Situated in the Gitxsan territory in Northwestern British Columbia, The Raven Mother tells the story of a year in the life of one raven mother as she raises her young and helps them on their journey to adulthood. Through the cycle of seasons, readers learn about the bird’s life cycle and its role in the ecosystem. Ravens are adept at navigating their world; author Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) writes about the distinctive behaviours and adaptations that allow them to survive and thrive. The raven’s niche is highly specialized and the birds’ contributions to the greater environmental community are many. Community is central to this story, not only to the ravens who support other ravens’ fledglings but also to how they work together with wolves for mutual benefit. The author also presents Gitxsan traditions which connect the nation’s people to the ecosystem and each other.
Intense colours and high-contrast graphic art result in realistic depictions of animals and the environment paired with cultural symbols depicted in traditional art styles. Natasha Donovan’s illustrations effectively engage readers in the cultural practices of the Gitxsan, including their moon cycle, which is presented at the end of the book alongside information about the Gitxsan Nation. Glossaries, which are found throughout the story introduce scientific concepts, Gitxsan traditions, and new vocabulary. These features bring depth and understanding, enriching the reader’s overall experience.
The Raven Mother is the sixth book in the Mothers of Xsan series. The series “is part of a larger vision to share the worlds of the Gitxsan Nation”. Other books in the series explore other animals that are central to Gitxsan mythology, including the sockeye, the grizzly, the eagle, the frog, and the wolf. This series offers a rich reading experience that introduces scientific and cultural concepts centred on the First Peoples Principles of Learning.
About the Author
Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson (he/him/his), is from the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia, Canada. The award-winning Mothers of Xsan series is Brett’s first series of books and part of a larger vision to share the worlds of the Gitxsan Nation.
- Publisher : HighWater Press (Sept. 6 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1774920034
- ISBN-13 : 978-1774920039
Christina Barber is a writer and educator who lives in Vancouver. An avid reader, she shares her passion for Canadian history and literature through her reviews on Instagram @cb_reads_reviews. She has most recently been committed to writing and staging formally innovative single and multi-act plays.