Tuesday, August 21, 2012


In an effort to draw on the expertise of librarians who work at tribal libraries, I put out a call for nonfiction recommendations.

Miriam Bobkoff, librarian at the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Library in Port Angeles, Washington, wrote to me to recommend a book about the tribes on the Olympic Peninsula. Here's what she said:

Luckily there is a book I can recommend which the tribes on the Olympic Peninsula worked together to produce in 2002, Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are by the Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Advisory Committee, edited by Jacilee Wray (historian for Olympic National Park). Each of 9 tribes contributed a chapter written by their culture teachers. The Elwha Klallam chapter was written by Elwha’s  Jamie Valadez. It begins with a description of the creation site taken from the work of ethnologist T. T. Waterman. The citation is to still unpublished 1920 handwritten notes of Waterman’s at the Smithsonian.

I used Google Books to get a sense of the reading level. It is definitely accessible to middle and high school students, and teachers in elementary grades will find it useful as they develop instructional materials for their students. The book has maps and photographs, a chronology, and a pronunciation guide. Here's the chapters and authors:
  • The S'Klallam: Elwha, Jamestown and Port Gamble
  • Elwha Klallam, by Jamie Valadez
  • Jamestown S'Klallam, by Trina Bridges & Kathy Duncan
  • Port Gamble S'Klallam, by Gina Beckwith, Marie Hebert, and Tallis Woodward
  • Skokomish: Twana Descendants, by the Skokomish Culture and Art Committee
  • Squaxin Island, by Theresa Henderson, Andi VanderWal, and the Squaxin Island Heritage and Culture Committee
  • Quinault, by Justine E. James, Jr., with Leilani A. Chubby
  • Hoh, by Viola Riebe and Helen Lee
  • Quileute, by Chris Morganroth III
  • Makah, by Melissa Peterson and the Makah Cultural and Research Center
I recognize Morganroth's name (he's the author of the chapter on the Quileute's); I wrote about Morganroth's Quileute storytelling in 2009.

Thanks, Miriam, for the recommendation! 

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