Everything Shuswap is the first book about our region’s geography and when it was published in 2017, it received very positive reviews locally and provincially. The Vancouver Sun wrote, “Everything Shuswap stands alone as a compelling portrait of land, waters, wildlife and human history,” and author and former Globe and Mail columnist Mark Hume wrote, “…it should be mandatory reading for anyone who lives in or visits the Shuswap.”
In the prestigious UBC journal, BC Studies, UVic Professor Emeritus Michael M’Gonigle wrote, “On the one hand, Cooperman covers a massive territory, with detailed attention to geology, ecology, the traditional Secwépemc peoples and the history of settler colonialism. It is the product of prodigious research, in the archives and the forests. On the other hand, his portrait of this region conveys, without saying so explicitly, a message of living in a place that means everything to those who learn how to ‘inhabit’ it. The rewards of being truly part of one’s place come through on every page.”
When David Suzuki read the book, he penned a note that ended, “Every part of the country should have something like Everything Shuswap.” He was right, because there are few books that describe a region’s geography, including its geology, ecology, Indigenous history, and settler history, with detailed maps, archival and contemporary photos, and graphs like Everything Shuswap.
The idea about writing the book was conceived in the 1990s and then in 2005 I began writing this geographic column to create the material needed for all the chapters. By 2015, there was enough written to begin combining it all into the chapters and the decision was made to publish the first of three proposed volumes. To raise the funds needed, a collaborative agreement with School District #89 was created I raised the over $42,000 needed for publishing from generous individuals, organizations, businesses, and local governments.
Fortunately, Louise Wallace agreed to publish the book through her companies Mediability and Shuswap Press. Thanks to the many reviewers, including former School Superintendent Glenn Borthistle, and the contributions from many photographers and local museums, plus intensive proof-reading by my wife Kathi, the book was finally published in 2017. Half the proceeds from the sales went to support outdoor learning by covering the costs for field trips that hundreds of students appreciated.
The first printing of 2,500 copies sold quickly and then a second printing of 2,000 copies sold within two years. During the last two years that it has been out of print, bookstores reported that people were still seeking copies. With changes at the school district, the collaboration ended, and the funds were transferred to Shuswap Press that is now our company. Thus, we decided to use the funds saved for volume two to do a third printing that would be a second edition with revisions, updates, and new material, including an epilogue about the aftermath of the wildfires that ravaged the Shuswap’s once pristine provincial parks.
After many months of intensive editing and writing additional material, on May 12th the new edition was released with great fanfare that included three bands at a gala event at the new Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm. Community leaders were there including Salmon Arm mayor, Alan Harrison, Secwépemc storyteller and teacher, Kenthen Thomas, Shuswap Trail Alliance co-founder Phil McIntyre-Paul, Area G Director Natalya Melnychuk and renowned artist Lisa Figueroa. They presented brief “Ted Talks” about topics related to the planned volume two that will have chapters on communities, arts and culture, sports and recreation and the economy.
The 240-page Everything Shuswap is a must-have guidebook for our region, it serves as a reference book for every home cabin and home and makes for a wonderful gift for family and friends. In addition to the local bookstores, Everything Shuswap can also be purchased at Sicamous Askews, in Salmon Arm at Bookingham Palace, Hidden Gems Bookstore, Askews Uptown, DeMilles, and Eclectic Soul, in the South Shuswap at Sorrento Village Grocer, Blind Bay village Grocer, Munro’s Pharmacy, the Shuswap Marina, and Eagle Bay Mercantile, in the North Shuswap at EcoTreats, Scotch Market, Ross Creek country Store, Fetch Panda and the Anglemont Marina. Soon to be in Chase at the Super Value, Willows Natural Foods and in Enderby at the IGA. Also it is in Kamloops at Chapters and The Art We Are.
You can purchase the book online for $30 plus $22 for shipping and banking fees from HERE