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The annual Great Grandview Garage Sale near my home truly was great this year. Poking about, I glimpsed a familiar title on the top of another shopper’s pile. My gasp of recognition caused him to look up, and when I explained that the book was one of our authors’ publication, he relented and let me buy it. For a whopping $2.

It was in fact a first edition of Eloise Street’s collection of poems, translated from songs told to her and her mother, Sophia Street, by Chief K’HHalserten Sepass of the Tsilli-Way-ukh in what is now Chilliwack, BC.

Published in 1963, the book is not yet out of copyright, but I can share with you a small portion. The front matter is particularly fascinating, telling as it does the story of the Tsilli-Way-ukh people, including their interactions with the British missionaries who settled in the area and the mother and daughter team—Sophia White and Eloise White Street—who Chief Sepass solicited to record his people’s songs.

 

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