Elder Jeff Welch

Jeff Welch (T'Sou-ke)

Jeff Welch is a member of T’Sou-ke Nation with Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth and English heritage. He is the grandson of elected chief Eddie George whose mother was T’Sou-ke and father was from Discovery Island, Songhees Nation; and grandson of Sarah Daisy Shields of T’Sou-ke, descendant of hereditary chief Queesto of Pacheedaht Nation. Jeff was raised harvesting on the beaches of T’Sou-ke and Victoria and has a lifelong curiosity of the ocean. He became a certified PADI divemaster, with numerous specialty certifications, and rescue diver in 2003. He has forest fire training and multiple First Aid certifications for both land and sea. Jeff has been involved in reclaiming cultural teachings for many years. In 1993/94 he was an apprentice carver under Master carver Fred Peter on the nation’s 52.5 foot warrior dugout canoe that is used to this day on Tribal Journeys. He is a trained facilitator for youth camps through Rediscovery International and facilitated summer camps on Scianew territory. He has volunteered for many youth projects over the years including Tribal Journeys, Gathering our Voices Indigenous youth conference, and the Blue Bus youth program. For the past eight years Jeff has been working with the Aboriginal role model program and Elders project for SD62, sharing cultural teachings with children and youth in the school district. In addition, Jeff provides workshops for college, university and community groups on hide preparation, drum-making and shakers, beach harvesting, and cedar harvesting. Jeff lives in the village of Siaosun on T’Sou-ke Nation territory with his wife Dr. Sarah Wright Cardinal, three of their children, and their dog Biscuit. 

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