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Recent Media on Kaska Dena Author, Wendy Proverbs, Presented with the Jeanne Clarke Award

WRITTEN: March 14, 2022 - AUTHOR:

Date: March 14, 2022

By March 14, 2022March 22nd, 2022No Comments

Wendy Proverbs is the author of Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children.
Photo: Matt Shannon/Submitted to Capital Daily

The Jeanne Clarke Award is presented annually by the Prince George Public Library to individuals or groups for outstanding contributions in the preservation and promotion of local history in the categories of Publication and Service.

Past Winners – Winning Publications – Nominated Publications

Kym Gouchie, Wendy Proverbs Receive Jeanne Clarke History Award. PG Daily News

PG Daily News

March 14, 2022

The Prince George Public Library (PGPL) board announced two recipients of the 37th annual Jeanne Clarke Awards Sunday. The Jeanne Clarke Local History Award was established by the library board in 1985, in memory of former library board chair Jeanne Clarke, to recognize individuals or groups for outstanding contributions in the preservation and promotion of local and regional history.

Kym Gouchie was honoured with the 2022 Jeanne Clarke Service Award. Gouchie is a multidisciplinary Indigenous musician, visual artist, and playwright. She uses her gifts to tell the stories, struggles, and strengths of her ancestors, bringing awareness to northern B.C. and the world through her songs and spoken words. Her passions are far reaching and include being a cultural liaison for a multitude of organizations.

She is an incredible storyteller who weaves language learnings into her music. This is demonstrated by the interactive videos she made in partnership with School District 57 that help to preserve Lheidli T’enneh history, culture, Dakelh language, and music in a genuine and playful way that gets kids dancing and singing along.

Gouchie said winning the award that her grandmother, Mary Gouchie, won in 2020 alongside The Exploration Place, means a lot to her.

“I feel that I am truly living in her footsteps and honouring her legacy,” Gouchie said. “I am standing here because I am a cycle breaker and I want something different for my life, for my children, for my grandchildren, for my great-grandchildren. And so, I believe that’s what inspires me to do the work that I am doing and to share these messages through music.”

The 2022 Publication Award was bestowed to Wendy Proverbs for her novel Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children, published in 2021. Proverbs’ novel focuses not on the sisters’ experience in residential school, but on the harrowing 1,600-kilometre expedition that took the sisters from their home in Daylu (Lower Post) to Lejac Residential School on the shores of Fraser Lake. The girls, aged eight and six, travel by riverboat, truck, paddle wheeler, steamship and train.

Aggie and Mudgy offers a glimpse into the act of being physically uprooted and transported far away from loved ones. It captures the breakdown of family by the forces of colonialism, but also celebrates the survival and perseverance of the descendants of residential school survivors in re-establishing the bonds of family.

“Writing Aggie and Mudgy has been a very personal journey for me,” said Proverbs. “I have grown closer to my ancestral routes and I am pleased to have met new family members as my Kaska Dena family has grown since the publication.”

“It’s so important for our community to hear these stories about where we come from and how we got here,” said Mike Gagel, the PGPL board chair. “As we learn about and reflect on the long-lasting impacts of colonialism on the peoples of this region, it’s important to listen, learn, and work to create environments where people can make authentic connections and share their experiences in a safe space. At the Prince George Public Library, we are committed to working towards fostering a vibrant, inclusive, thriving community. As expressed in our new mission statement, the library is focused on creating welcoming and inclusive spaces for every person to read, connect, and share. We prioritize partnerships and connections with community stakeholders to promote diversity and help to create safe, attractive, inclusive library spaces that all members of our community can take pride in, including marginalized or underserved groups. We strive to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices into library services, facilities, collections, and programming. We are grateful to all of the storytellers who help to preserve and promote our local history.”

For the second year in a row, PGPL was able to adapt and partner with CKPG to share this celebration of the history and people of the region with a broadcasted awards show. The Jeanne Clarke Awards aired on CKPG TV on March 13 at 6:00pm, will air again on March 14 at 7 p.m. and can be streamed online at www.ckpgtoday.ca.

Prince George Public Library Announces Winners of Jeanne Clarke Awards. My PG Now | News

My PG Now | News

March 14, 2022 | Brendan Pawliw

Two new winners were unveiled for the 37th annual Jeanne Clarke awards hosted by the Prince George Public Library.

Indigenous musician Kym Gouchie was given the Service Award.

Gouchie uses her gifts to tell the stories, struggles, and strengths of her ancestors, bringing awareness to Northern BC and the world through her songs and spoken words.

She demonstrated that by the interactive videos she made in partnership with School District 57 that help to preserve Lheidli T’enneh history, culture, Dakelh language.

“I feel that I am truly living in her footsteps and honouring her legacy”, Gouchie said.

“I am standing here because I am a cycle breaker and I want something different for my life, for my children, for my grandchildren, for my great grandchildren. And so, I believe that’s what inspires me to do the work that I am doing and to share these messages through music.”

In addition, the 2022 Publication Award was bestowed to Wendy Proverbs for her novel Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children, published in 2021.

Proverbs’ novel focuses not on the sisters’ experience in residential school, but on the harrowing 1,600-kilometre expedition that took the sisters from their home in Daylu (Lower Post) to Lejac Residential School on the shores of Fraser Lake.

Proverbs explained that “writing Aggie and Mudgy has been a very personal journey for me. I have grown closer to my ancestral routes and I am pleased to have met new family members as my Kaska Dena family has grown since the publication.”

The Jeanne Clarke Local History Award was established by the Library Board in 1985 to recognize individuals or groups for outstanding contributions in the preservation and promotion of local and regional history.

Winners of the Jeanne Clarke Awards Announced. CKPG Today

CKPG Today

March 14, 2022

PRINCE GEORGE — The Prince George Public Library (PGPL) Board announced the two winners of the 37th annual Jeanne Clarke Awards.

Kym Gouchie took home the 2022 Jeanne Clarke Service Award. Gouchie is an Indigenous musician, visual artist, and playwright. The PGPL Board says she uses her talents to tell the stories, struggles and strengths of her ancestors, bringing awareness to northern B.C. and the world through her songs and spoken words. The Board says she’s used her gifts by creating interactive videos, in partnership with School District 57, that help preserve Lheidli T’enneh history, culture, Dakelh language and music.

The 2022 publication award went to Wendy Proverbs for her novel Aggie and Mudgy: The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children. The novel focuses not on the two sisters’ experience in residential school, but on the harrowing 1,600-kilometre expedition that took the sisters from their home in Daylu (Lower Post) to Lejac Residential School.

The Jeanne Clarke Local History Award was established in 1985 in memory of former library chair Jeanne Clarke to recognize individuals or groups for outstanding contributions in the preservation and promotion of local and regional history.

Book Release—Aggie and Mudgy: Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children

Release Date:

November 2021

This is a story of two young Kaska Dena girls’ journey from their homeland, on the B.C. – Yukon border, to the steps of Lejac Residential School in the late 1920s. It is based on my aunt’s memoir depicting the journey she took with my birth mother. The story unfolds in contemporary times told by a fictionalized grandmother—Nan—to her eight-year-old granddaughter, Maddy. In keeping with the oral tradition of her ancestors, Nan teaches her granddaughter about her past by way of story. It slowly unfolds over several days as Nan and Maddy go about their daily routines.

As Maddy listens to Nan tell her about the girls’ journey, she learns how it changed their lives forever, and her young mind asks questions that any young child might ask. For example, Maddy wonders why they had to change their Kaska names to anglicized names, providing Nan an opportunity to teach her granddaughter about this dark aspect of her ancestors’ past. It offers a glimpse into the impacts of colonization at a level Maddy can begin to understand. It also provides a lovely example of how the sisters fashioned their anglicized names into ones that they could own and like. Christened by the church as Agnes and Martha, the girls rename themselves Aggie and Mudgy. …

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