Incorporated in 1982, the Secwepemc Cultural Education Society in Kamloops became the third Aboriginal-owned and operated publishing company in Canada, following Theytus Books of Penticton and Pemmican Publications of Winnipeg. Secwepemc means Shuswap people. After a series of curriculum development meetings with School District Trustees, superintendents and teachers, the Society's own desktop publishing division produced Grade Two and Grade Four social study texts, Donna Meets Coyote by Don Sawyer and We Are the Shuswap by Heather Smith Siska, both approved for use by the B.C. Curriculum Review Board. The creative team in the development of the school texts was Rita Jack, Curriculum Co-ordinator; Judy Manuel, Publications Co-ordinator and Dodie Manuel, Curriculum Design. The Secwepemc Society has also operated Secwepemc News, a newspaper, and the Secwepemc Museum, located in the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Heather Smith Siska was born in 1941 in Vancouver. She grew up in the Fraser Valley, attended UBC and worked as a program director for the YWCA in Peterborough and Alberta. Following stints as a social worker in Winnipeg and Victoria, her freelance writing led her to write a children's book on the Inuit, People of the Ice (1980), followed by The Haida and the Inuit (D&M, 1993), a Canadian Social Studies text, and Exploring the Yukon's Past. She has also developed courses at the University of Victoria for child and youth care programs designed for Aboriginals.


Siska, Heather Smith. People of the Ice: How the Inuit Lived (D&M, 1980).

Siska, Heather Smith. Exploring the Yukon's Past (Yukon Territorial Government, 1987).

Siska, Heather Smith. We Are The Shuswap (Kamloops: Secwepemc Cultural Education Society, 1988).

Siska, Heather Smith. The Haida and the Inuit (D&M, 1993)

Siska, Heather Smith. Cowichan Tribes' Beginning Hul'qumi'num' (Cowichan Tribes, 1996).

[BCBW 1996] "Kidlit" "First Nations" "QCI"