Photograph "I grew up at a time when being Indian was not popular. My paternal grandparents did not practice any part of the rich heritage that was Kwakwaka'wakw culture. As a young child, I was taken to Karlakwees Village for a Potlatch. Not being used to Native Culture, I was terrified. The loudness of the drums and unfamiliarity of the food was frightening. This was my first exposure to my culture. For the next thirty years, I would dance on the outside of my culture and my roots. Always looking in from the outside. In her great wisdom, my mom refused to speak the language around us. She wanted us to have the chance she never had, in the white world. Therefore, I somehow felt that because I was ignorant of my traditions, the old people might look down on my kind of person. After my children were born, we lived in Alert Bay. I am now very much a part of the traditions. I can dance and take part in the songs. I teach my knowledge to children in schools and to friends who are on their own quests. From my experience, I have learned the value of the phrase, 'it's never too late.' I continue my journey searching for my own culture. I am also deeply interested in the other cultures of the world. I believe in the inclusiveness of all the races of humans, and the infinite possibilities to share and learn what we have, all as the children of the Creator."


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