Cultural Teachers / Practitioners

Latashkinem,

British Columbia

The daybreak comes early for a five year old as he walks with his grandfather to the flats hunting for ducks and geese. His ancestral name is Latashkinem from the Skwu7mesh People and he resides in the village of Humulchest’n. His grandfather would say “when the tide is out the table is set”. Mentored by his grandfather and uncles he was learning the ways of being on the land and the roles of being a man in our family. The family feasts were abundant with duck soup, geese, oysters, fish, our food for the soul.

In 2002 he joined Ayas Men Men Child and Family Services serving the people of the Skwu7mesh as a Culture and Youth Worker. At Ayas Men Men he continued with the development of Cultural Programs to immerse the youth in the rich teachings of the Skwu7mesh People. These initiatives have led to Ayateway Cultural Camp ( Supporting One Another ), Kwayesut Teen Program ( Seek Your Power ), Kanatsut Canoe Journey and currently the Hunters and Gatherers. Previous to this he worked with the Vancouver School Board for five years as a First Nations School Support Worker. His work with the First Nations Families in the schools include academic support, story telling, songs, sports, steering committees, graduation ceremonies,

On his own time Kinem has passionately explored and traversed mountain peaks each year for the past 15 years with a group of young people called “ Huystas ta Smenmanit “ the mountain eaters. These treks have their challenges physically and mentally though each step being closer to the top. The accomplishment of reaching the peak can only be described as exhilarating, the view spectacular, and gratifying.

Latashkinem hopes to continue and develop ways to engage our youth in culture and training. He says to the young people. “ Nam chet Kwayetsut “ It is time to seek your power.

Please follow this link to Ayas Men Men Child and Family Services
http://www.squamish.net/services/ayasmenmen.htm


Jacquelynn Soppit,

Alberta

Jacquelynn Soppit photo
From the Cree First Nations Jackie has been dancing professionally for twenty years as a woman’s Jingle dress dancer, and woman’s Traditional. Jackie has owned and operated a professional dance company for the past fifteen years, Wandering Spirit Native Awareness and now Thundering Nations International Dance Co. Teaching thousands of students over the years, winning numerous dance competitions, performing on stages around Canada and internationally.
In 2010 Jackie wanted to expand her dance to another level and took intense dance training out of the Seven Potencias Dance school based in Havana, Cuba, studying Salsa, Rumba, Afro-Cuban Folklore, and Cha Cha Cha. Jackie was sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts providing her the opportunity to train for several months including many trips back and forth to Cuba. Jackie was fortunate to train and study under some of Cuba’s leading dancers.
Jackie currently teaches and performs various classes including; traditional Aboriginal,Reggaeon, Salsa, Latin Aerobics, Merengue, and Bachata for schools, private classes, groups, corporations and events when requested. In addition she does regalia making, traditional Aboriginal Catering and many cultural awareness workshops, events, and classes.


Stella Johnny,

British Columbia

Stella Johnny photo
I am Employed with Malahat Nation, as Language and Cultural coordinator, I am a member of Cowichan Tribes, of Coast Salish Peoples. Part of my role is to assist in Member development of spirit, mind and body which promotes a healthy community. The Malahat Canoe Team consists of about 18 beginner and novice pullers skippered and trained by 2 captains. Presently we are training for Malahat Nation’s first ever participation in a tribal Canoe Journey July 25-August 4th, 2013 culminating at Quinalt Wa, USA. The team of canoe pullers practise daily at Mill Bay, BC presently on Race Canoes, single/double/six man or 11 man canoes.