Village Books is pleased to welcome Janet Yoder as she presents her important new book about Upper Skagit elder, Vi Hilbert and her dedication to preserving an ancient language.
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The preservation of the Lushootseed language is a bright spot on the map of endangered indigenous languages and is significantly attributable to the efforts of Upper Skagit elder Vi Hilbert. In Where the Language Lives: Vi Hilbert and the Gift of the Lushootseed, Janet Yoder draws from interviews conducted over her thirty-year friendship with Hilbert to pay tribute to the woman whose determination and passion helped breathe life into her language and culture.
In 1978, Seattle writer Janet Yoder took a Lushootseed class at the University of Washington with Skagit tribal elder Vi Hilbert. She was expecting to learn a little about this local indigenous language, but what followed was a lifelong journey with Vi, who endeavored to preserve a language on the brink of disappearance and to teach those around her how to live in the place where the language lives.
"Heartfelt and honest, Yoder vividly portrays the remarkable life of this astounding woman with style and determination."
--Jay Miller, author of Lushootseed Culture and the Shamanic Odyssey: An Anchored Radiance
"Reading Where the Language Lives is like taking a long drive into Skagit Country with Vi Hilbert. I raise my hands to Janet Yoder for sharing her intimate visits with a beloved elder. Each essay is a beautifully-crafted treasure, and together they resonate as musically as an olivella shell necklace. Happiness, indeed."
--Katie Jennings, filmmaker, Huchoosedah, Traditions of the Heart and The Healing Heart of Lushootseed
Janet Yoder’s work has been published in literary journals, including the Baltimore Review, Chautauqua, River Teeth, and the American Literary Review. She lives with her husband on a floating home in Seattle, Washington.