Compiled by Franz Boas and first published in 1895, Indian Myths and Legends from the North Pacific Coast (2002) is a monumental work that represents the oral traditions of a dozen coastal and interior First Nations and at least 15 languages. Translated by Dietrich Bertz, edited and annotated by Randy Bouchard and Dorothy Kennedy, the re-released 702-page version from Talonbooks represents more than 30 years of work by the B.C. Indian Language Project which sponsored it. The British Columbia Indian Language Project is directed by ethnographer/linguist Randy Bouchard and socio-cultural anthropologist Dorothy Kennedy. Since its founding in the early 1970s, the Project has been dedicated to the documentation and preservation of B.C.'s First Nations languages, cultures, and histories. "Opening Indian Myths and Legends from the North Pacific Coast,"; wrote reviewer Gerry Hopson in BC BookWorld, "is something like looking into the first English edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls, except that here we are dealing with a greater diversity of spiritual traditions and peoples.";

Based on oral history gathered during 1977 and 1981, Kennedy and Bouchard's comprehensive study of the Aboriginal people of the Desolation Sound area is Sliammon Life, Sliammon Lands (1983), a collaborative work that describes the cultures of the Sliammon, Homalco and Klahoose First Nations on both sides of the northern Strait of Georgia. Although the title refers to the people at the village of Sliammon near Powell River, most of the information gathered was related to the Klahoose. Kennedy, a photographer, and Bouchard, a linguist, also collaborated on Lillooet Stories (1977), Shuswasp Stories (1979) and The Lil'wat World of Charlie Mack (2010), a tribute to their long-time collaborator and Mount Currie Reserve storyteller, Charlie Mack, who was born in 1899 and died in 1990. They present his world view, moral code and English versions of his stories drawing on transcribed interviews, correspondence and field notes.

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Sliammon Life, Sliammon Lands


Bouchard, Randy & Dorothy Kennedy (editors). Lillooet Stories (Victoria: Sound Heritage #16, 1977)

Bouchard, Randy & Dorothy Kennedy (editors). Shuswap Stories (Vancouver: CommCept, 1979).

Bouchard, Randy & Dorothy Kennedy. Sliammon Life, Sliammon Lands (Talonbooks, 1983).

Bouchard, Randy & Dorothy Kennedy (editors). Boas, Franz. Indian Myths and Legends from the North Pacific Coast (Talonbooks 2002). Translated by Deitrich Bertz.

The Lil'wat World of Charlie Mack (Talonbooks 2010).

PHOTO: Charlie Mack (left) with Randy Bouchard (centre) and Baptiste Ritchie, 1974

[BCBW 2010] "Anthropology" "First Nations"