Peace Dancer by fourth and final instalment of the award-winning and bestselling Northwest Coast Legends series by the award-winning artist Roy Henry Vickers.
In this 40-page picture book the children of the Tsimshian village of Kitkatla love to play at being hunters, eager for their turn to join the grown-ups. But when they capture and mistreat a crow, the Chief of the Heavens, angered at their disrespect, brings down a powerful storm. The rain floods the Earth and villagers have no choice but to abandon their homes and flee to their canoes. As the seas rise, the villagers tie themselves to the top of Anchor Mountain, where they pray for days on end and promise to teach their children to value all life. The storm stops and the waters recede. From that point on, the villagers appoint a chief to perform the Peace Dance at every potlatch and, with it, pass on the story of the flood and the importance of respect.
Roy Henry Vickers was born in 1946 in Greenville, B.C. His mother Grace Freeman was a schoolteacher of Yorkshire ancestry; his father Arthur Vickers was a half-Tsimshian, half-Heiltsuk fisherman. His grandfather, Henry Vickers, was a Heiltsuk who left Bella Bella to marry a Tsimshian woman in Kitlatka, a small village on Dolphin Island near Prince Rupert. Raised in Kitkatla, as well as in Hazelton and Victoria, Roy Henry Vickers graduated from Oak Bay High School in 1965. He worked as a fireman in Victoria prior to attending the Kitanmax (or Gitanmaax) School of Northwest Indian Art at ’Ksan on the Skeena River. The final page of this remarkable book explains the author's connections to the peace dance that remains an important part of the potlatch.