Creekstone Press

Northern BC's publisher

Creekstone Press Publications

Song of the Earth: The Life of Alfred Joseph

Description: This 5.5" X 7.5" trade paperback is 216 pages long and contains maps, photographs, references and an index.

ISBN: 978-1-928195-05-4

Price: $21.95

When your culture is banned and your land and resources stolen, it takes a special individual not only to survive but to thrive. Grounded in the wisdom of his elders, Gisdewe Alfred Joseph wove respect, kindness and courage into his years of service to the Witsuwit’en people of northwest British Columbia. As an artist, teacher, chief band councilor, house chief and lead plaintiff in Delgamuukw-Gisday Wa v. BC – one of the most important Aboriginal title cases in Canada – Alfred relied on the lessons he learned as a boy to deal with a pervasive colonial reality.

Written in collaboration with Alfred Joseph, Song of the Earth brings us inside the heart and mind of a man who grew up in the heart of Witsuwit’en culture and lived to see it transformed. But he was no passive observer; he initiated and participated in legal battles that have reshaped how Canada addresses its colonial past and struggles to find ways to reconcile with Indigenous nations. In the face of current Witsuwit’en attempts to block pipeline construction across their territories in northwestern BC, this book provides insight into the people standing up for the rights that Canadian courts have affirmed.

Gitxsan leader Neil J. Sterritt, author of Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History, refers to Joseph as a “natural story teller and a powerful advocate for the rights and titles of the Witsuwit’en Nation.” Peter Grant, lawyer for the Witsuwit’en during the Delgamuukw-Gisday Wa case, Joseph “played a central role in obtaining recognition of Witsuwit’en oral history and the feast system as a foundation for Witsuwit’en Aboriginal land title.”

Read excerpts from Song of the Earth: The Life of Alfred Joseph