LAKE OF DREAMS

 

Lake of Dreams is a series of eight elders stories curated by Nlaka’pamux Elder Mechelle Pierre. Inspired by Mechelle’s dream of healing and renewal guided by her Late Uncle Willie and the magic of the late Woody Morrison’s stories. Each story captures the strength, power and goodness of our elders’ journeys. Visually re-interpreted by Indigenous graphic designers to be shared at an installation in Grandview Park. We are honoured to share a taste of these artists, healers, advocates, warriors, and leaders stories with you.

Curation and Direction: Mechelle Pierre
Producer: Heather Lamoureux
Director of Photography: Soloman Chiniquay
Videography Support: J / Faye Anderson
Editor: Keanu Twoyoungmen and Soloman Chiniquay
Music: Edzi’u
Closed Captions: Marcelo Ponce
Graphic Design: Thi Pierre

Arthur Bolton

Arthur Bolton is Tsimshian from Terrace. B. C. Born in Prince Rupert with seven siblings. Art is a survivor of Port. Alberni Indian Residential School. Later he worked at a lumber mill in Port Alberni and as a welder at BC ferries. Later heI worked at Muckamuck Restaurant and later Quilicum Restaurant in Vancouver which sold Indigenous cuisine. Art has taught Native Art in schools and continues to do that. He also makes jewelry and carves. Many of Arts carvings can be found throughout Vancouver Elementary schools.

Visual Response by Valen Onstine

Brenda Faith Wesley

Born in Prince Rupert BC, September 5, 1940. My Ye’eh (grandfather) caught me on a Hudson Bay blanket on the front porch of the Prince George Hospital. Being raised traditionally Gitxsan, we spoke mostly Gitxsane ku in our home.

Consequently when “shipped” to Lejac Indian Residential School for speaking our language, I was shoved under ice-cold full blast water! I graduated from grade 12 at Booth Memorial High School, Prince Rupert BC, with scholarship from Registered Nurses Association. Now I know my greatest achievement is raising my two sons and one daughter.  

I have consistently worked with Aboriginal Organizations: Vancouver Resources Board associated with BC Association of non-status Indians; District Vice-President of Indian Homemakers Association; House Coordinator of Helping Spirit Lodge; Healing Our Spirit – agency for people living with AIDs. Here, I am saving the best for last – WISH counsellor /Elder for aboriginals in sex-trade in Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC. For 16 months, I taught hand-sewing of First Nations regalia to our wonderful moms, grandmoms and  aunties, 

Finally, I have 3 biological children, 3 adopted sons and will adopt 2 daughters. I have 5 grandsons, (2 deceased), 3 grand daughters, 5 great grand daughters and 3 great grand sons.

I am honoured, to be Gitxsan, traditionally groomed to be Sigidim hanak (matriarch), inherited from my mother, Xsim Gemk, of the House of Hakbagwootku of the Gitxsan Nation. My other title is Hiswiildoiget, the woman warrior chief in the House of Hakbagkweekku.

Visual Response by kwiigay iwaans

Joyce Fossella

Joyce Fossella is from the Lil’wat nation in British Columbia, Canada. Joyce has worked in the Aboriginal community for over twenty-five years in health, wellness, employment and education fields.

She is the Executive Director at Warriors Against Violence Society where she has worked for over twenty years providing programs that address the issue of violence within the community.

Visual Response by Kwiis Hamilton

Lois Rullin 

Siid Quns, Lois Rullin is a Haida Elder and a member of the Yaghulaanas/Yagujaanas Raven Clan from Old Masset. She currently serves as a STAR (Strength Through Aboriginal Relations) Elder with the Ministry of Children and Families in Surrey, BC. She works tirelessly to connect aboriginal children in care with their families and communities. She is a social activist, fighting for protection of the lands and waters. Lois has supported many First Nations in protecting their rights and title. She participated in the March for Murdered and Missing Women for over 25 years. She had served on her tribal council, the Council of the Haida Nation, for over 30 years. She has also served on past boards such as Vancouver Native Health, Ending Violence, First Peoples’ Cultural Council and Lu’ma Housing. Lois believes in having a strong mind and strong spirit which has carried her through her tough times.

Visual Response: Sunkosi Galay-Tamang

Mabel Nipshank

Mabel Nipshank is Metis of Cree decant. Originally from Fishing Lake Alberta, born and raised.  Lived on the coast for over 50 years making it her home. Mabel is an activist of many years and a front line worker in DTES.  She is a mother of 3 sons and 3 daughters,  grandmother of 7 great grandmother of 2.

Visual Response by TJ Felix

Marjorie White

Marjorie White’s wisdom reaches far beyond the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. For more than 50 years, she has been a tireless advocate for positive change in the lives of Indigenous people. She was instrumental in creating a support network for individuals migrating to Canada’s urban centres, which evolved into a national Friendship Centres movement that now serves thousands of Canadians. She has devoted her energy and creativity to various regional and national organizations, and was a founder of the Circle of Eagles Lodge, a culturally relevant halfway home for clients transitioning from the correctional system.

Visual Response by Emily Pearson

Rosemary Georgeson

Rosemary’s passion is in bringing youth, elders and ancestors together through storytelling and cross-cultural connections.  A Coast Salish and Sahtu Dene storyteller, playwright and filmmaker, her stories are deeply rooted in her family’s long history on Galiano Island.  Georgeson has been recognized for her collaboration and sharing of stories with the award-winning play and CBC radio documentary Women in Fish, and her continued involvement as storyteller and writing group organizer for women in Vancouver’ Downtown Eastside.  Rosemary has been Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library (2014), and facilitator for the From Where We Speak project and A Community Remembers, working with 1st Nations youth on and off reserve to create and perform their own stories.  

Born and raised in the commercial fishing industry, and with a background in the culinary arts, she has worked as a collaborating artist, storyteller and community liaison for Vancouver Moving Theater and urban ink productions.  Rosemary co-wrote We’re All In this Together and Storyweaving.

Visual Response by jaz whitford

Seis^^lom

Elder Seis^^lom is from the Lil^^wat Nation.Revered in the BC Indigenous community, he grew up learning traditions and customs of his people and was very fortunate to retain his ability to speak his traditional language fluently. He has worked at Lu’ma Medical Center as Elder in Residence, Vancouver Coastal Health On-call to provide Spiritual Services for patients and Families at all hospitals 

Seis^^lom helped to introduce Traditional Indian Medicine and Sacred Spiritual Ceremonies To the Prison System in 1984 and has volunteered in the development of several Aboriginal Organizations.

Visual Response by Keenan Marchand

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