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Stories and photos from Powell River, BC.

An Evening for Elsie (in Photos)

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016

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Mother of nine. Activist social worker. Language advocate. Honorary doctor. Elsie Paul’s life represents so much of the Tla’amin Nation’s struggles and hopes over the past half-century. And on March 4, Dwight Hall was at-capacity with revellers celebrating her contributions – in advance of treaty, April 5.

Here’s a visual round-up of some top moments:

Button Blankets
New button blankets and vests adorned the energetic Tla’amin singers and dancers Friday night.

Elsie Paul
Elsie Paul had, of course, a front-row seat for the many speeches on the program. Speakers ranged from Honore Watanabe (a Japanese language researcher who wrote the introduction to Elsie’s book, “Written as I Remember It”) to Chief Clint Williams, Regional District Director Colin Palmer, and members of her own family.

The Powell River Chorus
In a moving tribute, The Powell River Chorus sang The Rankin Family’s “We Rise Again” – a poetic song about hope renewing itself with each generation. Conductor Walter Martella invited the audience to sing along on the chorus.

Former Mayor Stewart Alsgard
Former mayor Stewart Alsgard emceed the event with grace and humour.

Canadian, Tla'amin, and Powell River flags
The Tla’amin, BC and Canadian flag hung together – and equally – over the hall.

Bryce and Cash McKenzie

Tla'amin singers and dancers

Tla'amin singers and dancers
During the event, the Tla’amin singers and dancers dazzled the crowd – but afterwards, let loose with some raucous showmanship.

Elsie Paul and Eugene Louie
Elsie embraces elder and colleague Eugene Louie, who offered the opening and closing prayers for the event.

Elsie Paul - And Evening for Elsie
Towards the end of the night, Elsie finally addressed the crowd.

Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa
Oops! Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa (with PRRD chair Patrick Brabazon) presented Elsie with a salmon sculpture for her home – and a larger one that will adorn the new Elsie Paul Literacy Centre at the Powell River Library. One fish slid off during the unveiling!

An Evening for Elsie crowd
Hopefully this is the first of many more events that bring together Powell River and Tla’amin Nation to celebrate the best of all of us.

All photos by Pieta Woolley – Powell River Living

Upset that you missed this event? There is a livestream video at available all week long, if you would like to watch the evening’s events.

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