ORIGINS Writers: Nicola I. Campbell

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 Start time: 2:15 pm


Venue: Online


Join Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival for a Children's Story Time with First Nations Canadian author Nicola I. Campbell. 

Nicola will be reading from her children's book A DAY WITH YAYA. For primary years 1-4 (younger or older pupils also welcome to join). Followed by a Q&A with the writer!



Set in the Nicola Valley, British Columbia, in Canada’s westernmost province, a First Nations family goes on an outing to forage for herbs and mushrooms. Yayah (Grandmother) passes down her knowledge of plant life and the natural world to her grand-daughter Nikki and her friends.

Yayah asks the children if they know which edible plants are ready to be gathered in the spring. Even though they don’t like mushrooms they still want to help Yayah gather. Yayah teaches them which plants are safe to eat and the Nle?kepmxcín words for each plant too. With modern children learning an elder’s wisdom, this makes for a lovely day out.


Nicola Campbell is Nle?kepmx, Syilx and Métis and is named after her home, Nicola Valley in British Columbia. She has a BFA and a MFA in creative writing and is currently working towards a doctoral degree focusing on contemporary Indigenous Storytelling at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, BC. She is the author of four children’s books. A DAY WITH YAYA (2017), published by Tradewind Books. GRANDPA’S GIRLS was a finalist for the 2012 Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize. SHIN-CHI’S CANOE received the 2009 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and is on the 2009 USBBY Outstanding International Books List. SHIN-CHI’S CANOE is the sequel to SHI-SHI-ETKO and was a finalist for the 2009 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and a 2008 Governor Generals award for illustration. SHI-SHI-ETKO was a finalist for the 2006 Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the 2006 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the 2006 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. It was the co-winner of the 2006 Anskohk Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year Award.


Please Note: In the story, tobacco is used as a traditional spiritual offering. This means that it is used to give thanks (for example to the land), and emphatically not smoked by people. Many First Nations people regard the commercial use of tobacco for smoking as a dangerous abuse of the sacred plant and its properties.

Supported by Beyond the Spectacle.  Chaired by Lucy Dunkerley (Associate Director, Border Crossings).

ORIGINS WRITERS is a series of online literature events with leading First Nations writers and poets, launching the 2021-22 ORIGINS Festival.