We Remember the Coming of the White Man, Special Edition in Recognition of  the 100th Anniversary of the  Signing of Treaty 11.  


By Elizabeth Yakeleya, Sarah Simon and other Sahtú and Gwich'in Elders
Edited by Raymond Yakeleya and Sarah Stewart; Foreword by Walter Blondin


Dene Elders tell the history of their times

"I hear so much power in these pages. I also feel it." —Richard Van Camp

We Remember the Coming of the White Man chronicles the history of the Sahtú (Mountain Dene) and Gwinch’in People in the extraordinary time of the early 20th century. This 2021 Special Edition of the book recognizes the anniversary of the signing of Treaty 11, which is greatly controversial due to the emotional and economic fallout for the People. The remastered film “We Remember,” is included with the book, on DVD and as digital Vimeo links. As well as poignant essays on Treaty 11, the book includes transcripts of oral histories by Elders. They talk about the early days of fur trading and guns; the flu pandemic; and dismay about the way oil and uranium discoveries and pipelines were handled on their land. A new section of stories is included as well — stories by Leanne Goose, Antoine Mountain, Raymond Yakeleya, and George Blondin.

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 translation is by Bella Ross.

Author royalties for this edition are being used to create a scholarship for an emerging Indigenous writer in conjunction with Northwords Writers Festival.

Keywords: Indigenous, Dene Nation, Elders, Treaty 11, Hudson Bay Company, Missionaries, Northwest Territories.

What they say

"We Remember The Coming of the White Man should be crucial reading for anyone in Canada because it speaks to the resiliency of the Dene and Metis people of Denendeh. It's also a testament to the power of memory carried in the oral tradition. To think what our ancestors have seen in one lifetime: relations with the Hudon's Bay Company,TB, Influenza, Treaty signings, the first musket loader, Residential Schools, the first radio, the first TV, a man on the moon. It is staggering. I hear so much power in these pages. I also feel it. I am grateful to everyone involved in this project because it is a life's work honouring the witnessing of so much change in so little time. Mahsi cho, everyone. I am grateful. We will have and celebrate this book and the DVD that accompanies it forever." 

Our traditional knowledge is recorded 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 YAKELEYA, Dene National Chief

“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 Special Edition

HIS028000/Indigenous History
Book 4 in the Indigenous Spirit of Nature Series
6” x 9” | 288 pages | b/w photographs
Contains DVD of film We Remember, Redux
ISBN: 9781988824635 (pbk)
Price: $39.95 in Canada, $32.50 in US
Release date, March 21, 2021

Individuals: [email protected] or buy online.
Booksellers: Order through University of Toronto (UTP) 

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