Recommended read:Standing Up With Ga'axsta'la

  Public
By: 
Kimberley Budd
Standing Up With Ga'axsta'las

Standing Up with Ga'axsta'las is a compelling conversation with the colonial past initiated by the descendants of Kwakwaka'wakw leader and activist, Jane Constance Cook (1870-1951). Standing Up With Ga'axsta'las: Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom is written by Leslie A. Robertson with the Kwagu't Gixsam clan.

Working in collaboration, Robertson and Cook's descendants open this history, challenging dominant narratives that misrepresent her motivations for criticizing customary practices and eventually supporting the potlatch ban. Drawing from oral histories, archival materials, and historical and anthropological works, they offer a nuanced portrait of a high-ranked woman who was a cultural mediator; devout Christian; and activist for land claims, fishing and resource rights, and adequate health care. Ga'axsta'las testified at the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission, was the only woman on the executive of the Allied Indian Tribes of BC, and was a fierce advocate for women and children. This powerful meditation on memory documents how the Kwagu'l Gixsam revived their dormant clan to forge a positive social and cultural identity for future generations through feasting and potlatching.

~From the Publisher

Check out this book today! Look in the New Books section: E99 K5 R63 2012.