Aboriginal Cultural Continuity

Rock Art and the Origins of Written Communication

While doing aboriginal rights research Richard Daly became intrigued with rock art (pictographs and petroglyphs). The motivation for producingThey Write Their Dreams on the Rocks Forever was to contribute ammunition to the public campaign to save the Stein Valley of British Columbia from forest clearing and development and keep it as a primary place for rest, reflection, meditation and regeneration-as it had been for a very long time prior to the colonial era.  The main consultant on this project was Annie (Zetco) York, an Nlaka’pamux elder who declared the Stein Valley rock paintings to be a form of written communication rather than art. “And I can read them,” she said. (Cf. the two sound files below: one explains the project and the other is a sample of Annie York explaining one of the images in the Stein Valley).


Writings and Recordings

2009      Communicating the Nonverbal Knowledge of Working Life: Making Visible the Invisible. In Markus Weil, Leena Koski & Liv Mjelde, eds. Knowing Work, pp. 97-122. Berne: Peter Lang Press.


1994      York, Annie, Richard Daly and Chris Arnett. They Write Their Dreams on the Rocks Forever: Rock Writings of the Stein Valley of British Columbia. Vancouver: Talon Books. 300 pp.


1994      Paul Kennedy interview with Richard Daly on They Write Their Dreams. Morningside radio programme. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


1992       Annie York explaining the spirit powers of the cedar tree to Richard Daly, during the preparation of material forThey Write Their Dreams.


1994       Reading and Writing Scripted Rocks in the Stein Valley of British Columbia, with Implications for cultural continuity. Paper presented at the World Archaeological Congress III, New Delhi, Dec. 7-11, 1994.