Indigenous Voices

As part of our efforts to facilitate reconciliation for Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community, we are working with Indigenous Elders across our system to share stories and skills related to Indigenous culture and experiences. The programming is based on the Elders’ unique skills, interests, experiences, and passions. Some examples include storytelling, talking circles, drumming, and discussions on Indigenous cultures.

Throughout 2018, Indigenous Voices programming will roll out at 24 branches across the VIRL system.

Scheduled Events 

(please check back here often as more events are being planned)

Sidney/North Saanich Branch (with Lorena Dulay)

  • Friday, January 19, 10:30 – 11:30 am: Tsawout Elder, Lorena Dulay will visit the branch to share her family history with library visitors
  • Friday, February 16, 10:30 – 11:30 am:  The impact of residential schools on First Nations
  • Friday, March 16, 10:30 – 11:30 am: Healing the residential school traumas
  • Friday, April 20, 10:30 – 11:30 amLorena will discuss energy therapy used by First Nations people many years ago

Courtenay Branch (with Pam Moore Dianne Maclean)

  • Sunday, January 28, 2 – 3 pm: Elders Pam Moore and Dianne Maclean will host a meet-and-greet

Cumberland Branch (with Pam Moore)

  • Friday, February 9, 10 - 10:45 am: Cumberland Storytime - Join knowledge keeper Pam Moore for a special Indigenous Voices storytime at the Cumberland branch for families and children.

Cowichan Lake Branch (with Chief Georgina Livingstone)

  • Friday, February 16, 2 - 4 pm: Learn more about the Ts'uubaa-asatx (Cowichan Lake) First Nations. 

Nanaimo North Branch (with Sally Williams)

  • DATE TBD: Sally will tell her story and discuss some of her time in residential schools. She will also perform a blessing for those who would like one. Her program will be beneficial for people suffering from trauma. 

Nanaimo Wellington Branch (Sally Williams)

  • Thursday, March 22, 2 – 3 pm – Join Kwakwaka’wakw Elder Sally Williams to learn about and make ceremonial button blankets. For ages  7 and up. 

Masset Branch (with Vernon Albert Amos Williams Jr.)

  • Thursday, March 8: 7 – 9:00 pm: Elder Vernon Albert Amos Williams Jr. will provide an introduction to Sgaalanglaay and opening ceremony. 
  • Thursday, May 10, 7 – 9 pm: TRC and rattle-making with Elder Vernon Albert Amos Williams Jr.
  • Thursday, July 12, 4 – 5 pm: Learn techniques for teaching stories to children the Haida way from Elder  Vernon Albert Amos Williams Jr.
  • Thursday, October. 11 7 – 9 pm: Subject TBA

Queen Charlotte Branch (with Gladys Vandal)

  • Wednesday, April 18, 7 – 9 pm: Introduction to Jiixa and opening ceremony. The Haida Language: Jiixa will speak about the Haida language and SHIP, the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program.
  • Wednesday, May 16, 7 – 9 pm: Weaving: Part I. A hands-on session where Jiixa will teach participants to make a cedar rose while speaking about various traditions in Haida weaving.
  • Wednesday, July 18, 7 – 9 pm: Weaving: Part II. A hands-on session where Jiixa will teach making a bracelet while locating Haida techniques within the larger tradition of Pacific West Coast weaving.
  • Wednesday, October. 17, 7 – 9 pm: Weaving: Part III: TBA

Campbell River

  • Thursday, February 1, 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Join us for an introduction to Métis culture with Elder Susan Landell.  Traditional refreshments will be provided.  Seating for this program is limited, and registration is recommended (250-287-3655).
  • Tuesday, February 20, 3:30 – 4:30 pm: Laichkwiltach Elder, Carol Bear will visit the branch to share her family history and answer questions. All ages welcome. 

Parksville (with Bill Recalma)

  • Saturday, March 10, 2 – 3 pm: Join Bill as he shares family history and stories from Qualicum First Nation.

Ladysmith (Stella Johnny)

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2 – 4 pm: Join Stella as she tells her story and discusses future programming at the branch, 

Elder Bios

Lorena Dulay (Tsawout) – January 19 Event Description

Pam Moore (Lax kw'alaamse)

Dianne Maclean (Metis)

Geraldine Manson (Snunexmuxw)

Vern Albert Amos Williams Junior (Haida)

Sally Williams (Kwakwaka’wakw)

Gladys Vandal (Haida)

August Johnson (Mowachaht/Muchalaht)

Wally Samuel (Ahousaht)

Randy Fred (Tsehaht)

Bill Recalma (Qualicum)

Susan Landell (Cree-Metis)

Jeff Welch (T'Sou-ke)

Carol Bear (Laichkwiltach)

Sandra Good (Snuneymuxw)

Georgina Livingstone (Ts'uubaa-asatx)

Stella Johnny (Cowichan)

Check out the CBC Radio Victoria interview below:

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