Discover the story behind ‘Mist-chi-mas’

The Orcas Island Historical Museum presents “Kanakas, Pickett, and the Royal Marines of English Camp: The Story Behind Mist-chi-mas,” a history matinee with awarding-winning author and historian Janet Oakley.

Oakley will read from the novel and talk about the history behind the story on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3 p.m. at the Eastsound Fire Hall. This is a free community event.

“Mist-chi-mas, A Novel of Captivity” is a 2018 WILLA Award finalist and a 2018 Will Rogers Silver Medallion winner.

Oakley has been going to English Camp on San Juan Island since she was hired to write a curriculum for the San Juan Island National Historical Park in 1986. Soon, she was coming to demonstrate 19th-century culinary at both American and English Camp, finally joining the English Encampment as Miss Libby, a 19th-century schoolteacher. From her love of English Camp and the twelve year military occupation of San Juan Island (1860-1872), she wrote the book, an ode to that history and especially the unknown story of the Kanakas or Hawaiians who lived on the island. A University of Hawaii Manoa grad, she has always wanted to write about Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest.