Beloved by educators and embraced by readers, The Heart of a River by Eileen Pearkes is BACK IN PRINT.
This story of the Columbia River is unique. Told from the river’s perspective, it is an immersive, empathetic portrait of a once-wild river and of the Sinixt, a First People who lived on the mainstem of this great western river for thousands of years, and continue to do so even though Canada declared them “extinct” in 1956.
The book’s re-release comes at a critical time for natural systems and for reconciliation with Indigenous people across North America. The Colville Confederated Tribes, representing over 3,000 Sinixt people, recently won a precedent-setting case in the Supreme Court of Canada affirming that Aboriginal Rights do not stop at the border. The important story of the Sinixt weaves together with the ongoing ecological impact of hydropower development on the Columbia and its tributaries.
This is a book for anyone, of any age, who cares about rivers. Central to the story is the joyous spirit of salmon, once a free swimmer in the Columbia’s currents north of the border but now blocked from ancestral spawning grounds by Grand Coulee and other dams.
Releasing the second edition of this book has been a joint effort of the authors, Wildsight, and the Sinixt people of the Colville Reservation, with generous support from the Columbia Power Corporation and the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network. Proceeds from book sales support local youth to attend Wildsight’s Columbia River Field School.
For this event we are lucky to have LaRae Wiley read for us.
LaRae is sn̓aʕyčkstx, Arrow Lakes Band. She is a proud grandmother of five grandchildren and is one of the new fluent speakers of the highly endangered Colville/Sinixt language.
LaRae is the Executive Director and a
founder of Salish School of Spokane.
Salish School of Spokane is a non-profit organization that operates two Salish immersion childcare/preschool centers, a Salish immersion private Elementary school, a Native Youth Empowerment Center for grades 8-12, a Salish language teacher training program and community Salish language classes.