Xwelíqwiya, The Life Story of A Stó:lõ MatriarchBook - 2013
Xwelíqwiya is the life story of Rena Point Bolton, a Stó:lo (or, asthey are now called, Xwélmexw) matriarch, artist, and craftswoman.Proceeding by way of conversational vignettes, the beginning chaptersrecount Point Bolton's early years on the banks of the Fraser Riverduring the Depression. While at the time the Stó:lo, or Xwélmexw, asthey call themselves today, kept secret their ways of life to avoidpersecution by the Canadian government, Point Bolton's mother andgrandmother schooled her in the skills needed for living from what theland provides, as well as in the craftwork and songs of her people,passing on a duty to keep these practices alive. Point Bolton was takento a residential school for the next several years and would go on tomarry and raise ten children, but her childhood training ultimately setthe stage for her roles as a teacher and activist. Recognizing theurgent need to forge a sense of cultural continuity among the youngermembers of her community, Point Bolton visited many communities andworked with federal, provincial, and First Nations politicians to helpbreak the intercultural silence by reviving knowledge of and interestin Aboriginal art. She did so with the deft and heartfelt use of bothher voice and her hands.
Over the course of many years, Daly collaborated with Point Boltonto pen her story. At once a memoir, an oral history, and an"insider" ethnography directed and presented by the subjectherself, the result attests both to Daly's relationship with thefamily and to Point Bolton's desire to inspire others to usetraditional knowledge and experience to build their own distinctive,successful, and creative lives.