Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Biography & Autobiography Native Americans

Talking to the Story Keepers

Tales from the Chilcotin Plateau

by (author) Sage Birchwater

Caitlin Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2022
Native Americans, Post-Confederation (1867-), Canadian Studies
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


In Talking to the Story Keepers: Tales from the Chilcotin Plateau, writer and journalist Sage Birchwater gathers dozens of stories spanning decades in the Cariboo Chilcotin from those who hold onto stories passed through generations. These stories reflect on the story keepers themselves as well as our collective humanity, tying everything from the small, almost forgettable moments, heroic deeds and colourful characters, to the greater significance of our histories. Each story contains insight, wisdom, knowledge or entertainment, connecting the past to the present and shaping the future in their telling; each story provides a sense of perspective of where we come from, and prepares us for how we might proceed forward.




Talking to the Story Keepers also offers an image of a changing landscape, identifying the quiet or forgotten stories swept aside by colonization. Here, those often left unnamed in historic photographs and the side characters in the many stories are given a voice, a name, that may otherwise be left to history. From the tale of the Old Emmanuel United Church's Brass Band playing "Onward Christian Soldiers" from the pews, as the church is dragged across the river to its new location on the south side of the Bella Coola river, to the Ulkatcho community search for missing local Tory Jack, which was successfully led to its conclusion by a clever horse, each story builds a portrait of time, place, and of the story keepers that protect these histories for the next generation.

About the author

Sage Birchwater has been a resident of the Cariboo Chilcotin Central Coast region since 1973. Originally from Victoria, he has led a varied life as a back-to-the-lander, trapper, ranch hand, educator, cultural researcher, community activist, newspaper reporter and freelance journalist. He has authored/co-authored/edited 13 books. His most recent book Chilcotin Chronicles (Caitlin Press 2017) was third on the 2017 BC Bestsellers list.

Sage has lived communally in the Cariboo, spent ten years on a remote Chilcotin trapline, raised two sons "born in the bush" and is the grandfather of seven. He currently makes his home in Williams Lake with his companion Caterina.

Sage Birchwater's profile page

Other titles by Sage Birchwater