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list price: $38.00
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
category: Biography & Autobiography
published: Nov 2020
ISBN:9781771603218
publisher: RMB | Rocky Mountain Books

Following the Good River

The Life and Times of Wa'xaid

by Briony Penn, Ph.D, with Cecil Paul

tagged: native americans, native american studies, environmentalists & naturalists
Description

Based on recorded interviews and journal entries this major biography of Cecil Paul (Wa’xaid) is a resounding and timely saga featuring the trials, tribulations, endurance, forgiveness, and survival of one of North America’s more prominent Indigenous leaders.

Born in 1931 in the Kitlope, Cecil Paul, also known by his Xenaksiala name, Wa’xaid, is one of the last fluent speakers of his people’s language. At age ten he was placed in a residential school run by the United Church of Canada at Port Alberni where he was abused. After three decades of prolonged alcohol abuse, he returned to the Kitlope where his healing journey began. He has worked tirelessly to protect the Kitlope, described as the largest intact temperate rainforest watershed in the world. Now in his late 80s, he resides on his ancestors’ traditional territory.

Following upon the success of Wa'xaid's own book of personal essays, Stories from the Magic Canoe, Briony Penn's major biography of this remarkable individual will serve as a timely reminder of the state of British Columbia's Indigenous community, the environmental and political strife still facing many Indigenous communities, and the philosophical and personal journey of a remarkable man.

Wa'xaid passed away at the age of 90 on December 3, 2020.

About the Authors

Briony Penn, Ph.D


Cecil Paul, also known by his Xenaksiala name, Wa’xaid, is a respected elder, activist and orator, and one of the last fluent speakers of his people’s language. Cecil was born in 1931 in the Kitlope and raised on fishing, hunting, trapping and gathering. At the age of 10 he was torn from his family and placed in a residential school run by the United Church of Canada at Port Alberni, on Vancouver Island. For years, Cecil suffered from the pain of the abuse inflicted there. After three decades of prolonged alcohol abuse, he finally returned to the Kitlope and the positive influence of his people’s knowledge and ways. Once Cecil’s healing journey began, he eventually became an outspoken leader against the industrialization of his people’s land and traditional territory, working tirelessly to protect the Kitlope, the largest intact temperate rainforest watershed in the world. Now in his late 80s, Cecil still lives in his ancestors' traditional territory, and his work protecting the Kitlope continues to this day.

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