There are several different kinds of “education”. Some, very formal, some you learn as you go, but the best kind is learning from reacting to a friend.

When we first met Percy and Sally, and his sister Audrey, we were non-indians but it wasn’t too long before we became one with them. They found that they could trust us, and that we weren’t there for what we could get out of them.

One time we were at their church bazaar, sitting with Audrey. Mickey was holding Elaine‘s  (Percy’s daughter’s) new baby while she went around looking at what was there. A couple that Mickey had known years before came by and Mickey introduced Audrey as “my sister”. The couple looked a little confused. Then Audrey turned to Mickey and asked who they were, but not in English… in the Squamish language, and then started to laugh when she realized what she had done, quite naturally. We were that close!

We went to their night school class in leatherwork, and that’s where we made our vests. Well, we started to make our vests. If anyone wanted flowers drawn on their vests they came to me, and if they wanted birds or animals, they went to Mickey. We spent our class time drawing, and did the leatherwork at home. We made moccasins, and I made the gloves for Mickey.


Lilly Rivers (Audrey’s daughter), taught me how to do the Indian beadwork… I loved that. I made many different kinds of necklaces, and earrings. I also learned how to make belts on an Indian loom. And, of course, I beaded our vests. Audrey was making a vest for Frank JR, and asked me to bead it for her, as it had to be special!


Percy did beautiful carvings, but didn’t know how to get them out there to sell… so we taught him how to do that by going along on the shows with him, and showing him how to set up a good display.

We spent many precious hours with them… and I realize it now, more than ever.



6 thoughts on “Education!

  1. Well Norma get that pot of tea on I am looking forward to a hot cup. Percy and Sally seem like wonderful friends.They taught you about leather work and beading and you in return you drew flowers & Mickey drew birds and animals for their leather goods.Her turning and talking in her native tongue just goes to show how much like family you were to them.When I see the pictures of the beaded necklace it reminds me of my grandfather Herbert Wanklin(maternal) After he died my mother wanted 2 hand beaded necklaces that my grandpa had made with the Indians at a class.One his black and the other red.The beading detail is gorgeous.Also it looks like a beaded purse with some native scene on it which was started but never finished. I know my Mom always wanted to find someone who could finish this for her but it was never done,probably due to no extra funds to pay for it.After Mom died I received the necklaces which I still have.The unfinished purse I do not know what happened to it.Thanks for all the great stories Norma and the memories they evoke in others reading them. Keep shining! Thanks for the tea.

  2. Appreciating a culture other than one’s own is a sweet gift from God. You and your friends found commonality, and love for one another bridged any gaps that could have undermined your friendship. Thank you for sharing this part of your fascinating life story. Blessings to you, Noni…

  3. Yes, those were very special times. I have always admired and loved our native cultures from the time I was able to read. You and Mickey were able to be part of it. That’s so wonderful!

  4. Good morning Dianne. Is the tea strong enough?Help yourself to the cookies! Thank you for your comments… I see that my post awakened some of your memories. It’s wonderful to go back and relive some of your life, isn’t it>

  5. Good morning, Heather. So good to have you back for a cup of tea.. no cookies for you as you said you were trying to avoid them. Thank you for your comments… I do appreciate them.

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