We are a group of people with skills and experience in many different areas. We have come together to offer and teach our collective knowledge and experience and share with people our passions for re-kindling these ancient skills.
My name is Delmar Williams and I am from the Squamish and Lil’wat Nation. I have grown up within my community and with my elders who still speak their traditional language and sing our traditional songs. As a child, my family would fish the Fraser River every year to sustain us through the year. I carry the ancestral name of Banksht from my mother’s family – and will soon carry the name of Xwepilkinem, which was my father’s ancestral name, and refers to the man who slayed the two headed sea serpent. I am continuing to learn and grow my knowledge around ancient technologies and ways of knowing.
I have studied with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and have my hiking guide and day hiking guide certification. I am certified with Wilderness First Aid and am a certified hunt guide and have completed my Outfitter course as well. I have been working as a Big Game Hunt Guide for the last six years in northern British Columbia. I have also been employed with Outward Bound Canada as a professional guide for six years. Most recently, I have been teaching with the Seymour Longhouse program where 30 students spend 3 hours at a traditional longhouse – and we have several instructors who teach fire, cooking with fire, building tri-pods; making slahal sets (traditional native gambling game); hide tanning; basketry; and plant gathering. I have also been working with the North Vancouver School District #44 and teaching with various high school students about wilderness survival, fire by friction, and ancient technology. In August 2012, my wife and I were working with First Nations Youth and created a Hunters and Gatherers program which included teaching about shelter building; working with obsidian; basketry and wool weaving; and coal burning. We established a camp along the Squamish River, which was formerly the Squamish village of Pu:yam.
My ancestral name is Sesemiya and I am a proud member of the Squamish Nation. I come from a long line of Basketweavers. My grandmother Eva May Nahanee recalled learning how to weave baskets by coal oil lamp. My grandmother was taught by her grandmother. I am very honoured to continue this tradition within our family and community.
I have learned a variety of weaving styles and techniques from many teachers including: Brenda Kearns (Haida); Mary, John and Gay Williams (Lil’wat); Ed Carriere (Susquamish); Minnie Peters (Sto:lo); Hank and Inez Gobin (Tulalip); and Bernadine Phillips, to name a few inspirational people.
Cedar weaving makes me feel like I am walking in harmony with our Ancestors. There is a special responsibility that comes with gathering our natural plants and materials and taking care of our environment. My prayer is that our people will continue to love and enjoy this unique and spiritual art form.
Chen Kwen Mantumi,
Peace to You,
Jenna Rudolph is co-founder, director and lead instructor at Soaring Eagle Nature School, a nature based school that teaches nature connection and wilderness living skills in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Jenna is passionate about getting people outside into wild places and guiding them into a strong connection with the natural world. She teaches plant medicine, wildlife tracking, friction fire and basketry at primitive skills gatherings in BC, Washington and California. She has taught week-long survival trips and week-long mentoring classes with the Wilderness Awareness School in Washington. She is a graduate of the Wilderness Awareness School’s 9-month Wildlife Tracking Intensive, and is completing Kamana, a multi-year Naturalist Training Program. Jenna has been evaluated level 3 in Sign and Track with Cybertracker International.
She has studied botany and ethno-ecology with Nancy Turner through an Environmental Studies degree at UVIC and has apprenticed with various herbalists and basket weavers in B.C. She is a graduate of the Wild Seed School of Herbal Studies’ Intermediate Program. Jenna loves wildcrafting food and medicine, tanning hides and working with buckskin, weaving baskets, making good food and sleeping outside. She is deeply indebted to the land and to the Squamish nation and is incredibly grateful to be able to work in their territory.