are the third and fourth in the Sk’ad’a Stories series by HighWater Press, and are aimed at elementary school children aged six to eight in grades one through three. Both released in September 2021, they are the first two books in the series.

The four books have a strong focus on Sk’ad’a’s principles of Haida culture.

“They were living principles based on the stories my father shared with me,” Sarah said. “So, I think those are like, kind of pedagogical principles. And when we think about sharing Aboriginal knowledge, we think of different kinds of principles.”

Sarah and her father had previously worked together on the book Potlatch as Pedagogy, which also focused on Sk’ad’a’s principles.

Return to the Yakon River is about a Haida girl and her family traveling across the Yacon River in Haida Joy every summer after salmon. While the father hunts, the girl and her brother spend their time on the ground playing and learning from Tsene, their grandfather.

Dancing with our ancestors is about a potluck game. Guests come from all over the world to witness a “sweet, bitter yet joyful celebration of Haida culture and society.”

Sarah hopes the books will have a lasting impact on her readers.
“I am thinking of my brother’s children being able to read these books and communicate with them [the stories]. This is really important to me. “It’s important for me to have the knowledge and to continue to pass it on,” Sarah said. “It’s also important to have stories and other kinds of stories about Aboriginal people rather than just talking to some of the coverage we get in the media.”

Sarah talks about the “intergenerational thread of learning” that she explores in this series.

“While I was kind of thinking about the possibility of four books, I started thinking about what if we picked stories that reflect my parents at different stages of life?” She said. “So, in the second book, he learns from his father and grandfather, a son, and in the third book he is a father sharing knowledge with my brother, me and my cousin, a father and then in the later books, he is sharing knowledge with grandchildren.”

Sarah is an assistant professor in the Simon Fraser University School of Education.

“A lot of the work I do revolves around teaching and learning… How do we share knowledge? And so, what has been neat for me [these books], knowledge transfer and learning.” “An example of this is that my great-grandfather was teaching my father and so there was an intergenerational exchange of knowledge that was happening on Earth. And my father was down-to-earth.”

Sarah Florence Davidson’s research interests focus on transforming “current pedagogical and research practices to be more respectful and inclusive of Aboriginal contributions, particularly in the field of English language arts,” as stated in her biography at SFU.

“It took me a while to realize that education was really a passion for me. And so I think in stories, my desire to explore the impact of storytelling as a form of teaching has really influenced how these stories work.” “As an educator, it is very exciting to be able to immerse yourself in different ways of learning and to share knowledge and to be able to document those experiences in the moment.”

All four books in the Sk’ad’a Stories series are now available through HighWater Press and several major retailers.

Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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