I’m sitting in Cook Street Village with a girl who you may have seen popping up on my different social media sites. Her name is Cece (Cecelia) Sawyer and she is not only my sweety but she is also the in house consultant when Cheri and I are working on bits for our character Mandy, as a cultural consultant and she has been our photographer, extra, and more assistant on everything we do. She is not only First Nations but she is born and raised on a reservation, namely the Scianew Beecher Bay Reservation near Metchosin, British Columbia.
Q. So, Cece, what was it like growing up on the Rez in Beecher Bay?
A. It was beautiful. I lived with my grandparents for most of it. I remember learning my manners and being polite. I also learned a lot about Native traditions.
Q. How long were you there?
A. I was there all my life, until I was about twenty two I think. My grandparents looked after me and my cousins. I remember going to the First Nations church. That was me and my grandparents and my mom.
Q. What kind of church was that? Christian or Native, or a mix
A. It was Christian, praying to the same God. Everybody thinks its not but it is. I remember my mom using shaker bells and everyone singing Native Songs, in our language. I remember shaking each others going around before we would leave. Everyone in the church had to wear all white. Some of the songs were healing songs. That was cool
Q. What was in the Rez besides obviously homes.
A. Dogs! Just kidding. There is the Longhouse which I also call a smokehouse there. They do ceremonies. It’s called a smokehouse because of traditional fires used during ceremonies like funerals. My uncle use to own a corner store there. If you wanted to go off the reserve you had to get someone to take us because there was no bus service.
Q Is there a shuttle now?
A. No. I’ve heard people to talk about it at the Treaty Conference at Ocean Point. Once and a while you get to go to these.
Q. Is there anything else you remember?
A. Lots of Chief elections. There was some partying back then. I’m glad it’s not as much like nowadays. I like going out to my Uncle’s for Thanksgiving. He has a beautiful home that he built right on the Pacific Ocean. The rez is now called Spirit Bay and it’s definitely changing for the better.