I am of the Nlekepmx Nation (TZhomposn) of the Shulus Tribe of the Zoht Chapter (Lower Nicola Indian IR#4). I live near the city of Merritt BC in a little community called "Zoht", meaning the debris left by the spring floods at the end of the river.
I am one of fourteen children; seven girls and seven boys. I am the youngest of the boys and the last of my parents' children to be born in our family home, not in a hospital. Our family home stands today - weathered, beaten, aged and all - but still standing.
My Grandfather, Eddie Hall, was in the Wild West Show with Wild Bill Hickok. All of my sisters and brothers were singers and entertainers. I also became an entertainer and story teller; I enjoy all the arts: movies, stage; opera intrigues me.
Two of my friends and I started a rock and roll band we called Whiplash; we were quite successful. I work on rebuilding the family ranch. My wife, daughter and I started a family business we call SNKYEP TRAILS which is on hold for the time being. I hope to use my knowledge and training I gained from the En'owkin Centre and the University of Victoria in teaching my language and culture to my grandchildren and to whoever wants to learn the language and culture.
Shockingly, I got out from the clutches of the Indian Residential School system under my own steam. I had found my voice and that system could not put up with that. When I asked for a transfer out of that school system, they gave me a dishonorable discharge (expelled me). At the time, I remained content with myself because my language was still somewhat intact. I had hidden it (my language) very well, almost too well; I say this because there are doors in my mind, that remain difficult to open.
As time passed, I realized our Elders, the true speakers, were not forever; they were dying off at an alarming rate, taking their knowledge away with them. There were too few people recording and even fewer yet filming our language and culture. Being trusted in the community, I decided to take ownership of the problem. In choosing the path of ownership, it became my duty to pass on the knowledge I acquired from those gone on and those Elders that are still with us. Mayhap the path chose me; in any case, it is now my duty to my people and culture to teach what I am able to the young and whoever else wants to learn about our historic, valuable language and culture.
- 1954 - 1967: Kamloops Indian Residential School, Kamloops, BC
- 1991 - 1992: Native Basic Education NABE, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology NVIT, Merritt, BC
- 1994 - 1995: NVIT Native Justice Worker Programm, Business Management, Merritt, BC
- 1997 - 1998: Senlez Business Management Tourism, First Host, Lytton, BC
- 1997 - 1998: Supter Host, Merritt, BC
- 2006 - 2007: National Aboriginal Professional Arts Training NAPAT, Certificate of Completion, Year 1, En'owkin Centre & University of Victoria, Penticton & Victoria, BC
- 2007 - 2008: National Aboriginal Professional Arts Training NAPAT, Certificate of Completion, Year 2, En'owkin Centre & University of Victoria, Penticton & Victoria, BC
- 2008 - 2009: National Aboriginal Professional Arts Training NAPAT, Certificate in Foundations in Indigenous Fine Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, En'owkin Centre & University of Victoria, Penticton & Victoria, BC
- April 2009: REEL ROOTz 2009, Certificate Ullus Collective Animations Workshop, En'owkin Centre Media Arts, Penticton, BC