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Breath of our Ancestors cover

1. Paperback Edition
  • Premium Color
  • 64 pages
  • 7 x 10 inches

Gitxsan teachings and wisdom. Gitxsan celebrations, Relationshiips between Gitxsan Community and Family. Spirituality. The Role of Elders,

Breath of our Ancestors
Quotes and Sayings
by Dr. M. Jane Smith (Xsiwis)

At the dawn of time there were…

…the Gitxsan who uttered the first words, told the first stories and sang the first songs. They gave description and order to the culture and handed it down through the ages. It was woven down from my ancestors to my grandfathers and my teachers. I have learned that if you want to write you need a master with words that connect with you. With their teachings my Gitxsan Elders have touched my soul.

I thank God for the opportunity that I had to walk with them, I thank them for their great knowledge and for the privilege of allowing me to glimpse that knowledge. I thank them for their great inspiration that allowed me to create the ‘Breath of our Ancestors.’

M. Jane Smith was born and raised in the Gitxsan community of Gitanmaaxs in northwestern BC. Listening to stories as a child was the beginning of her education. She now holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Victoria, a Masters degree from the University of Northern British Columbia and a Doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia.

She has written: ‘Returning the Feathers (Five Gitxsan Stories)’ and The First Fry Bread. M. Jane Smith teaches in an elementary school in the Gitxsan Territories.

Ken N. Mowatt was born in 1944, in the Gitxsan Community of Gitanmaaxs. He began his studies of Northwest Coast art in 1969 and later began instructing at the Kitanmax Northwest Coast Indian Art School. His art speaks of age-old cosmology of harmony between the natural and spiritual worlds of the Gitxsan. His serigraphs and carvings display a refined technical understanding of the Gitxsan art form, with it an underlying mystical and spiritual element.


Dr. M. Jane Smith (Xsiwis)

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