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A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence

By Nicola I. Campbell
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Biography & Autobiography, Indigenous, Personal Memoirs, Literary, Women
Hardcover : 9781553799351, 336 pages, September 2021
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553799702, 336 pages, December 2021
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553799719, 336 pages, December 2021
Audiobook : 9781774920503, June 2022

Table of contents

Table of Contents

Prairie Letters

  • February 4, 1973
  • April 5, 1973
  • July 1, 1973
  • July 26, 1973

Her Blood Is From Sptétkw

  • sptétkw
  • fried bologna and rice
  • yellow house
  • Speed Sew
  • hamburger stew
  • lullabies
  • buckle-up shoes
  • Little People
  • c̓əlc̓ále
  • alpine mountains
  • frog whisperers
  • cousin cluster


  • Saskatchewan
  • La Ronge
  • Mooshoom
  • Back to Batoche, 1985

Nłeʔkepmxcín Lullaby

  • skíxzeʔ transforms
  • Cəceʔ and Sínciʔ
  • Rockstar Hair
  • K̓éceʔ Tea
  • University of British Columbia
  • Blackout
  • for the party
  • Tmíxw—This Land
  • Grandpa’s Corrals
  • Learning to Heal
  • i am sorry
  • it is okay.
  • the same as trees

Land Teachings

  • Métis
  • Beginnings
  • Prayer Warriors
  • gathering
  • gathering songs
  • sn’ix’wam

Coming to My Senses

  • The land, we are woven together like strands of light
  • tmíxw. temexw. temxulaxw.
  • Porcupine Song
  • snow on the mountains
  • Salish Dancer
  • The Kingfisher’s Dance
  • race day
  • quw’utsun


  • September 16, 1998, 10:15 pm
  • deer stew
  • i dreamt of you last night
  • tracks
  • little brown
  • September 24, 1998
  • October 1, 1999, 10:15 pm
  • With Each Stroke of My Paddle

yémit and merímstn

  • Teapot Hill
  • this trail
  • unceded
  • Huckleberries Are My Weakness
  • medicine song
  • pressure canner rhythms
  • sx̣wúsm
  • Spring Chicken
  • going home
  • come inside
  • wildflowers
  • nkéxw
  • tmíxw
  • A Gathering of Stones
  • the riverbed is home

this body is a mountain, this body is the land

  • as sisters
  • Scw̓éxmx
  • May 20, 2000
  • Adanac Trail


  • The Trail
  • Stories Are Alive
  • Why Am I Writing This?
  • Run
  • I Believe in the Power of Prayer
  • We Are Their Prayers Come to Life
  • Reweave the Universe
  • Offering




In this exceptional memoir, bestselling author Nicola I. Campbell deftly weaves together rich poetry and vivid prose to illustrate what it means to be an intergenerational survivor of Indian Residential Schools.


If the hurt and grief we carry is a woven blanket, it is time to weave ourselves anew.

In the Nłeʔkepmxcín language, spíləx̣m are remembered stories, often shared over tea in the quiet hours between Elders. Rooted within the British Columbia landscape, and with an almost tactile representation of being on the land and water, Spíləx̣m explores resilience, reconnection, and narrative memory through stories.

Captivating and deeply moving, this story basket of memories tells one Indigenous woman’s journey of overcoming adversity and colonial trauma to find strength through creative works and traditional perspectives of healing, transformation, and resurgence.


  • Short-listed, Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards, Book Design 2022
  • Short-listed, Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher 2022
  • Nominated, Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes 2022


Among Ms. Magazine's Reads for the Rest of Us list

Ms. Magazine

Highly Recommended!

Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

This is a terrific tale, peppered with some lovely poetry and deep philosophical convictions: raise your arms in strength and humility. The Nations of British Columbia practise this every day. We commit to strength and humility. We are humble before Star Nations and strong for one another. Nicola Campbell gets this.  She is descended from two distinct Indigenous peoples: those that hold their arms and those that serve one another. Nicola braids these two cultures together and bequeaths the result to all of us and to the world. Loaded with history, rich in story, and lovely in its poetics.

Si’Yam, Lee Maracle, author

A powerful memoir.

Prairie Books Now (PBN)

Among CBC Books Best Books of 2021 Canadian Nonfiction

CBC Books

Spílǝxm is a putting away of pain, a letting go of sorrow, a poignant unburdening, and a return to self and community. With it, Campbell establishes herself as a visionary with the capacity to gather what is broken and weave it into a new story.

Quill & Quire

Among The White Ravens' 2022 A Selection of International Children‘s and Youth Literature

The White Raven