Tla-amin weaving continues despite COVID

Tla-amin weaving continues despite COVID

Sosan Blaney is an Indigenous woman, artist, mom, wife. She’s also a very talented Tla’amin weaver. Sosan came to Klahoose to teach weaving workshops before COVID-19 interrupted. In this story we’ll catch up with Sosan and what she’s been doing during COVID-19.  L-R: Gail Blaney, Elsie Paul. Photo Credit: Sosan Blaney.  Cortes Currents: Odette Auger interviews Sosan Blaney about Tla’amin weaving ‘Cultural Resource Library Coordinator at Tla’amin Child Development Resource Centre’ Odette: - Hi, Sosan. You’re a talented artist and weaver. Can you tell me about your work life also though? Tell me about your work in the schools. Sosan Blaney: - So my official job…is cultural resource library coordinator at the Tla’amin Child Development Resource Center. Sounds pretty fancy. I just run the cultural programming through the daycare. And I do a lot of outreach with the schools. I was mandated to work with ages zero to six. So it was a lot of early childhood education for the past… Oh, I guess seven or eight years now. But it’s recently changed to a more broader age group, which was nice because then I can branch out to older groups. And so I do that part time. And then I do a lot of work with the school district and different programming. We have some wonderful programming, School District 47 at the Outdoor Learning Center that we have here. So the weaving and wild crafting program that I’ve been doing for… I don’t even know how many years now, where kids come in and they learn about some wild crafting at the Outdoor Learning Center. We do some rope and learn about plant dyes and plant medicines...
Summer Job during the pandemic

Summer Job during the pandemic

The following radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.  Natalia Nybida is a Vancouver Island university student, going into her second year. This is her summer job experience during the pandemic. . . After the loggers left - submitted photo Cortes Currents: Odete Auger interviews Natalia Auger Nybida about her summer job during the pandemic Home on Cortes Q: You grew up on Cortes, describe your Island home  Natalia:…my home is kind of in the direct center of the Island. So it’s surrounded by trees and it’s nice and quiet, but if you want to go to any of  the stores or anything, it’s like a 20 minute car ride or walking for three hours. So it’s definitely different from the kind of life that most people live nowadays.  Q: Last summer, you came home from school boarding out and had a summer job. Tell me why that’s important for university students.  Natalia: I was living in Ucluelet for high school for the last two years, actually. And it was actually quite a lot like where I grew up because it was quiet. It was a really small town. There’s probably a thousand people… So it was, it was like a sleepy last year. And,  I finished a couple months earlier than I expected. So I came back to Cortes and there wasn’t work right away because it’s pretty seasonal over here. So I was just hanging out with my family for a month. And then I started working at a kitchen, at Hollyhock, which is a...
Touch The Earth

Touch The Earth

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.  A local youth attended an IndigenEYEZ training series: the goals are 5 fold: to strengthen the way that we walk in the world through the five modules – connecting to myself, to others, to community, to our cultural strengths, and to the land. I work for IndigenEYEZ, and attended Touch The Earth facilitator training… excitingly, my daughter Sofia was invited by the director as a youth trainee.  We travelled to the Okanagan, this session of the training was held at Headwaters Lake Camp. When I arrived at the camp, I visited with director Kelly Terbasket- in a cozy cabin on Headwaters Lake.  Cortes Currents: Odette describes an IndigenEYEZ training series: Touch the Earth Wáy [hello]  Kelly Terbasket. HI everyone, I’m Kelly Terbasket. I’m the director of IndigenEYEZ, I’m one of the co-founders, and I’m also one of the lead facilitators. IndigenEYEZ is about renewing relationships. Renewing our relationships with each other, and with the land. Snqsilxw means ‘sharing one skin’. We share a membrane with each other, including all our relations. And our mission is to strengthen those- our connection and our relationships. With the land, with the water, in order to become stronger stewards of the land. And remember our responsibilities to the whole. IndigenEYEZ is medicine for relationships. And that includes our relationship with the land, and with our water. That we remember, and revitalize our traditional teachings and values and principals… that remind us that we do ‘share one skin’ with all our relations. Snqsilxw means we...
Signs of Spring On Cortes Island

Signs of Spring On Cortes Island

The following program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative. This story is about small acts of community building for kids on Cortes Island. Signs of Spring was a community art project- in which children’s artwork were displayed in their driveways during the Corona Virus Outbreak of 2020. Cortes Currents: Odette Auger talks about Signs of Spring The hope was that the kids taking part could see that they are all part of a bigger picture and that they are experiencing the situation together.  For 17 years, I’ve been working with island children in a range of settings…in all my work, art making has brought the group together.  When COVID19 hit, my kids were also impacted in different ways- a university student couldn’t return to her kitchen job at Hollyhock, a grade 9 had been recognized with an Indigenous student award, and the very day of the award ceremony, all school district activities were cancelled.  She returned to public school to finish her last year of Cortes schooling with friends in class- not now… and a 7 year old sorely missed his friends and classroom.  I read about WindowsUK project and knew we could do this on Cortes, tweaked a little for our rural island reality.  When times are hard, it could go many ways… but I’m a hopeful type by nature, and I was dearly missing my young friends in the schoolyard at lunch time, and at afterschool programming… so I felt the need for Community-building spirit to blaze stronger than ever right now. That’s why I applied for a neighbourhood grant...
Jesse Recalma Comes To Cortes Island School

Jesse Recalma Comes To Cortes Island School

This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.  Jessie Recalma, Qualicum First Nation, is a self-taught contemporary Coast Salish artist. Cortes Island School Parent Advisory Committee fundraises every year for an Arts/Music program. I offered to help coordinate artist visits, and as an Indigenous person and artist, wanted very much to see this happening. We were grateful to hear Jessie was willing to drive from Qualicum Beach for an artist talk series; meaning he was sharing a 14 hour day with us- leaving at dawn to get to Cortes School to share with 2 classrooms- intermediate and senior. Cortes Currents: Odette Auger reports on Jesse Recalma’s visit to Cortes Island School My Name Is Jessie Reclama He includes his intentions for the demos in his introduction to the classrooms. “My name is Jessie Reclama, I’m from the Qualicum First Nation, and I am a full time artist and a part time language teacher… and so I am here today to share a little bit about my artwork and my art styles and my art form, and sort of looking about how we can engage… between ourselves and Indigenous art” Jessie brought his tools, carvings, and gave an insightful talk and demo; sharing skills and Indigenous ecological knowledge with the youth.One of the interesting things about what Jessie shared…. was ​the manner​ it was shared in. Traditional Ecological Knowledge As an ​Anishinaabe-ikwe​, I have a deep appreciation -​ and I notice right away​- when teaching is done in a holistic, interdisciplinary way. Jessie started with an introduction, and...