On National Author’s Day, November 1st, we honour those who write the books we love and recognize the powerful impact that their inspiration provides to others. We would like to take the time to honour Tla’amin Nation Elder Elsie Qaxustala's Paul, author of Written as I Remember It: Teachings (Ɂəms tɑɁɑw) From the Life of a Sliammon Elder. Written in collaboration with Paige Raibmon and Harmony Johnson, the book is available at local bookstores and online at Strong Nations.
Elder Elsie’s traditional Coast Salish name is Qaxustala's, which means “a welcoming person with a wealth of knowledge, someone who shares her culture.” She has been a source of inspiration for many First Nations people and won a major book prize from the Canadian Historical Association in Ottawa (2015), among others. She received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Vancouver Island University in 2010.
Elsie has lived her whole life in service to others, illustrated by her career in social work, her work as a Justice of the Peace, her contributions in preserving the Tla’amin language for future generations, and her service on the Elders Councils for Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council, Naut’sa mawt Resources Group, and Xyntax. Elder Elsie, we raise our hands to you!