A reading today (Nov. 9) at the En’owkin Centre is going to feature an author whose book exemplifies both the work of the centre and of Theytus Books.
I See Me was published in 2009 by the aboriginal publishing house, Theytus Books, which makes its home at En’owkin. It was written by Margaret Manuel, who is a graduate of the National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training Program at the centre.
“Being a parent of two sparked a need within me to teach my children Nsyilxcn, our Okanagan language,” said Manuel. “As I struggled with learning and teaching the language to my children, I imagined an easier way for us to learn together. Since reading a bedtime story with my children was routine, I thought what’s easier than a children’s book.”
I See Me is filled with images of Manuel’s son, Qwyula?xw, as he is nurtured within the Syilx way of life. He sleeps in his baby board to hand-drumming, he plays with the rattle among other daily activities.
“This encourages children in their early years to relate actions with daily life, Syilx tradition and language,” said Manuel, adding that through children’s literature and the NAPAT program, she developed the skills to write I See Me. In 2010, the book received an Honorable Mention Award at the New York Book Festival.
The event begins at 11:30 a.m., with welcome addresses at noon by En’owkin Centre director Jeannette Armstrong and Gerry William of the creative writing department. Manuel will take the podium at 12:15 p.m., followed by a book signing at 1:15 p.m.