Flight-Seeing Hesquiaht Territory

“We went on a trip with Atleo Air. We flew over the reserve and we stopped at Hesquiaht Lake. We went over the mountains and we were so close. I think that was my favorite part.

One group saw orcas and we all saw sea lions. I was with Rakaylyn and Maliquan and Maliquan stayed quiet the WHOLE WAY!”

HPOL student, Jacine Charleson

Photography: Jacine Charleson, Rakaylyn Charleson, Carly Seibel

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A Year at Hesquiaht Place of Learning

 

Over the next few weeks we are going to post some of the great things the students have been up to – in, out and around the school this year!

 

CULTURAL STUDIES

Apart from listening to Elders speak at the school and learning to butcher our catch after a hunt, in cultural studies we;

– visited Hooksum to see master canoe carver Joe Martin and his students steam a dugout canoe made from an 800-year-old cedar tree,

– flew over the traditional Hesquiaht territory with Atleo Air,

– raised coho salmon using a program designed by Nuu Chah Nulth educators,

– harvested local seafoods,

– went on a guided walk with Nuu Chah Nulth guide Gisele Martin to learn about the history of the Tofino area, local legends, and traditional uses of plants,

– learnt about First Nations in film and telling our story through filmmaking with Vancouver field-producer Alisen Hunt,

– talked about seasonal harvesting and created a poster to show which foods are harvested when,

– learnt about other First Nations across Canada through books and researching through the internet,

– talked about the 27 teachings of the Elders with Lisa Sabbas,

– became master photographers and storytellers with documentary photographer Alana Gregory, so that we can share modern Hesquiaht culture,

– and right now we are reading Hesquiaht legends and creating a claymation production to animate ‘The Man Who Was Mean to His Dog’.

 

 

GENERAL STUDIES

In other areas of study the HPOL student’s have also shown their amazing talents;

– in looking after water on Water Day with Lisa Sabbas and Louis Sabbas,

– in cooking with Chef Bobby Lax,

– in pottery with local potter Daniela Petosa,

– in guitar with Anne Weeks,

– and in painting with local artist Julie Robson.

 

WELL DONE TEACHERS, PARENTS, VISITORS & STUDENTS

Many thanks to anyone who made the effort to visit and teach the students at Hesquiaht Place of Learning this year.

And well done students! As Grandpa Pat said, you can all keep your heads up, and be proud of who you are and everything you have achieved this year.

 

Photography by (in order of appearance): Donovan Williams, Rakaylyn Charleson, and Jacine Charleson.

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Thank-you to Patrick Charleson Jr

Once again, many thanks to Patrick Charleson Jr or Grandpa Pat, for taking the time and effort to visit the school and speak with the students.

It was greatly appreciated by all, and we all learnt much from your words.

Especially that we each need to live from our hearts.

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I Call Them My Medicine Ay

“I’m proud now that I’ve dealt with my Residential school and how I feel about white people in general. Because I grew up hating white people.

Because of how it was. I had sugar shakers broken on my head.

I tell ya, have you ever seen that movie called Billy Jack and these white guys are pouring flour over an Indian boy’s head, and it triggered that so bad, I was right back with the Brothers…the sugar was just pouring down.

When they say they take something out of you, that’s how I feel, they took something out of me. And that was trust. And it’s really hard for me to trust.

I think I’ve grown up to a point where I don’t feel angry anymore.

Maybe it’s because of my grandchildren. Whenever I’m hurting, like when my wife took off, I used to have them over all the time. They’d come and hug me, I’d tell ‘em I love ‘em and I’d just hold ‘em, and it makes you feel better. Because you know that they’re there, it make you stronger as a person. I call them my medicine ay.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

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Grandpa

“And I used to say when we would go to workshops for Residential school and we had to go around the table, and I’d say…I heard the most beautiful word today, a word I never heard in Residential school…”Grandpa”.

That’s the thing I cherish. Having to hear my grandchildren call me that.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

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Look After Your Family

“I’d say to them that always keep your head up, be proud of who you are, be proud to be Indian, not because somebody says “…you’re Indian” [as an insult], like we were.

Be proud of…be who you are, and be proud of your family.

I learnt a while ago that – a white guy came to me and told me this.

He said, “…you know we are two different peoples our races. ”

He was saying, “…us white people we are proud of material things. I got a home, I got a boat, I got a house, I got a car.”

But he said to me, “…native people – you guys are about family, you look after family first.”

And that’s what I tell them, look after your family.  Be proud of them. Don’t be swayed because of how other people are, be proud of who you are yourself, from here [the heart].”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

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Coming Home

“The best thing for our kids here is going home to their parents, going home every night to their parents.

We never had that. Ten months of the year we were gone.

So we…I didn’t know [how to be a father]. It took me long time to learn how to be a father.”

Hesquiaht Elder, Patrick Charleson Jr

Photography: Donovan Williams, Jacine Charleson, Kevin Charleson, Patrick Charleson IV, Rakaylyn Charleson

Posted in Elders, First Nations, photography, Residential school | 1 Comment