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Display in the cabinet outside the Chilliwack Library
What significance does the salmon have for Aboriginal people?
What roles do the bear, the owl and the raven play in Sx̱wōx̱wiyám?
Is there an Indigenous connection to the land and the water?
Watch the video:
Watch the video of the Sx̱wōx̱wiyám: Stories of Long Ago event, filmed Wednesday, February 3, in the atrium outside the Chilliwack library. Stó:lō storytellers led us through stories about bear, raven, salmon and owl and the connection to the land and the water.
"I had started home when a coyote began to follow me from the shore, he was smilin’ at me, you know, with them yellow eyes, and he’s smilin’ with his crooked teeth… The coyote watched from the shore and then the raven came and joined the coyote, they both watched from the shore: theraven with his red eyes and his torn feathers, the coyote lights a cigarette and blows the smoke towards me and my boat. The raven smiles as coyote offers him a drag… The raven and coyote are laughing at me as they begin to share their bottle.” From Please do not Touch the Indians by Joseph Dandurand.
Mary Sandoval is the eldest child of the late Tillie Gutierrez. From her mother, Mary learned much of our Stó:lō history. She was almost always present when Tillie would tell stories of the way things used to be and how skunk was always getting up to things. Mary was an astute learner; she captured the details and the persona of the Stó:lō protagonists. There came the day when Tillie would stop mid-story and look at her daughter and say: “you tell them!” On that day, Mary didn’t disappoint. The storytelling is in the deepest darkest parts of all who she is. Mary is a storyteller. But she, like her mother before her, is more than that — she is an historian, a teacher, a witness, and a keeper of the sacred truths. Today Mary is a great grandmother herself. She has raised her children, her grandchildren and her great grandchildren to know our Stó:lō ways. They know the names of the places that their great great Grandfather used to hunt and all the places they can see for themselves as they look around S’olh Temexw. Mary will share with those who ask. At UFV she will share the sx̱wōx̱wiyám passed to her by her mother that will make clear to all who listen the importance of the land, the water, the fire and the animals in S’olh Temexw.
Joseph Dandurand, a member of Kwantlen First Nation, where he lives with his three children Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace, received a diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. His produced plays include Crackers and Soup (1994), No Totem for My Story (1995), Where Two Rivers Meet (1995), and Please Do not Touch the Indians (1998), for the Red Path Theater in Chicago, (1999) for the Algonquin Theater in Connecticut, (2000 and 2006), for the Debajemejig Theater in Ontario (2001), and at the Autry Theater in Los Angeles California (2004).
Joseph was a playwright in residence for the Museum of Civilization in Hull in 1995, for Native Earth in Toronto in 1996 and for the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 2008.
Joseph's books include Hear and Foretell published by Bookland Press in 2015, and Looking into the Eyes of my Forgotten Dreams published by Kegedonce Press in 2000. Joseph has also authored a radio script, St Mary's, which was produced by CBC Radio in 1999.
David Gutierrez is the youngest male child of the late Tillie Gutierrez. David more than tells stories, he sometimes acts them out. If you let yourself imagine, David will become the Bear, the Eagle and the Salmon in his stories. David has followed the path of storyteller as it was a gift from birth. David, like his sister Mary, was always near when Tillie would tell stories. David accepted his gift and travelled with his mom to the schools, the university, many communities, conferences and workshops where he would “tag team” telling stories with his mom and others. Stories often give us a snap shot in time. The story tells about a certain day or a time in history — a good storyteller knows the story behind the story. David is that kind of storyteller.
Glen Malloway attended the Social Services program at UFV and worked for Aboriginal Access Services where he gifted a drawing of Pesk'a (hummingbird), which soon became their logo. Glen is the youngest of five brothers. His grandfather is the late Richard Malloway and his dad is the late Skip Mervin Malloway. Both of these influences in his life led Glen to be well versed in Sto:lo traditions, culture and stories. Glen is a speaker, artist, carver and storyteller. His passion has been raising his son and daughter.