Local author Danielle S. Marcotte will celebrate the launch of her thirteenth book, Blue Camas, Blue Camas, this Sunday (Nov. 19) at Black Bond Books in Ladner Village.
Blue Camas, or kwetlal in the lək̓ʷəŋən language, is native to the Northwest Coast of North America and has been considered a sacred and valuable plant by the Indigenous Peoples of this region. The bulbs were harvested, eaten, and traded across the Pacific Northwest.
“As a writer, I like to challenge myself,” says Marcotte, a French-Canadian children’s author. “This time, I was wondering if I could write a story for very young children that would explain the concept of cultural differences. I decided to do it through the camas plant, hence the title Blue Camas, Blue Camas.”
The story in Blue Camas, Blue Camas, takes place at the point of contact between a Lkwungen community and a group of Irish settlers, who see and use the land in very different ways. When Europeans arrived and began to colonize the land, they saw the camas meadows as ideal terrain to grow their own crops and raise livestock.
Blue Camas, Blue Camas addresses food rights, biodiversity, the preservation of ecosystems, and the importance of traditional knowledge. Beautifully illustrated by Canadian artist Alyssa Koski, a member of the Kainai Nation, the book is an ode to a way of life that was threatened and nearly destroyed through miscommunication and colonization.
Sen’ákw, Senaqwila Wyss, a Squamish Nation ethnobotanist who reviewed the book for cultural and botanical accuracy, said Blue Camas, Blue Camas was “a beautiful story and an important narrative about the timeline of colonial contact . . . I am happy to share this book with my children.”
The book launch is on Nov. 19 at Black Bond Books, 5052 48th Ave., at 1 p.m. free to attend — families and readers of all ages are welcome.
As a special giveaway, the first 30 customers who purchase a copy of Blue Camas, Blue Camas at the launch will receive a free copy of Danielle’s previous book.