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Trailblazing Canadians: Elizabeth Quocksister, Keeper of History

Heritage Group Distribution


The uplifting true story of Elizabeth Quocksister, a strong Indigenous woman and community leader, who dedicated her life to protecting her language and cultural traditions.

Elizabeth Quocksister (1925–81) had many roles in her life. She was a cultural teacher, a community leader, a dancer, a nurse, a photographer, a residential school survivor, and a mother of ten. Born on the Da’naxda’xw Nation on Knight Inlet on the central coast of British Columbia, Elizabeth spoke fluent Kwak’wala and proudly celebrated her Kwakwaka’wakw culture at a time when the Canadian government actively discouraged Indigenous traditions and the speaking of Indigenous languages. She cared for community members in need and saved many children from the horrors of residential school. She chronicled the daily lives, important events, and changing times of her community through photography—preserving her people’s history and culture for future generations. This inspiring picture book is a beautiful tribute to a proud Indigenous woman whose name deserves to be well-known throughout her community and beyond.

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