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The Life of a St:lo Matriarch


I have been asked to pen a few words with regard to my mother's book, and I am very pleased to help in this way. Any time that people put their whole life into written form I think they run the risk of misapprehension and even criticism from others. Richard Daly has taken on the monumental task of listening to and recording my mother's thoughts and memories about her life. For this I am very grateful. This book has been an ongoing project for many years, and both Richard and Rena have devoted countless hours to making this book a reality. Richard's training in the field of anthropology, together with his self-critical attitude toward his work, lends itself very well to the task at hand.

For too long, anthropologists and historians have written about Aboriginal people from a purely academic perspective, with their mind on audiences somewhere else, perhaps in Europe. This has produced some marvellous reports, but in some cases it has resulted in a one-dimensional, ethnocentric, and subjective analysis of people about whom the writer in fact knows very little. That is, such accounts simply describe the surface and not the depth of Aboriginal people's reality.

Richard Daly has chosen a much different approach, in that he spends time with the subjects of his study, attending gatherings and feasts and even residing inside their communities so that he can gain a deeper, inside perspective that later informs his written work. He brings a passion for learning and a compassion for the people he studies. His voice is not demanding, nor is it condescending or fraught with the attitude of superiority that too often prevents some writers from getting at the broader and more complex story before them. I am very pleased with the end product of his long and hard work.

So that there could be no mistake, in September of this year, 2012, at Chilliwack, I presented Richard with a talking stick. This stick was presented to him at my home in the presence of my mother and with her approval, so there is no doubt that he speaks on behalf of my mother in this book. Richard and Mother have done a marvellous job and I know that you will enjoy this book, as I have.

Steven Point
20 October 2012

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