A compilation of stories that meld both culture and bloodlines, Chilcotin Chronicles by Sage Birchwater is set in the wild and untamed country of central British Columbia’s Chilcotin Plateau.
West of the Fraser River, this high country is contained by an arc of impenetrable mountain ranges that separates it from the Pacific Coast. The first inhabitants of this region were fiercely independent, molded by the land itself. Those who came later were drawn to this landscape with its mysterious aura of freedom, where time stood still and where a person could find solace in the wilderness and never be found.
Birchwater reaches back to first European contact in British Columbia when the indigenous population spoke forty of Canada’s fifty-four languages and seventy of Canada’s one hundred dialects. The land known today as the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast was already an entity when Alexander Mackenzie arrived in 1793. Bonds of friendship, mutual support and family ties had long been established between the Dakelh, Tsilhqot’in and Nuxalk, giving cohesiveness to the region. Chilcotin Chronicles is about the men and women caught in the interface of cultures and the changing landscape.
Indigenous inhabitants and white newcomers brought together by the fur brigades, then later by the gold rush, forged a path together, uncharted and unpredictable. Birchwater discovers that their stories, seemingly disconnected, are intrinsically linked together to create a human ecosystem with very deep roots. The lives of these early inhabitants give substance to the landscape. They give meaning to the people who live there today.
Sage Birchwater is the author of Chiwid and Williams Lake: Gateway to the Cariboo Chilcotin. He was a staff writer for the Williams Lake Tribune until 2009, and is the editor of Gumption & Grit: Extraordinary Women of the Cariboo Chilcotin (Caitlin Press, 2009). Sage still lives in Williams Lake, BC, and continues to write about the Chilcotin.
For more information on his latest book, published by Caitlin Press, Contact: Michael Despotovic (publicist) at 604 831 7024 or firstname.lastname@example.org