• Wisdom

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    In 1996, I was elected the mayor of the district of Tofino in Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s territory – Nuu-chah-nulth territory. I had the opportunity to go on a five minute boat ride just across the waterway to Meares Island to Opitsaht, which is one of the communities in the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s territory. It’s actually where the seat of their government is. So I went and met with the chief councillor and his council. Continue reading “Wisdom”

  • Family Tree

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    I’m currently in the process of making contact with an aboriginal that aboriginal is inside of me. It’s my aboriginal heritage that I’m just discovering about five years ago my sister did our family tree and I’m a descendant from the hereditary chiefs of Iroquois people. Continue reading “Family Tree”

  • Spirit

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    When I moved to Nanaimo, I happened to be in the old Salvation Army store, would have been the late sixties, early seventies and there were two women, in a, going through a bin and I was going through another bin and they were speaking the Kwakiutl language. Continue reading “Spirit”

  • Social Studies

    My first contact with white kids was in grade seven, when kids from the residential school were bussed into town so we could go to a “public” school. We didn’t want to be there, and it was pretty clear that the white kids didn’t want us to be there either. Social studies was the worst class, because Indians were sometimes the subject. I didn’t know who the Iroquois were, or who the Hurons were (no other Indians were mentioned in those classes), but I knew they were Indians, and so was I.

  • Our Thing

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    Till today we both moved to Canada my daughter speak mother language Mandarin, second language English, and last few days I try start to talk with my daughter Shanghai language. She’s excited to know it. Continue reading “Our Thing”

  • Keeping Language

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    I got married when I was eighteen and me and my husband had four girls. But my husband went to residential school. So there was two people with two different lifestyles. The way he wanted to bring my girls up and the way I wanted to bring my girls up, it was a struggle because in school our language was beaten out of him. But for some reason my husband kept his language. And I said “how did you do that” Continue reading “Keeping Language”

  • Crown Land

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    When I was very little we lived in between two reserves, Kulleet Bay and Shell Beach. And the reason we lived in between two reserves, and it was a reserve at one time where we lived, was because my grandmother was married to the son of Prime Minister John Abbott and he gave them that land as Crown land to live on. However, when I was growing up, I always disputed it and said that’s not so, but with the treaty, I found out that was really so. I always felt it was always our land, and I guess it was always our land, but it also belonged to everyone else as well and the people that surrounded us.

  • Moving Down That Path

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    I think the story that I’m going to talk about today is a story that led me down my path of reconciliation. I was invited up to VIU (Vancouver Island University) to listen to reconciliation stories, and during that event I heard three people talk about their experiences with residential schools. That really changed, changed me, changed the way I thought about things. Continue reading “Moving Down That Path”

  • Pay A Visit

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    The first contact that I could think of came through my father. He was a business administrator for school boards. And he used to have to go to meetings. Continue reading “Pay A Visit”

  • Contact with My Children

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    I went a few years without contact with my children, who were in foster care. They were apprehended when my son was nine months old and my daughters when they were about five and six years old. Continue reading “Contact with My Children”