Many years ago my husband wanted to paint some Indian kids… and we didn’t know any Indians. (First Nations now, and those who came from India were East Indians.)
I phoned a radio station, and they told me to call Clifford Paull, who referred me to Percy Paull. Percy invited us to come over and he introduced us to some of those with small children. They were preparing for a Potlatch the following week and were trying to make signs for the different booths. Mickey told them he would make the signs for them. That was the beginning of a very fine friendship.
For every painting he did of one of their children, he did a second one and gave it to the parents.
A couple of years later Mickey was the guest of Honour at the potlatch. He was presented with the full head dress and a talking stick, carved by Percy Paull. I was presented with a head dress. AND he was given his Indian name… Secumlesqualone, meaning a chief, and a kind person who helps others.
A few years later we were invited to a banquet where Chief Louis Miranda was going to pass his chieftanship down to Phillip Joe. We were always put at the head table. Sitting next to me was the mother-in-law of Lenny George and her husband. She said to me, “Isn’t it wonderful what’s happening today? We are both getting our Indian names!” I agreed that it was quite an honour.
Two people spread a blanket on the floor down at the other end, and four people came to get the two honorees. They came down, and around the end of the table, passed the first two sitting there, and stopped at ME! They took me and the other lady. Husband would be done later. They sat me in one of the chairs, put a blanket around my shoulders, tied a scarf around my head and then I had to go around and “pay” the witnesses with money, blankets and scarves. All of mine were provided for me by Uncle Louis Miranda. Because they surprised me, I didn’t have to supply them myself. I cried all the time that I was passing these out! There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that I appreciated what they were doing for me. The Indian name that they gave me was Hautsqualwon… meaning a kind person who helps people.