Oolichan Moon is a beautifully illustrated children’s book about passing down traditional knowledge from Nisga'a Elders and the sacredness of traditional foods, particularly the oolichan fish.
Together, author Samantha Beynon and illustrator Lucy Trimble have created a children’s book rich with cultural knowledge and tradition that relates to their Nisga'a ancestry surrounding the oolichan fish.
With playful text and vibrant illustrations, young readers can learn alongside the two Nisga'a sisters as they are gifted with sacred knowledge from their Elders, passed down for many generations in the oral tradition.
A gorgeous celebration of Nisga'a language, history and culture, Oolichan Moon also includes historical and cultural information about the oolichan fish and related Nisga'a vocabulary.
About the authors
Samantha Beynon was born and raised in Prince Rupert, BC, and currently lives on the unceded territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples in Victoria, BC. Beynon’s heritage includes Nisga'a, Tsimshian, Irish and Swedish. She grew up in a close-knit family and community, which has infused a passion for being a strong role model and educator for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, helping to guide and support a path towards encouraging and positive experiences.
Lucy Trimble’s traditional Nisga'a name is Hlgu Maksguum Ganaaw; she comes from Wilps Axdii Wil Luugooda, The House that is Always Full, in the Nass Valley. She hails from the Frog clan and has maternal roots in Gingolx, BC. Trimble also works as an Indigenous Child and Youth Mental Health Clinician for coastal T’msyen communities and has been in the social service field for the past ten years. She holds an MSWI through the University of Victoria and is a student at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. Her passions include breathing life into land-based Indigenous ways of healing and seasonal traditional food harvesting.
"Oolichan Moon is a wonderful story with such simple teachings for all of us. The oolichan were so important for many people of the rivers.
The long winter is over, and Spring is here and so too the oolichans return to feed and provide for the people. Today, we still fish for the Oolichan but like most fish of the river their numbers are low. This story teaches all of us that we must only take what is needed and that we should always give something back.
This is survival. This is the teaching."
Joseph Dandurand, storyteller and author of <i>A Magical Sturgeon</i> and <i>The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets</i>
"Samantha Beynon and Lucy Trimble have created a beautiful, heart-warming story featuring a nutritious and iconic little fish of the Northwest Coast. Since time immemorial, oulachens have served as a food and esteemed condiment for the Nisga’a Peoples of the Nass Valley and for many other coastal First Nations from Alaska to the Columbia River. Through the delightful teachings of wise and kind grandparents, the granddaughters—and we, as readers—are able to learn about oulachens and their immense cultural value. We learn how and when they are caught, and how they are prepared, and especially how they are rendered into a nutrient-rich and highly valued oil. At the same time, we experience “history, laughter, and love,” and gain insights into the deep and lasting relationships that Indigenous Peoples have developed with the fish and other species of their homelands and how children and youth are taught about these profound connections. The illustrations are stunning."
Nancy Turner, Professor Emeritus, University of Victoria, and author of <i>Plants of Haida Gwaii</i> and <i>The Earth's Blanket</i>
“I had a little tear welling up in my eye as I thought how cool it will be for kids to be reading about part of their culture. This kind of story is long overdue and badly needed. I hope it is the first of many.”
Edward Desson, fisheries manager, Nisga’a Fisheries and Wildlife, Nisga’a Lisims Government
"Packed with traditional knowledge, family values and deep wisdom, this story instantly transports you to a timeless place! Like visiting with family, you can feel strength and warmth beaming from each page."
Lucky Budd, author of <i>Peace Dancer</i> and <i>One Eagle Soaring</i>