• Colonial Rescue

    Recently I learned about an event in my family history that left me reeling. Back in 1832, my ancestors were among the first families to settle in Orillia, Ontario. As they approached the area by boat, their craft capsized in the waters of Lake Couchiching near “The Narrows.” On board was a tiny baby, my third great-grandmother Eliza Bailey, and she was brought safely to shore by a kind member of the Chippewa (Ojibway) Nation. As I later found out, many of the early settlers were welcomed and dependent upon First Nations everywhere, who gave us gifts of food, medicine and our very lives. And yet I have to wonder if my family line would even exist, had Eliza perished in the water? And why wasn’t this information an important part of our family story? A member of Mnjikaning First Nation and Keeper of the Fish Fence cared for my ancestor, but what did we do to return the favour? We have a lot to examine, as we make retributions for the terrible years of land seizure, genocide, oppression, relocation and residential schools. And as we move forward together, I hope to contribute to that process.

  • Continuum

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    Adam Shewish, the late hereditary Tyee Ha’wilth – the hereditary chief of the Tseshaht – and I worked quite closely together for a number of years. I was working with him, his wife, Margaret Shewish, and his aunt, Auntie Mable Taylor. I was telling them a story that I had read. It was about a 100 year-old story being recorded – the recording had been 100 years ago. Continue reading “Continuum”

  • Carving Legacy

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    I’ve been carving Native art, from small pieces to large pieces including: totem poles, doors, panels, for the last thirty years now. I hadn’t really got too involved with art in my younger days. I was too much involved in politics. Continue reading “Carving Legacy”

  • Storyteller

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    What I was told by my grandfather is that, pre-contact, there was a man that travelled from village to village here and he claimed to be the son of God. He travelled and when he left our villages, he told the story that he would come back for us again. Continue reading “Storyteller”