Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii Children's Book

Dimensions: 64 pages, 21 x 0.6 x 26 cm

About 

Haida Gwaii is home to a rich and vibrant culture whose origins date back thousands of years. Today, the Haida People are known throughout Canada and the world for their artistic achievements, their commitment to social justice and environmental protection, and their deep connection to the natural world. Embedded in Haida culture and drawn from ancient oral narratives are a number of Supernatural Beings, many of them female, who embody these connections to the land, the sea, and the sky. Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii features ten of these ancient figures and presents them to children as visually engaging, empowering, and meaningful examples of living in balance with nature. Developed by renowned Haida activist, lawyer, performer, and artist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and Haida educator Sara Florence Davidson, this book challenges stereotypes, helps advance reconciliation, and celebrates Indigenous identity and culture.

Based on ancient Haida narratives, this vibrantly illustrated children’s book empowers young people and teaches them to live in harmony with nature.

The Haida Peoples have lived in Haida Gwaii for a very long time, even before the ice age and floods made the Earth we know today. Haida Peoples have been able to live in Haida Gwaii for so long because of how the Haida view the land and the sea.

Haida Elders teach that Haida Gwaii is a magical place with Magical Beings through stories called “Raven Traveling,” or Xuuya Kaagang.ngas in the Skidegate dialect of the Haida language. These stories tell of Raven traveling the Earth and changing it to make it fit for humans. The Haida name for Raven is Nang Kilslas, which means The-One-Whose-Voice-is-Obeyed. This is because Raven is powerful and can make events happen just by speaking about them.

About the Author

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson is a multi-award winning Haida musician, an artist, and lawyer, well known for her work in Aboriginal-environmental law and as a keeper of traditions. She is the author of Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii. Born and raised in Haida Gwaii, Terri-Lynn has dedicated herself to the continuation of Haida culture. On the front lines of Indigenous Rights, she strives to open new vistas to her audiences rooted in Indigenous world views, Haida language and laws, music, and oral traditions, and branches out to explore their relevance to contemporary society.

Sara Florence Davidson is a Haida/Settler educator and an Assistant Professor in the Teacher Education Department at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she teaches Indigenous education and English Language Arts methods. She is the co-author, with her father, Robert Davidson, of Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony. She loves walks with her dog, reading books, drinking tea, and knitting.

Alyssa Koski is an illustrator and member of the Kainai Nation. She holds a BA in Visual Communications from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Koski is the recipient of the Janet Mitchell Award and the Harley Brown Artistic Endowment and the winner of the 2017 Applied Arts Magazine design award.

Judy Hilgemann is a first-generation Canadian artist and illustrator with roots in Norway, Sweden, and England. She has lived on Haida Gwaii for many years. Hilgemann’s work reflects her deep reverence for the natural world.