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Nugwa’am Sarah. Gayuƛan lax Dzawada'enuxw.
Sarah ʔukʷaqiłs. diitiidʔaaʔaqsips.

ʔukłaas Sarah. ʕaaḥuusʔaqsups.

My name is Sarah and I’m a First Nations Storyteller & Steward based on Vancouver Island. I take pride in being both Kwakwaka'wakw and Nuučaan̓uł. The regalia I’m wearing in this photo belonged to my auda, who gave it to me before her passing; these are few cultural belongings I have from her, and I cherish them greatly.
Growing up I was fortunate to live at, near, and travelled to my ancestral homes over time — with so much left to explore. Along with this I was raised by my father and grandparents, who taught our languages, history, artwork, and values at a very young age. I’m not only grateful for this but for them embracing both sides of my heritage, as it was this notion that helped shaped who I am today.
My personal goal is sharing stories, in a modern way, to reconnect those back to the land and waters, as there is a lot of history with them which we overlook. ʔiisaak and maya’xala are words myself and other quuʔaas/bak’wam live by. Although those words are in different languages, they mean the same thing and that is respect — for the land, the people, and yourself. Everything that I do as a creative and individual is with that in mind, as I have so much respect for Mother Nature, my loved ones, and the ancestors. It is because of them that I am here today and able to respectfully share who we are with pride. #thegreaterconnection

A Chestnut-backed Chickadee hanging off the top of a Western Red Cedar.

This young Western Red Cedar is conveniently growing right next to where we hang our bird feeders. It makes a great perch for the smaller birds before they go in for a meal.

#Poecilerufescens #ChestnutbackedChickadee

Mans best friend

A Red-breasted Nuthatch on a mossy maple branch.

It took awhile before a nuthatch would stay put long enough for me to get a decent photo. These little birds tend to dart around pretty quickly.

#Sittacanadensis #RedbreastedNuthatch

You just gotta keep livin’ man. L-I-V-I-N ☮️

Flying over Cape Scott Provincial Park with @wilderness_seaplanes was a remarkable experience. Not just because I’m an aviation nerd, who got to co-pilot a Grumman Goose, but a Kwakwaka'wakw song came to me and I never heard -- let alone sung it before. This happens from time to time, even though I'm not a singer, and been told it’s the ancestors trying to connect with you. #thegreaterconnection

A Great Blue Heron sitting on a small island at Esquimalt Lagoon. Smoke blown over from forest fires on the mainland made for some interesting hazy light.

#Ardeaherodias #GreatBlueHeron #EsquimaltLagoon

I feel bad for the people who had to build 1.1km of boardwalk...

There are many ways we can help wildlife thrive. Reducing our waste is a great one. I’m always on the go so one easy way I help minimize my impact is using reusable containers for my morning coffee and breakfast whenever I can. All my regular travel mugs are in the wash so I opted for a mason jar with lid this morning. Above is my toast in one of my adorable reusable snack bags (waterproof lined, machine washable and dryable!) from the fantastic little local company @evercoasthandmade . Show the world how you help wildlife thrive by using our hashtag #4wildlife

It’s physics. Pure physics, I’m falling fast, and faster still. So fall with me. Fall down with me. And stay. ~ Cecily von Ziegesar // Falling to, falling in, falling for... 💦waterfalls💦 😍😍😍With a hometown favourite 👌

Happy Valentine’s Day baby thank you for all of your support through everything I do I couldn’t be luckier, I love you so much❤️❤️❤️ @grace.hebertt #valentinesday #iloveyou

What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shinning elusive element that is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose. ~ Willa Cather // Always chasing something, HWY 28 W 🤙 Dec 2016

Do you see what I see?

A White-crowned Sparrow perched in a young Fir tree. This was during a Bioblitz at Fort Rodd Hill last spring.

#Zonotrichialeucophrys #WhitecrownedSparrow #Bioblitz

This copper mural shares the history of the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw — the map of our territories, villages, legends, traditions, and our people. As soon as my dad arrived in Port Hardy, I brought him to Ha’me' Restaurant, which is located within Kwa'lilas Hotel and where this mural is situated.
I brought him here to share how proud I am of our loved ones. That despite many traumatic experiences, the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw are thriving, embracing who we are and where we come from. All of which is truly inspiring. #thegreaterconnection

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