Here's a little story all about how....
I remember being little and my imagination was so wild that I would go off telling some pretty crazy stories, and back then they were probably just seen as straight up lies by those that had to listen to them lol. I like to look at myself as a storyteller though. As an adult my imagination is still fully intact however I now have a camera as a form of telling my stories and I no longer blend reality with fragments of my imagination (out loud) as I once did when I was a child ;) lol
My big sister Alicia, parenting me as always, wiping my nose.
As an adult with some life experiences and learnings I've found that the best way to express myself out loud is through my photography and media work. I see things all the time, it's like I half live here and half walk with my ancestors still, I'll be riding shotgun travelling through the mountains and ideas for beautiful photos or photo ideas/stories start to come to life. I have always been a dreamer and I take care of that part of me, that's a part of me that I don't think will ever die out. My Grandmother, Barb Pearl Marchand, is one of my biggest inspirations. She is a phenomenal artist and is a well respected Syilx Elder in our community back home in Vernon.
My Paternal Grandmother Barbara Pearl Marchand, showing some Tupa love to my nephew "Baby Two Eyes."
My Grandma, who I actually call Mama, supported my Dad in raising us girls by bringing us up in the teachings we needed to learn to be women. My Mama always came to our house and picked us up and brought us out on the land to learn to gather traditional materials for various different things she wanted to teach us like q̓ʷastqín (cattail) teachings and what it all does for our people. I enjoyed those days with her, she kept life simple and so did my Dad, we did things like swim in the lakes, creeks, work in the fields, feed the cows, roundup the cattle, and fishing and camping.
A bit of an older picture, okay 3 years old, of my sisters, my Dad and I.
Left to Right; Lauren (the youngest), My Dad (the unsung hero), myself and my older sister Alicia.
Where we roamed free and harvested plants at our home place on the Okanagan Indian Band reserve. Where my Dad still lives in the same house we were raised in.
Syilx q̓ʷastqín (Cattail) Hat
It was being raised on my land, with my stories, my songs, my teachings and living it more than we ever talked about it, is what opens my heart to want to always connect with my Ancestors. It is living in a urban setting now, on the unceded Kwantlen territory that has inspired me to capture that yearning for Ancestoral connections, like a thirst quenched.
My innermost desire is to capture people connecting with their decolonized selves in order to remain tied to their Ancestors with sinew strength.
This is how my heart came to be a photographer, it's an outlet, like art is for many Indigenous artists. It's a way we connect with ourselves in ways we never could, this extends far beyond our English language, all the way back to the Nselxcin times.