As the story goes, it was a time when darkness blanketed the land. With the help of a raven skin, a young boy named Weget flies into the sky, where he tricks the Chief of the Heavens – who keeps the light in a box – and brings it back to Earth.
The legend has been passed down for generations and recorded in rock carvings more than 3,000 years old – and now Raven Brings the Light is being retold in a beautifully illustrated book by First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers and historian Robert "Lucky" Budd.
"I've heard it since I was a very, very young man, so it has been part of my life," says Mr. Vickers, who has received honours from the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal to the Order of Canada. "And now as an elder, I see is that it's not only the physical light of the sun that it talks about, but it's a spiritual light. It's the light of truth. And because I'm about living my life as truthfully as possible, this is the story I chose to put into this book."
Based on a version Mr. Vickers heard as a teen, Raven Brings the Light features stunning artwork. Mr. Vickers will attend a book launch and reading this weekend, where new limited edition fine art prints will be available.
Mr. Vickers emphasizes that the book is for people aged 1 to 100 – and that it is as relevant today as it was 3,000 years ago.
"It's up to us to shine the light of truth on whatever lies and deceit are out there," says Mr. Vickers, also a tireless advocate for the environment. "And it's the telling of stories like this that gives a humble human being the courage to stand and speak the truth as we are meant to do."
Raven Brings the Light launch at the Waterfall Building on Saturday (royhenryvickers.com).