• 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”

  • 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”

  • 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”

  • 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”

  • Helper

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    My family moved to the Cowichan territory when I was about thirteen. And that kind of bubbled up as soon as I read the Contact No Contact, and the Cowichan, of course, territory and lands. My middle school was mixed with quite a diverse cultures. There was the south Asians, First Nations and then all us white settlers. And I could feel a conflict as soon as I got into that school. Continue reading “Helper”

  • Naming

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    In the next month or two, our family is going to be doing a naming. There are seven grandkids that will be doing a Coast Salish naming and be receiving our traditional names from our family. So what’s really neat about that is learning about who our ancestors are even more in depth, and how amazing it is that we have that sacred knowledge around who those people are, and how our lineage works, and the gift that comes with that name, and the honour that comes with that name. Continue reading “Naming”

  • All Calm

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    And we hit that part where you just go into the cove and then it was just all calm. Continue reading “All Calm”

  • Learning To Be Together

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    So it transformed my understanding of what a university could do and could be. It transformed my understanding of who I was as a teacher. I began to see that there were different ways of approaching students, of being with students that involved a different kind of a world vision, a way of being in the world and a way of showing honour and respect between peoples. Continue reading “Learning To Be Together”

  • Close to Home

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    With my position with the Inter-Tribal Health Authority, we offer ophthalmology to First Nations community members throughout Vancouver Island. Continue reading “Close to Home”

  • Authentic Contact

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    And truly try to fully integrate and recognize indigenous people as who they are, the founders of this nation and possessors of values and ideas that would truly do a lot to make Canada the great nation we try for it to be. But again I think ultimately it comes down to if real progress is to be made, if real reconciliation is to be made, it takes real authentic contact between peoples instead of thinking of each other as different or being separate. I think a lot of the barriers, a lot of the problems, a lot of the issues would fall apart if people just sat down and got to know each other in a more meaningful way. Continue reading “Authentic Contact”