Elder Wata Joseph

Wata Joseph is from the Kwaguilth tribe in Fort Rupert.
 
Wata's traditional name means walking together. It is pronounced Wha jee dah lah gha. Wha jee dah lah gha was too long for her father when he wanted to call, so he began to call "Wata", and this is what her friends and family call her to this day. 
 
Wata's Great Granny was Mary Whonnock. Mary taught little Wata much traditional knowledge, over many years, beneath the Alert Bay community store. Wata would like to pass on this valuable knowledge. 
 
Wata works with doctors and Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). She talks to them about BC First Nations people's needs. In her more recent work, Wata counselled many people at the Alert Bay Treatment center. She counselled there for 15 years. 
 
In the 1990's, Wata advocated near and far for First Nations traditions and peoples. She passed on her Great Granny's gift of herbal medicine knowledge to students at Port Hardy's Robert Scott Elementary School and the University of Victoria. Wata also advocated for First Nations at a significant Department of Indian Affairs conference in Ottawa. 

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