An historic event took place at Vancouver B.C. August 17th to the 20th.

It was the National Aboriginal Publishers Conference.

It was the first gathering of its kind. It was presented by the En’owkin Center and Theytus Books, hosted by Simon Fraser University. Delegates involved in publishing came in from all over the country and beyond to show their wares and to meet others working in the same field.

Highlights included a book launch with a reading by Maria Campbell of her book “Stories of the Road Allowance People” (Look for a review in a later issue — Ed.). There were also readings from other distinguished authors such as Beatrice Culleton, Jeannette Armstrong, Connie Fife, Sandra Laronde, Armand Ruffo, Beth Cuthand, Gerry William, Katerie Damm, Annais Allen and Haunani-Kay Trask.

Special guests included people from Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. The feeling that was most prevalent was that everyone was so happy to finally meet other Aboriginal people who are in the same business.

Also on the scene were Karl Seigler from Talon Books and Scott McIntyre from Douglas and McIntyre who gave their perspectives on mainstream publishing.

Lee Anne Martin and Gordon Platt from the Canada Council also made it to explain the possibilities of grants . People got a chance to take part in workshops throughout the weekend to learn more about the issues facing them as native publishers from surfing the internet to choosing the right software for computers, to multi-lingual publishing and cultural appropriation.

At the end an association was formed: the Circle of Aboriginal Controlled Publishers. Sponsors included: the Canada Council, Dept, of Canadian Heritage, Canadian Native Arts Foundation, Cultural Services Branch of B.C., Ontario Arts Council, Sask. Arts Board, Can. Centre for Studies in Publishing, SFU.