• Thankful

    Featured Video Play Icon

    I have a memory of my family talking about when they came in the 1800s to Canada from Germany, that they had a tent and they were all set up. And in the fall, the First Nations people came out to show them, to dig into the hillside and make themselves accommodations there. And so they did, and later they found out it was so cold. We owe our survival to the First Nations coming out and making that contact with them, letting them know how to survive. Our family is eternally thankful for that.

  • Where are you from?

    At 24 I started to get used to people asking “Where you from?” After all, I’d only been an Indian for six years, and now had the Government of Canada letter to prove it. It read, “Congratulations! You’re now registered as an Indian under the Indian Act of Canada.” Before this letter, I didn’t look like anything except “out of place.” In my new legally recognized Indian Status, I was now equipped to answer anyone who asked “What are you?” One evening out with a friend, a fellow asked me, “We know your friend is Native, but we were wondering what you are?” I replied, “We noticed you too, and we were wondering if you’re white.”

  • Quiet Introductions

    Featured Video Play Icon

    Early in the mornings I had a lot of free time and I was able to take my little Victoria boatworks clinker out and row around the islands and pretend I was in another era or time, into the mouth of the harbour and back, but almost every second day if not every day in the summer I would pass a gentleman, and a really beautiful gentleman but I didn’t know him. Continue reading “Quiet Introductions”

  • Indian Wife

    Featured Video Play Icon

    I’m going to talk about my great grandfather who did so much for the Europeans when they first came to this country. Continue reading “Indian Wife”

  • Mom

    Featured Video Play Icon

    Yeah, we’d like to share with you a story of our contact with the Samoan people and we’ve made some pretty good friends and relatives from Samoa. Continue reading “Mom”

  • Experience with Culture

    Featured Video Play Icon

    Yeah, residential school we had a cavanagh that was an English, er, Irish, and Italian teachers and Mexican teachers and then from there we went, I went to school in Victoria. Continue reading “Experience with Culture”

  • Introductions

    Featured Video Play Icon

    My name’s Nancy Marshall and I live in Honeymoon Bay on Vancouver Island, and I have just had the pleasure of going on a trip to Haida Gwaii. Continue reading “Introductions”

  • Friendly Cove

    Featured Video Play Icon

    So I’ve always had a dream to go to Nootka Sound and go to Friendly Cove where Captain Cook first contacted North American, first nations people here on the British Columbia coast. Continue reading “Friendly Cove”

  • Sweat Lodge

    Featured Video Play Icon

    Louise: I remember, I took a group of women from Port Simpson, and we built a sweat lodge from scratch. Went in the bush, got the logs and we covered it all with blankets, and that was my first experience in the sweat lodge.

    Louis: Y’know you go into the sweat lodge, and everyone sits on reeds on the ground, and then there’s a pit where these hot rocks are. And they close the—

    Louise: The flap.
    Continue reading “Sweat Lodge”

  • Priestly

    On a visit to the home for retired Oblate priests I felt like I was in a 1950s motel. Everything was clean but old, even the people. The living room was filled with vases of fresh-cut lilacs and tulips and old men wearing cardigans. Old photographs had been hung on the living room wall as if for a gallery or museum exhibition. I peered at them closely one after another and felt a pang in my gut and a thick, slow fog in my head. It took some time to realize their recurring subject: these were photographs of priests standing beside “Indians.” Priests with Indian children. Priests with Indian families. My baby daughter was strapped onto my chest in a BabyBjörn. It was very hot in that room. I looked around at the old men and back at the photographs and decided to go outside and walk in the garden with my baby girl.