White Raven

By (author): Teoni Spathelfer
Illustrated by: Natassia Davies
ISBN 9781772033779
Hardcover | Publication Date: August 17, 2021
Book Dimensions: 9 in. x 9 in.
32 Pages
$19.95 CAD

About the Book

Little Wolf, grown up with children of her own, moves to the country where her mother, White Raven, shares a sad story from her childhood.

All grown up with a family of her own, Little Wolf moves from the big city to the island of her ancestors. She wants to share the beauty and mysteries of nature with her children, and she wants them to learn as much about their culture as possible. One day, Little Wolf’s mother, White Raven, visits and begins to tell her grandchildren stories from her own childhood. But the stories are not happy ones. As a child, White Raven left her family to attend St. Michael’s Residential School in Alert Bay, BC. While there, she experienced hunger, loneliness, shame, and isolation from her language and her culture. Even years later, as a grown woman and Elder, she has nightmares about her time at the school. But by sharing her story with Little Wolf and her grandchildren, White Raven begins to heal and brings the family closer together. Through simple, heartfelt text and vivid illustrations that combine contemporary and traditional Indigenous motifs, White Raven is an engaging teaching tool as well as a relatable narrative about the impact of intergenerational trauma on families. Based on the author’s own life and her mother’s residential school experience, the central message of this book is one of healing and family unity.

About the Author(s)

Teoni Spathelfer is a hereditary member of the Heiltsuk Nation from coastal BC. Since childhood she has loved immersing herself in her own culture and learning about other cultures around the world. Spathelfer has worked as a publicist; a radio journalist, host, and producer; and an arts and music writer. Her documentary Teoni's Dream, informed by her mother’s residential school experience, has aired nationwide on CBC Radio. She has three daughters and two grandchildren and divides her time between Ontario and BC.

Natassia Davies is a Victoria-based artist and graphic designer, and is of Coast Salish ancestry from W̱SÁNEĆ territory. For nearly a decade, Natassia has worked traditionally and digitally to create illustrations, develop visual brand identities, and design various other visual communications tools for local businesses, individuals, and non-profits. She also works with other First Nations Peoples and Indigenous groups to create educational tools and public art pieces. Natassia has collaborated on multiple large-scale Indigenous murals that can be found throughout Sooke and Victoria’s harbour.