The elders in this book have devoted their lives to preserving the wisdom and spirituality of their ancestors. Despite insult and oppression, they have maintained sometimes forbidden practices for the betterment of t just their people, but all humankind. First published in 1991, Dianne Meili's book remains an essential portrait of men and women who have lived on the trapline, in the army, in a camp on the move, in jail, in residential schools, and on the reserve, all the while counselling, praying, fasting, healing, and helping to birth further generations. In this 20th anniversary edition Meili supplements her original text with new profiles and interviews that further the collective story of these elders as they guide us to a necessary future, one that values Mother Earth and the importance of community above all else.
Dianne Meili, the great-granddaughter of well-known Cree elder Victoria Callihoo, was born in Calgary in 1957. After studying journalism at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, she worked as a newspaper reporter, public relations officer and was the editor of Windspeake -- Alberta's bi-weekly Native newspaper -- for two years. It was during her time at Windspeaker that she became aware of the need for a book that would preserve the thoughts and experiences of Alberta's native elders. She spent eighteen months travelling throughout Alberta interviewing elders from many different tribes. Dianne currently lives in Stony Plain.