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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Paddling to Where I Stand

Agnes Alfred, Qwiqwasutinuxw Noblewoman

The first-ever biography written about a woman of the Northwest Coast’s Kwakwakawakw people, Paddling to Where I Stand presents the memoirs of Agnes Alfred (c.1890-1992), a non-literate noble Qwiqwasutinuxw woman of the Kwakwakawakw Nation and one of the last great storytellers among her peers in the classic oral tradition. Agnes Alfred documents through myths, historical accounts, and personal reminiscences the foundations and the enduring pulse of her living culture. But this is more than another anthropological interpretation; it is the first-hand account of the greatest period of change the Kwakwaka’wakw people experienced since first contact with Europeans, and Alfred’s memoirs flow from her urgent desire to pass on her knowledge to younger generations.

325 pages

Table of Contents




1 Myth Time

2 War, Conflict, and Slavery

3 Childhood

4 Becoming a Woman

5 Marrying Moses Alfred

6 Ceremonies and Rituals

7 Fragments of Recollections

Eulogy for Granny Axuw






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