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Sole Paddle cover

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2. Paperback Edition
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  • 162 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
3. Hardcover Edition
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  • 162 pages
  • 5.5 x 8.5 inches

First Nations, Indigenous communities, Remote village, Cultural heritage, Modernization, Family legacy, Traditional lifestyle

Sole Paddle
by H R Campbell

Sole Paddle speaks of solitude and relationships, of walking alone and in community—and of embracing the present and future as part of a team, but also, sometimes with a sole paddle. It tells the story of John Bear, a young man from the isolated wilderness community of Reflection Lake, raised by his grandfather and his grandmother, and influenced by the parish priest. Late summer, John—hunter, fisherman, tourist guide—returns to school, where the principal and two teachers encourage him to complete his senior-year studies and develop his leadership skills. John participates in the annual school play, a presentation that highlights the community's need for wisdom and courage to heal itself, and step confidently into the future.

In co-researching, co-writing the script, and narrating the play, John deepens his understanding of himself and his community which awakens a desire to learn more about the outside world. When a forest fire threatens Reflection Lake, the community is spared by John's, his grandfather's, and other firefighters's work, and by a life-giving three-day rain. Following his grandfather's sudden death shortly after the fire, John observes that the past includes painful memories as well as disempowering and empowering stories; the present offers obstacles and complex choices; and the future requires courage, strength and wisdom to navigate. He decides to pursue a university degree.

As an educator and counsellor in Canada, Egypt and India, HR Campbell learned the tremendous value of cultural diversity and story in facing challenges and finding culturally appropriate avenues for students, families and communities to explore. He has worked with young adults and adults, including indigenous and international students, in negotiating, working through, and managing diverse life transitions.

He and his wife live in the beautiful Okanagan, in British Columbia, Canada.


H R Campbell

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