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First Nations People Reclaiming Their Heritage

“My full name is Pawatsqwachitl. I come from Ahousaht on the west coast of Vancouver Island.” Following the indigenous custom, Pawa Haiyupis introduced herself, her people and territory. She thanked the Coast Salish people and territory where we were videoing (Victoria, B.C.)

This First Nations woman works with youth, elders and spiritual leaders to practice their culture and “activate their blood memories,” as one elder calls it. She says: “We’re going on medicine walks, we’re doing sweats in safe spaces, and we’re learning about our creation stories and sacred sites in our culture.” She gives a glimpse of a different way of relating to one another and the Earth from a culture that has been sustainable for many thousands of years. []

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