Totem

Fourteen year old Jonny Joe wasn’t like any of the others at Redemption Residential Christian School. An orphaned white boy in a school full of Indians, he spoke English and a only a little of their native jargon. He knew nothing of their legends and beliefs. Life on Keeper Island was nothing but school, work, and hunger.

After a truck load of firewood lands on top of him, Jonny wakes in the infirmary to find an old man beside his bed. Jonny has seen this man with the long flowing hair before watching from the woods but the other boys claim he's a ghost. He tells Jonny a strange story and gives him an arrow head. Jonny hopes the man is a long-lost relation, until he also realizes no one else can see him.

The unwanted companionship and too-friendly advances of Father Gregory over the summer holidays disturb Jonny, as does his strange dream of a wolf. He joins Ernie, the only other boy at school for the summer, in an escape to a mountain cave. When Jonny and Ernie leave the cave the next morning, the world they knew no longer exists.

Kalaku, no longer a ghost, takes Jonny and Ernie to the winter village of the native people across the bay They witness the raising of a totem pole in honour of a new chief; a pole Kalaku has carved and they take part in a potlatch ceremony. Jonny follows the old man to his house in the forest to apprentice. There he becomes skilled in the art of carving and discovers his animal spirit.

When a steamship enters the cove, the party of sightseers includes a photographer, government surveyor and an old miner looking to homestead. With them come a priest, two nuns, and a disease that annihilates most of the people in the village.

Jonny and Ernie return to the cave in the mountain to wait for and warn Kalaku of the deadly disease. But after a night of thunderstorms, they find themselves back in the present.

To their surprise Redemption Residential has been hit by lightening and burned to the ground. Both boys are now free to follow their own path of life.

To honour the people of the ancient village, Jonny carves a totem pole for their lost burial grounds. His talented reputation draws a girl to his side. A girl who holds the key to his true parentage.

Coming Soon!

Cherry Blossom Baseball

Totem

Michiko Minigawa’s life is like a bad game of baseball. The Government of Canada swung the bat making her family leave home base in Vancouver to live in an abandoned silver mining town in the Kootenay Mountains.

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