Jesintel: Living Wisdom from Coast Salish Elders – WWU Book Launch. 12:00 in Fairhaven Auditorium
Darrell Hillaire from the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation presents the book Jesintel, bringing the cultural teachings of nineteen elders to new generations. Coast Salish culture is bound together by shared values and relations that generate a resilient worldview or Jesintel, "to learn and grow together.” Jesintel illuminates the importance of ethical reciprocal relationships and the interconnectedness of places, land, water, and the spirit within all things.
Elders offer their perspectives on language revitalization, Coast Salish family values and naming practices, salmon, sovereignty, canoe racing, and storytelling. They also share traumatic memories, including of their boarding school experiences and the epidemics that ravished their communities. Jesintel highlights the importance of maintaining relations and traditions in the face of ongoing struggles. Collaboration is at the heart of this work and informs how the editors and community came together to honor the boundless relations of Coast Salish people and their territories.
Darrell Hillaire is the Executive Director of Children of the Setting Sun Productions. He is the coeditor of Jesintel: Living Wisdom from Coast Salish Elders (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2023). Darrell served several terms on the Lummi Indian Business Council including as Chair. Retiring from the Council in 2008 he founded and ran the Lummi Youth Academy. In 2013 he wrote the acclaimed play What About Those Promises? about the Treaty of Point Elliot and founded Children of the Setting Sun Productions to stage the play. He has since led the growth of Children of the Setting Sun Productions into a four-pronged organization: 1) Collecting and retelling Indigenous Stories; 2) Developing youth leadership in digital storytelling; 3) making a full documentary series on Native Salmon Peoples in the Western United States and Canada; and 4) providing commercial video & audio services.