Lorne Dufour reads from Jacob's Prayer

Lorne Dufour (right) with Jacob Roper the man who saved his life back in 1975. - Sage Birchwater photo
Lorne Dufour (right) with Jacob Roper the man who saved his life back in 1975.
— image credit: Sage Birchwater photo

Cariboo author Lorne Dufour will read from his book Jacob’s Prayer at the Williams Lake Library this Friday, March 11 starting at 7 p.m.

Dufour will also participate in a question and answer period about Jacob’s Prayer, which chronicles his experience living on the Alkali Lake Reserve during the 1970s.

During that period the reserve was transformed by the efforts of Chief Andy Chelsea and his wife Phyllis who began a process in 1972 to lead their community on a long and painful road to sobriety.

Like many First Nations communities across Canada, Alkali Lake had been severely impacted by decades of residential schools and forced religion. The legacy of colonialism had deprived them of their language and culture and created a devastating relationship with alcoholism.

Jacob’s Prayer takes place during this time of transformation, and speaks to the unexpected resiliency of a community and its people.

Dufour believes Jacob’s Prayer has been met with such positive response due to its positive portrayal of First Nations people. 

“Basically I think it’s not afraid to reveal some of the deep beauty held by native people and that’s one of the reasons it’s been so successful,” Dufour says.

Caroline Derksen, area librarian for the Cariboo Regional Library, is excited about this event. 

Jacob’s Prayer was short listed for the B.C. Book Prize last year,” Derksen says. 

“It is an important and poetic story that defies racial stereotypes and demonstrates the spirit of a First Nations community in the Cariboo. Stories like this are such an important component of community building.”  

She says Jacob’s Prayer is one of more than  230 titles that make up the Williams Lake library branch’s “Cariboo Collection” – a collection comprised of fiction and nonfiction written by local authors. 

“This community is greatly supportive of its local authors, and we try to represent this at the library,” Derksen says. 

“The Cariboo Collection is one of the most well used and popular collections in our library.”

The evening starts at 7 p.m., Friday, March 11 at the Williams Lake branch.

For further information about this event, please contact the Cariboo Regional District Library at 250-392-3630 or e-mail


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