Mother-daughter duo write Haida language children’s book together

A Haida mother and daughter are sharing stories about the children in their family in a new bilingual children’s book.

Lynn Hughan and Carsen Gray said that they had always wanted to write a book together, and this year that dream finally came true. 

« Writing and illustrating has always been something I’ve wanted to do, » said Hughan. 

Hughan manages the gift shop at the Haida Gwaii museum. Her daughter is a singer/songwriter and artist and was working with the book’s publisher TakingITGlobal, when the opportunity came up for them to write a book together.

They both live in the Haida community of Skidegate, B.C., on Haida Gwaii. 

The story of Twelve Months of Fun on Haida Gwaii with Mattie and Jojo is based on Gray’s children’s lives and the seasonal activities they do together.

« I really wanted to incorporate familiar people, faces and places on the island that are popular to other children, other places that other children enjoy visiting as well, » said Gray. 

« It’s kind of cool because we can showcase the beauty of the island and our community to places outside Haida Gwaii. »

The story of Twelve Months of Fun on Haida Gwaii with Mattie and Jojo is based on Gray’s children’s lives and the seasonal activities they do together. (TakingITglobal)

She added that the book is also an introduction to the Haida language for children. 

Bringing the Haida language into the book wasn’t something they had initially thought about but then they said it just happened. 

Neither of them are fluent in the language so they used their dictionary and got help from local speakers for the translations. 

« My hope for the book is that it will be within the elementary schools and cherished with families in the community, » said Gray. 

They also included an audiobook so people who live outside of the community can listen and learn as well. 

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