I was born in a lil log cabin up on the Coldwater Reserve called Skulk'ek'lt... lil Muddy Flats in 1944. In 1951 I was taken to the Kamloops Indian Residential School of which I am a survivor. I left in 1959 after many unhappy years. Today, I have been married for 46 years, have four children, 2 girls/2 boys, with 9 grandchildren, and I am a great-grandmother since November 2012. Most all of my older relatives are deceased, I am the 5th oldest in line of 15 children born of my parents and there are 11 of us alive today with over 100 nephews and nieces. I have numerous relatives within our Nle?kepmx territory. I am a very fortunate person.
Presently I am officially retired according to Statistics Canada however, within my Community there is no such thing as retirement because we as elders are called upon to provide guidance and direction for our people therefore we are often found in committees, members of agencies and organizations such as the one I am President of, The SCHSS Elder's Group. I have in the past been a teacher, organizer, speaker and mentor to many and believe that I will be such for as long as I am alive, like my 90 year Aunty. I intend to do as much as I am able to preserve, promote and deliver my language and traditional cultural teachings.
I received my Certificate of First Nation's Language Teacher after studying with the Simon Fraser University. I then taught at a middle school and a high school where I was referred to as Mrs. A and my co-teacher was referred to as Mr. T...... we had a blast with many students who were eager to learn and some who entered the program just for credits. Many of them became very good creators of comic book stories with the language.
I love to travel within my home territory as there is so much to enjoy. I like to shop like any other woman. I sew, knit and do some crochet. I am learning how to make cedar basketry and learning to work with other natural fibers. I enjoy organizing material for others however I am a disaster with my own things.... try to figure that one out.
To be a member of the Scw'ewmx (People of the Creeks) of the Nle?kepmx Nation is certainly an honour and pleasure. To live as one is to enjoy the beauty of our land the wilderness and it's inhabitants is definitely a plus and always peaceful when ever out and about. I still hunt and fish when I can but mostly today provide transportation to family members to family areas to carry out these practices. I do still harvest the fruits of the land; berries, roots, and mushrooms, etc. I love being in the company of my people for the companionship, humour, support, and just being.
Being involved in the film "Shana" was more of a surprise to me and enjoyed every part of the involvement. I'm certainly happy you found me and happy that I was able to fulfill the requirements and definitely my family continue to ask "when is the film going to out". Hahahha, some wanted an autograph before I become too famous... (giggle) my family all thought it was phenomenal that I got a part in the film. Therefore I am looking forward to view the film now. I wonder how I really did. Oh, my husband called me "The wild old woman" for quite a while. =) Thank you so much for the opportunity!
....As ever- Marty