The picture book Secret of the Dance is a fictionalized version of a real incident in the childhood of Kwakwa'ka'wakw elder Alfred Scow.
Alfred's family sailed from Gilford Island to isolated Kingcome inlet to attend a forbidden potlatch. His parents forbade him to attend so he wouldn't be apprehended if they were raided by the authorities. Alfred sneaked inside to watch and recognized the Hamatsa.
The episode happened over seventy years ago, and Alfred couldn't remember many of the details. He also realized that many implications of the event only became clear to him as an adult. Alfred and Andrea created fictional conversations and situations colored by authentic details from Alfred's childhood to tell the entire story from a child's point of view.
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