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Book Launch: The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l by Michael James Isaac

Night features billingual readings in Mi'kmaw and English

by Scott Barber

Michael James Issac signs copies of his new book, The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l [Photo: S. Barber]
Michael James Issac signs copies of his new book, The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l [Photo: S. Barber]
Bev Rach of Roseway Publishing with Dr. Bernie Francis and author Michael James Issac as they read from The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l  [Photo: S. Barber]
Bev Rach of Roseway Publishing with Dr. Bernie Francis and author Michael James Issac as they read from The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l [Photo: S. Barber]

K'JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - The K'jipuktuk (Halifax) launch of Mi'kmaq author Michael James Issac's second book, The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l, took place on the evening of October 13th, 2013 at the Halifax North Memorial Public Library. The event featured a bilingual reading of the book in Mi'kmaw and English, and a brief talk by the author, including a follow-up discussion with the audience.

Issac's first children's book, How the Cougar Came to Be Called the Ghost Cat, has been well received by readers young and old and, as related by Issac, is even included in university level courses. Issac is a former teacher in the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board and is now a Student Services Consultant (Mi'kmaq Liaison Office) in the Department of Education in Nova Scotia. He comes from the Listuguj First Nation in Quebec.

The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l relates the story of the the seven teachings: wisdom, respect, love, honesty, humility, courage and truth. When Eagle shares these gifts with the animals of the forest, he forgets the warning about envy and greed that accompanies them. Eagle must learn the teaching of Truth before all can share their gifts in harmony. This poignant lesson shows the way to a future of healing and power for cultures and peoples divided and dispossessed of identity and esteem.

Beverley Rach of Roseway, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing began the evening with introductions, and attendees were honoured to have special guest Dr. Bernie Francis read the text in Mi'kmaw, alternating with Issac's reading in English. Dr. Francis is well known for his work as an orthographer, and is co-author of The Mi’kmaw Grammar of Father Pacifique (with John Hewson) and The Language of This Land, Mi’kma’ki (with Trudy Sable).

Wolostoqew artist Dozay (Arlene) Christmas, who illustrated the book, has done extensive previous illustration work that includes Kataq: Journey of our Eels (written by Angela Denny and Shelley Denny, translated by Barbara Sylliboy) and Michael James Issac's first book, How the Cougar Came to be Called the Ghost Cat/Ta’n Petalu Telui’tut Skite’kmujewey Mia’wj. (You can learn more about Christmas' work on her website, http://www.dozay.com/ ).

The Lost Teachings / Panuijkatasikl Kina’masuti’l is available through the Halifax Regional Library system, from Roseway Publishing, and retailers such as Woozle's in Halifax. Contact Fernwood Books for further information on availability at info@fernpub.ca or phone (204) 474-2958.

You'll find Halifax Media Co-op's interview with Michael James Issac and Beverley Rach linked above, enjoy!

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