Review of Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History
I am Haa'yuups, (Ron Hamilton) Head of the House of Takiishtakamlthat-h, of the Huupachesat-h First Nation of the Westcoast of Vancouver Island. I am proud to say I was present when the Allan McEachern delivered his REASONS FOR JUDGMENT in the Delgamuukw case.
I have just finished reading your very fine and valuable contribution to the published history of this part of the world. I cannot express the joy you have brought to me as a Kuu-as reader. I have been reading voraciously for the last sixty years of my life and have not yet met with another work I can compare your book to. For several years, I was involved with two professors from UBC and we produced NATIVE ART OF THE NORTHWEST COAST: A HISTORY OF CHANGING IDEAS....You have escaped the fad of publishing Kuu-as history as though it is only meant for children to read. You have escaped the trend of blaming and scolding our Mamalthnii neighbours. You have also succeeded in bringing your own particular voice forward in such a new, vibrant, strident, rich, respectful, multi-faceted, and engaging manner.
Well, I loved your book! I like that you have provided your readers with a good measure of what one might call standard history, all the stuff about the Omineca gold fields and early Maatmalthnii settlers in your country. I like that you juxtaposed that with lots of ancient and more modern history from the point of view of the Gitxsan people who experienced it. Your terse and pithy account of the Delgamuukw case and its development is on the mark. I think very few Canadians know the amount of energy, money, and human lives we have invested in our struggle for justice, over the last century and more. Throughout your account of overlapping and complicated Gitxsan histories, you have succeeded in personalizing all of it, making it relevant to your own family and yourself. My hat is off to you Neil. Your book should be on the shelves of every university, college, high school, and public library in this country. It is that important.