In 2002, the federal government committed $160 million over 10 years to the preservation of Aboriginal languages and culture. The main Aboriginal organizations in Canada-- the Assembly of First Nations, the Metis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami' -- have all developed school immersion projects to preserve and enhance indigenous languages. As a member of the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society, Ron Ignace was chief of the Skeetchestn First Nation, near Kamloops until 2004 when he became head of the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures reporting to the federal Heritage Minister. Ignace has co-authored "Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wisdom of Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia" (2000) with Nancy J. Turner and Marianne Boelscher, his wife.

Chief Ron Ignace also teamed up with his wife Marianne to produce an authoritative tome on the 10,000-year history of the First Nations people who live in the Interior Plateau of B.C. Secwepemc People, Land, and Laws (McGill-Queen's $39.95) has contributions from ethnobotanist Nancy Turner, archaeologist Mike Rousseau, and geographer Ken Favrholdt that weave together Secwepemc narratives about their ancestors' deeds. Hence the book's stories are filtered through past and present Secwepemc storytellers. The information not only details land stewardship, social order, and spiritual concepts, it relates how the Secwepemc peoples resisted oppression and the theft of their land, and how they fought to retain political autonomy between the mid-1800s and the 1920s.

2018: The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize winner

The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia was established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, a bibliophile, scholar and librarian who passed away in 2012. The sixth "Bazzie"; was presented to the husband-and-wife team of Marianne Ignace and Ronald E. Ignace for their comprehensive, 588-page study, Secwepemc People, Land, and Laws: Yerí7 re Stsq'ey's-kucw (McGill-Queen's University Press).
Runners-ups were Ben Bradley for British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape (UBC Press) and the editorial team of Richard J. Hebda, Sheila Greer, and Alexander Mackie for Kwèd?y Dèn Ts'ǿ nch?: Teachings from Long Ago Person Found (Royal BC Museum Press). The winning book has been described as a model for collaborative approaches to Indigenous history, integrating both oral histories and 'western' scholarship. New University Librarian Susan E. Parker announced the doubling of annual prize money to $2,000 due to prize patron Yosef Wosk. The presentation ceremony was held on Thursday, May 31st at 4:00 pm in the Dodson Room of the Barber Learning Centre at UBC in Vancouver.

Chief Ronald E. Ignace is a Secwepemc historian, storyteller, and politician, and adjunct professor at SFU.


Secwepemc People, Land, and Laws (McGill-Queen's 2017) Co-author Marianne Ignace. $39.95 978-0-7735-5130-5

Turner, Nancy J., Marianne Boelscher Ignace, and Ronald Ignace. "Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wisdom of Aboriginal Peoples in British Columbia." Ecological Applications 10.5 (2000): 1275-87.

[BCBW 20017]