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Contact No Contact: The Space Between Nations
A Gathering of Personal Contact Narratives

Dear %%$first%%,

Geist has been working with Randy Fred, a Nisga’a Elder and founder of the Indigenous publisher Theytus Books, to collect what we call contact stories.

"Contact" is a term that refers to initial encounters between Indigenous peoples and European explorers, and it carries a special charge in accounts of North American history.

In the Geist project, contact stories are personal narratives from Indigenous and settler contributors describing significant first contacts that brought new insights. Together these stories, collected and curated at, are a living (and growing) record that enhances our understanding of the experience and impact of "contact."

We invite you to submit your own contact story, in writing or on video. Simply describe the first time you encountered someone who gave you a frisson of new awareness.

A few interesting accounts we've gathered so far:

  • "Keeping Language" by Marguerit James, about how Marguerit's and her husband's different background experiences factored into their child-rearing practices.
  • "Wisdom", Scott Fraser's account of learning from others and sharing that knowledge.
  • "Family Tree", in which Fhead Jones describes discovering his aboriginal roots and the effect it had on him.
  • "Hobbes" by Christopher Grabowski, in which Chris and his friend Ben maneuver through claims and perceptions of First Nations peoples.

Written stories should be no longer than 200 words. Videos should be no longer than 2 minutes.

To submit, and for more Contact No Contact accounts, visit



Geist, 210 - 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC V6B 1H4.

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