Secwepemc elders video and storybook launch Friday

The community is invited to see for themselves some new teaching tools created for Secwepemc schools by elders.

The community is invited to see for themselves some new teaching tools created for Secwepemc schools by elders.

The storybook and video creations by Secwepemc elders will be presented at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake Friday, May 24 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The video features interviews with elders sharing their thoughts on aging and highlights the importance of traditional activities and practices, said Isadore Phillips, the project’s northern research co-ordinator in announcing the event.

The storybook seeks to show children how to develop positive relationships with elders experiencing memory loss.

Elders participating in the Culturally Safe Dementia Care (CSDC) research project told the researchers from Thompson Rivers University and Interior Health that they would like to create a video and storybook that they could share with children and youth to teach them about what it is like to grow old and experience memory loss.

It is hoped that these teaching tools can help to strengthen relationships between elders and youths.

“This is a meaningful project and I was glad that I was part of it!” said Jean William, an elder advisor on the project.

The researchers facilitated the project by hiring two young First Nations artists, Karlene Harvey and Trevor Mack, to create the video and storybook with Secwepemc Elders.

“Hearing the stories from Secwepemc Elders provided me with such a rich understanding of the people from this Nation, their territory and what it means to take care of elders as a community,” Harvey said.

“The storybook evolved from the meaningful conversations that both Trevor and I had with the elders interviewed and we are so thankful for the opportunity to learn from them what it means to be Secwepemc.”

“May 24 is the culmination of all of the hard work by the elders, artists and researchers,” Phillips said. “We invite you to come celebrate with us and honor the stories from the elders. Tea and snacks will be provided.”

Similar events are also being planned in Adams Lake and Skeetchestn.

For more information please contact Jessica Gates, the CSDC Research Assistant at 250-852-6393.