Lha yudit’ih — We Always Find a Way

On Friday, December 1st at 6pm, join Massy Arts, Massy Books and Talonbooks in celebrating the launch of Lha yudit’ih — We Always Find a Way: Bringing the Tŝilhqot’in Title Case Home by Lorraine Weir with Chief Roger William. We are honoured to also have sχɬemtəna:t Audrey Siegl (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) conducting a Welcome for this event.

Lha yudit’ih — We Always Find a Way is a community oral history of Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, the first case in Canada to result in a declaration of Aboriginal Rights and Title to a specific piece of land. Told from the perspective of the Plaintiff, Chief Roger William, joined by fifty Xeni Gwet’ins, Tŝilhqot’ins, and allies, this book encompasses ancient stories of creation, modern stories of genocide through smallpox and residential school, and stories of resistance including the Tŝilhqot’in War, direct actions against logging and mining, and the twenty-five-year battle in Canadian courts to win recognition of what Tŝilhqot’ins never gave up and have always known.

About the authors:

Chief Roger William is the Plaintiff in the Tŝilhqot’in Rights and Title case. Born at Naghataneqed in Xeni, he is from the Bulyan family and is the great-great-grandson of Warrior Qaq’ez, older brother of Warrior Chief Lhats’assʔin. Roger served his community, Xeni Gwet’in, for six terms as Chief and three terms as Councillor. In recognition of his twenty-five-year contribution to the Title case, Chief William was awarded an honorary LL.D. by the University of Northern British Columbia in 2015.

Lorraine Weir came to oral history from Irish studies early in her career and Indigenous Studies more recently via a bridge from the Law and Society field and papers on the concepts of “time immemorial” and “oral tradition” in the Tŝilhqot’in case. She worked as an expert witness in touchstone Canadian censorship court cases. A fifth-generation descendant of Irish Famine survivors, she grew up in Montréal and holds a Ph.D. in Irish literature from Ollscoil na hÉireann (National University of Ireland). Weir is an Emeritus Professor of Indigenous Studies, Department of English Language and Literatures, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.