Whether it's beading, painting, weaving, carving or some other traditional form of expression, the following people have a talent for sharing their gift. The ensuing workshops are educational, inspirational, and of course fun!
Coast Salish Arts & Cultural Society has been creating and delivering workshops and related cultural events since 2015, at venues such as lelem' at the Fort inside the Fort Langley National Historic Site, lelem' Arts & Cultural Café in Fort Langley, and now Richmond Cultural Centre.
Kwantlen Elder Richard Fillardeau has been weaving for over 46 years.
He was taught by his mother in law Josephine Kelly who started “The Salish Weavers”. Although the Salish Weavers are no longer in existence, he continues to share his skills.
Richard has been teaching weaving in the school system for over 16 years. Sharing his skills brings him a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment.
Fern Gabriel, ancestral name sesmelot, is from Kwantlen First Nation. She is a Language & Cultural Teacher and a gifted storyteller.
Fern is the host for the annually recurring Kwantlen Walking Tour Series, and has recently been nominated for a British Columbia Multicultural Award for her efforts in championing multiculturalism in the community and beyond.
Deanna’s ancestry is Katzie First Nation, and she was born and raised on Katzie Territory in Langley. She has worked as an Aboriginal Support Worker for the Langley School District since 2007.
šxʷne:m is a word in her ancestral language of hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ that means “healer”. Making traditional medicines from plants she harvests in her territory is her effort to reclaim her knowledge and return to the ways of her ancestors. All medicines she makes are created in small batches and handcrafted.
She enjoys all opportunities to share this ancestral knowledge through workshops and plant walks.
A 40 year learning experience, working and living in indigenous communities (in BC, Ontario and mostly in Saskatchewan), gave Mechtild many opportunities to grow and change. Mechtild worked in the areas of education and employment and training counselling. Since the passing of her husband over 10 years ago, it became Mechtild's important responsibility to keep the family history, and of course the Métis history and culture alive for her son, other family members and anyone who is interested.
Mechtild has done a lot of research, collected old photos, songs, stories and facts. She was fortunate to learn some of the traditional crafts, such as leatherwork, beading, embroidery and most of all the traditional style of sash weaving (finger weaving) from local traditional artisans.
Karen is originally from Vancouver Island, from the Halalt Band near Cowichan Valley. She is now a member of the Kwantlen First Nation. Karen has been presenting in the Langley School District for over 15 years. Karen facilitates programs for school aged children, such as teaching youth the importance of animals in the lives of Indigenous peoples in B.C. Discussing what animals were used for and provide an opportunity for the children to identify signs of an animal being around. Karen facilitates an Indigenous Plant Walk and shares her knowledge of how Coast Salish Peoples harvested and continue to harvest local, indigenous plants, then and now. Karen also makes a mean bannock.