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History Native American

Okanagan Women’s Voices

Syilx and settler writing and relations, 1870s to 1960s

by (author) Jeannette Armstrong

edited by Janet MacArthur & Lally Grauer

Theytus Books
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Native American, Indigenous Studies, Women's Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

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The writing and relations between Syilx women and settler women, largely of European descent, who came to inhabit the British Columbia southern interior from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries.

Okanagan Women’s Voices features the writing and stories of seven women: Susan Moir Allison (1845-1937), Josephine Shuttleworth (1866-1950), Eliza Jane Swalwell (1868-1944), Marie Houghton Brent (1870-1968), Hester Emily White (1877-1963), Mourning Dove (1886-1936) and Isabel Christie MacNaughton (1915-2003).

About the authors

Jeannette Armstrong is an award-winning novelist, activist and poet born on the Okanagan Reserve. Known for her literary work, Armstrong has always sought to change deeply biased misconceptions about Indigenous people. Her novel Slash is considered by many people to be the first novel by a First Nations woman. In 2013 she was appointed a Canada Research Chair in Okanagan Indigenous Knowledge and Philosophy to research, document, categorize and analyze Okanagan syilx oral literature in Nsyilxcn.

Jeannette Armstrong's profile page

Janet MacArthur is an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus). She created and taught the first courses there on women’s literature, autobiography, and trauma studies in the humanities. She has published a monograph on the reception of early modern poetry as well as articles on women’s literature, postcolonial literature, settler colonial life writing, and disability narratives. Recent conference presentations have been on relations among Syilx, mixed heritage, and settler women in the southern interior, and on Holocaust film and fiction.


Janet MacArthur's profile page

Lally Grauer has long been involved in Canadian and Indigenous literatures and oratures in Canada. During her graduate studies at the University of Toronto she gathered and analyzed writings from the Riel Rebellion of 1885 (“In the Camp of Big Bear”). As an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan she taught both Canadian and Indigenous literatures. Together with Jeannette Armstrong, she published Native Poetry in Canada (2001) and has collaborated with Indigenous authors in papers and articles.


Lally Grauer's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A contact zone dominated by white men and popularly represented by cowboys, railway builders and gold miners is here illuminated by seven women writers­–some Syilx, some settler. They experienced intimate friendships and family relations across an increasingly high racial bar, and thought through their cultural entanglements in poetry, Syilx captikwl, memoir, letters, newspaper articles and history. Expertly contextualized, their writings give a gendered and often surprisingly original picture of the period when settler racism forced the Syilx from their territory. ”

Margery Fee, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Professor Emerita of English, University of British Columbia

Other titles by Jeannette Armstrong

Other titles by Lally Grauer