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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Standing Up with G_a’ax_sta’las

Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Standing Up with G_a’ax_sta’las

Jane Constance Cook and the Politics of Memory, Church, and Custom

Standing Up with G_a’ax_sta’las tells the remarkable story of Jane Constance Cook (1870-1951), a controversial Kwakwa_ka_’wakw leader and activist who lived during a period of enormous colonial upheaval. Working collaboratively, Robertson and Cook’s descendants draw on oral histories and textual records to create a nuanced portrait of a high-ranked woman, a cultural mediator, devout Christian, and Aboriginal rights activist who criticized potlatch practices for surprising reasons. This powerful meditation on memory and cultural renewal documents how the Kwagu’l Gix_sa_m have revived their long-dormant clan in the hopes of forging a positive cultural identity for future generations through feasting and potlatching.

596 pages


Table of Contents

Foreword / Nella Nelson

Prologue

Introduction: “Having Oneness on Your Face”

Part I – The Living Text: Traces of Jane Cook

Part II – Du?wa_’esa_la (Looking Around On the Beach): Ancestors

Part III – Stranger Than Fiction: Surviving the Missionary

Part IV – “Children of the Potlatch System,” 1888-1912

Part V – “We As the Suppressed People,” 1913-18

Part VI – “We Are the Aboriginee, Which Is Not a Citizen,” 1918-27

Part VII – “With the Potlatch Custom in My Blood,” 1930-39

Part VIII – One Voice from Many: Citizenship, 1940-48

Part IX – A Tower of Strength: Word Memorials, 1951

Part X – Dlax_w’it’sine’ (For Your Standing), Feasting

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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