Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii

Illustrated by: Alyssa Koski, Judy Hilgemann
ISBN 9781772032963
Hardcover | Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Book Dimensions: 8 in x 10 in
64 Pages

About the Book

Based on ancient Haida narratives, this vibrantly illustrated children’s book empowers young people and teaches them to live in harmony with nature.

Haida Gwaii is home to a rich and vibrant culture whose origins date back thousands of years. Today, the Haida People are known throughout Canada and the world for their artistic achievements, their commitment to social justice and environmental protection, and their deep connection to the natural world. Embedded in Haida culture and drawn from ancient oral narratives are a number of Supernatural Beings, many of them female, who embody these connections to the land, the sea, and the sky. Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii features ten of these ancient figures and presents them to children as visually engaging, empowering, and meaningful examples of living in balance with nature. Developed by renowned Haida activist, lawyer, performer, and artist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and Haida educator Sara Florence Davidson, this book challenges stereotypes, helps advance reconciliation, and celebrates Indigenous identity and culture.

About the Author(s)

Alyssa Koski is an illustrator and member of the Kainai Nation. She holds a BA in Visual Communications from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Koski is the recipient of the Janet Mitchell Award and the Harley Brown Artistic Endowment and the winner of the 2017 Applied Arts Magazine design award.

Sara Florence Davidson is a Haida/Settler educator and an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she teaches Indigenous education and English Language Arts methods. She is the co-author, with her father, Robert Davidson, of Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony. She loves walks with her dog, reading books, drinking tea, and knitting.

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson is a multi-award winning Haida musician, an artist, and lawyer, well known for her work in Aboriginal-environmental law and as a keeper of traditions. She is the author of Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii. Born and raised in Haida Gwaii, Terri-Lynn has dedicated herself to the continuation of Haida culture. On the front lines of Indigenous Rights, she strives to open new vistas to her audiences rooted in Indigenous world views, Haida language and laws, music, and oral traditions, and branches out to explore their relevance to contemporary society.

Reviews

Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii is a gentle, powerful collection of words and pictures, stories that hold knowledge, teachings, and traditions for the generations of today and the future. A must-read for those who live on the beautiful island of Haida Gwaii, and any Canadian who wants to learn about one of the many vital Indigenous cultures across Turtle Island.”—David A. Robertson, winner of the Governor General’s award for When We Were Alone
“This book is both gorgeous and profound. A true masterpiece.”—Monique Gray Smith
An absolute treasure and honouring for the Haida People and for Haida Gwaii, and a marvel of devotion for the world to learn from. Oh I love this book so much! I am in awe of Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii. Every Nation deserves a book as gorgeous and as healing as this one.”—Richard Van Camp, award-winning author of Moccasin Square Gardens
“The Supernaturals, the Magical Beings, have been here since the beginning of time and they are still here. With this book, children can become familiar with the Supernaturals so that they can become part of our natural ways again, as it was with our grandparents.”—GwaaGanad, Diane Brown (honorary), Spirit Aligned Legacy Leader, Haida Elder
Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii is an enchanting book born of a close relationship and understanding of how we see the world from an Indigenous perspective. There is an intrinsic value to stories recorded from the most natural of primary sources, our families. Terri-Lynn and Sara Davidson have given us a lesson on how to value our Indigenous magical beings as we all have them.”—Naa-Jing-Jada, Verna J. Kirkness, educator and author of Creating Space: My Life and Work in Indigenous Education