Affirming Our Roles as Elders: Sharing the Wisdom of Age

What knowledge can our elders and ancestors show us as we go through the changes and upheavals of the present?  How can elders contribute? What skills are irreplaceable and come only with elderhood?

What: A storytelling workshop for older adults. On Zoom.
When: Sunday, February 6, 2022, 3:00 PM
Cost: By donation

This presentation includes stories from local elders, including Joseph Dandurand of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre, Melanie Ray of the Vancouver Storytelling Festival, Gertrude Pierre, a Sechelt Nation Elder and residential school survivor, and local poet and novelist Tariq Malik.

Elders from an earlier storytelling workshop will be invited to tell a story they have developed with our writer-in-residence Gail Nyoka.

Gail Nyoka is a playwright and storyteller. In residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House in January and February 2022.

Gail Nyoka is writer-in-residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House in January and February 2022. A storyteller and playwright, Gail’s passion for oral storytelling is a central part of her residency. This is the second of two public workshops.

Gail’s work while in residence is deep writing of a story that weaves together history and memoir to speak of a legacy of migration and re-migration, of empire and its effects. Oceans Carry Us brings to life the story of a generation whose stories are passing. 

Gail Nyoka is a playwright and storyteller. In residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House in January and February 2022.

Joseph Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about twenty minutes east of Vancouver. He resides there with his three children. Dandurand is the director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre and the author of several books of poetry, including The East Side of It All (Nightwood Editions, 2020), shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

His first children’s book was The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets (Nightwood Editions, 2020). In 2021, Dandurand received the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.

Tariq Malik is a poet, painter, and a writer of fiction. His poetry was most recently published as part of Unmooring the Komagata Maru: Charting Colonial Trajectories (UBC Press, 2019). His latest novel, Chanting Denied Shores (Bayeux Arts, 2010), is historical fiction set on the North American West Coast during the pre-war period of 1907–1914 and highlights events surrounding the Komagata Maru’s voyage to Canada.

Tariq’s fiction and art focus on the Pacific Northwest and its intersection with historical colonial India in general and the province of Punjab in particular.

Gertrude Pierre is a Sechelt Nation Elder and a residential school survivor. Attending residential school for 10 years did not hold Gertie back.

After years of healing she graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work in 2011 at the age of 65.

She now works as a cultural support worker with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Melanie Ray has turned her actor’s experience and training to the art of storytelling since 1984. Her carefully crafted stories are full of people you know, or wish you did, and she sets them in scenes as vivid as the characters themselves.

She uses the English language with precision, ease, and delight. Melanie has been heard in schools and theatres, outdoors and in, on radio, television, and CD. She has been heard by children and adults across Canada and beyond.