Nelson author: ‘I am the Columbia River, this is my story’

Eileen Delehanty Pearkes shared her children’s book The Heart of a River with Rosemont Elementary.

Nelson author Eileen Delahanty Pearkes taught students about the Columbia River during a visit to Rosemont Elementary on Monday morning.

“A river woke me up in the middle of the night.”

That’s how Eileen Delehanty Pearkes described the moment she decided to write The Heart of a River to the students of Rosemont Elementary, during a visit on Monday morning.

According to her, the Columbia River itself insisted on speaking through her.

“The Columbia River knocked on the door of my office at work and said ‘pick up your pen, I have a story to tell you’,” said Pearkes. She used an overhead projector to share the illustrations by local artist Nichola Lytle.

Pearkes’ book is narrated by the Columbia, and takes readers through its lengthy history while introducing them to some of the politics and controversies surrounding its use and stewardship. It details the arrival of people “pale as river stones” who disrupt the equilibrium it had achieved with the Sinixt People.

“I am the Columbia River. This is my story,” Pearkes read. “I am a river whose heart struggles to pulse with the rhythms of life.”

Unfortunately, its task of transporting salmon to the sea has been interrupted by dams and development. That’s a topic Pearkes has written about in her non-fiction book A River Captured: The Columbia River Treaty and Catastrophic Change, but for River she’s simplified the message for younger audiences.

“I am a river whose work has been interrupted by a prosperity I do not recognize, whose spirit is impoverished and silenced. Someday I will again be able to carry the salmon on the backs of my currents.”

And, she told the kids, they should all care about what happens to the Columbia.

“I wonder how the people pale as river stones could understand so little about my purpose, what I was born for: to find my way with great freedom and power to the sea.”

Pearkes plans to tour this book to other schools in the district, and share her passion for the river with people throughout the Kootenays.

 

Just Posted

School District 8 votes to move Grade 9 from LVR to Trafalgar

The board also delayed a decision on reconfiguring grades at Slocan schools

Storm prompts travel warning for Boundary, West Kootenay

Up to 25 cm expected on high mountain passes

Cops seize load of pot near Salmo

Traffic stop nets hundreds of pounds of cannabis

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Most Read