Wilderness Mother is Deanna Kawatski’s fascinating and moving contemporary account of raising a family in the Canadian wilderness. Without electricity or running water, over a hundred miles from the nearest paved road and cut off from most contact with the outside world, Kawatski, her husband, and their two children fashion a life almost unique in the 20th century. The book focuses on motherhood: the anxieties of bearing children in the outback without reliance on medical care, the difficulties – and joys – of coping with infants in a wilderness setting, and the challenges of education, socialization, and safety for the children in the face of almost total isolation. Wilderness Mother is a unique and inspiring story, wonderfully told.
Clara and Me
For eleven years Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski dreamed of having a female neighbour to make her life in the wilderness less lonely. Her imagined friend would be well-read—even literary as Deanna, a writer, longed for someone to share books and her own stories with. Instead Clara arrived illiterate, scarcely able to speak and completely baffling. Yet the author saw a glint in her new neighbour’s eye. Set against the spectacular Coast Mountains of Northern BC, Clara and Me is the true story of the evolution of their friendship; one that began with the author asking, Why me(?) and advancing through moments of astonishment, deep learning, and unbridled laughter. Clara taught Deanna much about life and the true meaning of friendship. Clara and Me was a Hubert Evans Award nominee.
Burning Man, Slaying Dragon
“Burning Man, Slaying Dragon is an exciting, high stakes, spiritual adventure that spans decades, continents, cultures and generations. As a young, headstrong hippie, Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski leaves her home at her beloved Shuswap Lake in BC seeking meaning and enlightenment in an astounding, dangerous quest that takes her overland from Europe to India, only to find that heaven may be back from when she came. Decades later, as a grown woman and mother, she embarks upon another journey, in the company of her own headstrong daughter, this time to the Burning Man Festival in the scorched Nevada desert. The author effortlessly weaves together these two stories of past and present in a highly-descriptive and page-turning style that will have you reaching for your World Atlas in wonderment. Throughout the adventure the author manages to face her own inner fears while under constant threat of staggering sexism, highly questionable transportation, murderous nomads, engulfing sand storms, transformative drugs, and elusive love.” Grant Lawrence, author and CBC radio personality.
Big Trees Saved
Big Trees Saved documents the highlights of the twenty-five year history of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society (SEAS). The story begins with the group’s inception in 1989 when there was no umbrella conservation group in existence in the Shuswap region. SEAS soon singled itself out as a group engaged not only in talk, but also action.
For several years SEAS focused on developing a sustainable stewardship plan that further evolved into advocacy efforts to improve forestry practices, to promote wilderness conservation, and to push for land use planning. They produced a series of three Eco-watch newspapers, with the third one featuring satellite photos revealing the true picture of logging in the region.
Over the years SEAS’ hard work and dedication has resulted in 25,000 hectares of new parks in the Shuswap, including the Upper Seymour River rainforest and the magnificent Anstey Arm Hunakwa Lake wilderness area. Further, thousands of hectares of old growth forest were set aside, and forest management was vastly improved, leading to better protection for non-timber forest values.