From Archives to Publication

So here is an amazing true story. In the 1960s, Fannie Kahan (my mother, author of Goldeye and Funnyfin, which contains some of the wonderful bedtime stories Fannie made up to tell her kids) completed a manuscript on the use of peyote in the Native American Church in Canada. She was unable to find a publisher, and the manuscript languished in the archives of megavitamin therapy researcher Abram Hoffer (who was also an LSD researcher). It was recently discovered by University of Saskatchewan professor Erika Dyck who recognized its historical value and found a publisher for it. (Thank you Erika!) The book (A Culture's Catalyst, University of Manitoba Press, 2016) "advocates for Indigenous legal, political and religious rights and offers important insights into how psychedelic researchers, who were themselves embattled in debates over the value of spirituality in medicine, interpreted the peyote ceremony..." 

I am part way through the book and impressed with my mother's skill in synthesizing diverse information and presenting it in a highly readable fashion. And I find myself moved by her descriptions of the oppression against Indigenous peoples, and inspired by her very obvious passion for social justice. 

I am looking forward to the rest of the book, some of which includes first hand accounts of taking peyote. 

And am thinking, maybe there's still hope for all my manuscripts dozing away in my filing cabinets!

- This blog was adapted from the June 2016 Wild Sage Breeze monthly feature.


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