Being told a story, by a great storyteller with a wonderful voice, is a kind of soul nourishment – it feels immediately rewarding, like getting an unexpected bunch of flowers, of having your hair dresser massage your scalp masterfully, but it resonates more deeply, more mysteriously, for longer afterwards, too.
So, let me treat you to this wonderful story, shared by Walis Gwy’um, the late Beau Dick, as part of the curriculum/materials in UBC’s Reconciliation through Education MOOC.
Dick was a Kwakwaka’wakw Northwest Coast artist and Chief from Alert Bay who passed away unexpectedly March 27, 2017, at the age of 61. A year later, his daughter Linnea Dick co-curated the largest exhibit of Dick’s carving and mask work ever displayed at the Audain Galley.
A feature documentary about his extraordinary life Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick, which was filmed between 2012 and 2017, and finished just before his death, has recently been released.
Part of the exhibition was a poem written by Linnea about her father, called Raven’s Son.
It ended with the lines:
“And so it will be told, time and time again/to us and our children’s children/As his spirit lives on with/No foreseeable end.”