“The Grandmother looked at her grandson and said, “These are tears of joy, grandson. That is the most beautiful song I have ever heard. You go sing that prayer song and share that story.”
Love Your Creator is the true story behind a song that was once a hymn remembered from residential school. With the help of his family and community, especially the determination of his son, and encouraging words of his Grandmother, Knowledge Keeper Quuia Charleson, (Nuu-Chah-Nulth) has reclaimed Love Your Creator and continues to share both the song and its story through oral tradition at events and on travels. Engaging illustrations by Stefan Brunette passionately portray the people and events in this charming picture book for all ages. Discover the story and learn the strength of a song.
Lesson Inspiration/Key Concepts:
People of all ages can teach their culture. Language revitalization is fun and rewarding work. Residential school experiences affect survivors long after they leave. Music gives many benefits to people and communities. Elders are respected people; we honour their words.
Now Available. Audience age: Read it with me: 5-8. I can read it myself: 9-12.
The Prayer Song Performed with Dance
Questions and Answers with the Author
Author Q&A #1
Author Q&A #2
Author Q&A #3
About the Author
Quuia Charleson loves storytelling, a gift he inherited from his Grandmother. Born in the village of Hotsprings Cove and raised mostly by his Grandparents, Quuia spent much of his time on the family’s boat commercial fishing, or at the house, learning language and processing fish. His house family name is Kaeth Tlaanish of Hesquiaht First Nation. By miracle, he survived residential school from 1974 to 1982 in Tofino at Christie Residential School. After residential school, he continued his education on his own terms, even while fishing. His fishing career has allowed him to see the entire coastal area of the nations which make up British Columbia hundreds of times! On land, Quuia also worked many forestry jobs including logging, tree planting, and bridge building. In 2007, Quuia began volunteering at Hotsprings Cove school, and now works with schools and youth organizations in Nanaimo. Quuia resides on Snuneymuxw Territory with his wife, Caroline, and two of their children. He has seven children aged 29 to 15, and two grandchildren. Today, Quuia’s purpose is to bring cultural connection, teaching, and prayer to our youth, children, and families. To realize this purpose, he shares the Seven Teachings of the Ancestors, traditional song, language, foods, and medicines, as well as the knowledge that connection is the correction towards true reconciliation. Tluu yaa yup tlii muk tsii: making life better. Photo kindly provided by the Charleson Family.
About the Illustrator
Stefan Brunette was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he pursued his passion for art and storytelling from a young age. As he grew up, his family moved across the prairies, finally finding roots just outside of Calgary, Alberta, where he graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a B.A. in English. He went on to earn his education degree and has been teaching full-time for nearly ten years. After meeting his wife and making their home on Treaty 7 territory, in the town of High River, they started a family. At the beginning of the pandemic, he decided to pursue his love of art once again. With fatherhood as his muse, he turns memorable events into works of art that are all at once sentimental, hilarious, and relatable. Stefan looks forward to continuing his pursuit of illustration and commemorating future memories with his family. Photo: Alicia Mary Photography.
Follow Stefan Brunette @the.drawing.dad
In the Hesquiaht Language (left side) and for Language Learners (right side)
For book promotion. Featuring a beautiful quote by the author.