We Remember the Coming of the White Man



By Elizabeth Yakeleya, Sarah Simon and other Sahtú and Gwich'in Elders
Edited by Sarah Stewart; Foreword, Raymond Yakeleya; Afterword, Colette Poitras

Gwich’in Dene title: GAHNAAANDAIH Unjoo kat degehnoo daiʔ anahgoogwaandak

Book Release Date, APRIL 21, 2020. Download Info Sheet  
Related media: News of the North | Rocky Mountain Outlook | BC Booklook | Globe and Mail | CBC | Cabin Radio

Dene Elders tell the history of their times

A work in progress since the 1970s, We Remember the Coming of the White Man chronicles the history of the Dene People in the extraordinary time of the early 20th century. Chapters are transcripts of oral histories of ten Elders and revolve around their recollections of the early days of fur trading and guns; missionaries and the flu epidemic; dismay about the way oil and uranium discoveries were handled on their land; and the emotional and economic fallout of the signing of Treaty 11. The book is rich with photographs, and Elders’ stories are in English and Dene Gwich’in. Bundled with the book is a redux DVD version of Raymond Yakeleya’s stunning 1976 film We Remember, complete with director’s commentary.

Dene Elders in the book (now all deceased) are Joe Blondin, John Blondin, Elizabeth Yakeleya, Mary Wilson, Isadore Yukon, Peter Thompson, Jim Sittichinli, Sarah Simon, Johnny Kay, and Andrew Kunnizzi. Dene Gwich’in Dene translation is by Bella Ross. View samples  >>

Durvile & UpRoute Books has partnered with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) to create a digital version of this book that is accessible for people with print disabilities

Keywords: Indigenous, Dene Nation, Elders, Treaty 11, Hudson Bay Company, Missionaries, North West Territory

What they say

in the stories of our ancestors since time immemorial. In this book, you will read our oral history and traditions that are our Dene parables, used to guide ourselves and our People.”
— NORMAN YAKALEYA, Dene National Chief

“With rare mastery of his film-making craft, Dene story-teller Raymond Yakeleya carries on in this book, bringing a former and still ever-present world of wolf, bear and raven ik’o, medicine, magic and mystery to LIFE, to modern meaning.” ­
—ANTOINE MOUNTAIN, author of From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor

“All Canadians are enriched by the stories in this collection. By listening to these stories, we take a step together towards reconciliation. We are learning the truth and building an understanding. We are nurturing respect and reciprocity. We are honouring our relations in a good way.”
—­COLETTE POITRAS, Chair of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations Indigenous Matters Committee

Info about We Remember

HIS028000/Indigenous History
Book 3 in the Indigenous Spirit of Nature Series
6” x 9” | 256 pages | b/w photographs
Contains DVD of film We Remember, Remastered
ISBN: 9781988824246 (pbk)
Price: $37.50 in Canada, $29.95 in US
Release date, April 21, 2020

Individuals: [email protected] or Shopify.
Booksellers: Order through Durvile.com or University of Toronto (UTP) or Alpine Book Peddlers. 

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