Our Legacy Freeing a Nation
Call to Participate/More Information
The stories of our ancestors are left, lost, and fading in time, yet not fully forgotten. We must create new visions, dreams, and legends, utilizing our entire Indigenous history in truth to enlightenment, empowering our purpose and will. Where we nurture our authentic selves, in our own way, on our own terms, evolving the resiliency. Reconnecting the courageous, brave, wise, and loving generations, whose strength to face traumatic life experiences honestly, becomes their power, in transforming their pain to beauty. That will open the heart, mind, and spirit of many, planting a seed of transformation, so we can continue blossoming as a people. It is now, there is nothing left to lose, we must free ourselves with our people, it is our legacy to give, leaving hope for the next generations.
Further We Rise, written by Nadine Spence, with contributions by Stephen Lytton, on January 16th, 2021, was created for the awarded individual 2021 art grant, which lead visionary Nadine received through the First Peoples Cultural Councils, “Sharing Tradition Arts Across Generations”.
In the development of an indigenous organization, created to support and unite the BC Indigenous natural environment, health, education, arts, culture, and language, it became apparent the quickest way to do this was through the dreams of the artists, who are our traditional visionaries and inspiration. In knowing there are new Indigenous stories to be told, that do not lay with the idea we have disappeared with the lives of our ancestors, we remain connected to all things in spirit and in heart. Showing we are still fully here, physically alive, breathing the air, drinking the water, nurturing the lands, and rising with the Sun, so “Further We Rise”.
The collective continues to evolve, move forward, developing and creating new projects together, for their written indigenous stories and visual arts to be transformed into different art mediums, that include music, dance, theatre, performance, and film, but not limited to. The collective members consist of 4 generations from 12- 80 years of age, who all have immensely powerful indigenous passion, vision, talents, and goals in the arts, the natural environment, health, and social issues.
With the many indigenous visions and legacies Further We Rise collective has, we want to make each member’s artistic dreams a reality together. To continue supporting, sharing, and learning from each other and welcome in other artists interested in doing the same. Collaborations and building partnerships with other artists and organizations that nurture historic art and journeys. We look forward to meeting new artists, new opportunities, and new adventures, supporting our evolution so “Further We Rise”.
We hope to see you as we continue the Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey, where we showcase our Artists works and talents, share our histories and traumas, practice our traditions and cultures, and pay tribute to those who went before and who are taking us into the future through sharing our vision with all. Visit Honouring Our Grandmothers Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/269555261748221/ for the latest events and information.
Please come walk with us on this powerful healing journey.
Schedule of events are below.
Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey
Call to Participate/More Information
Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey is a movement that brings together generations of indigenous people with other nationalities along the pacific northwest that focuses on the Fraser and Thompson river watersheds with its mountains, salmon, and ocean.
We endeavour to honour our Grandmothers lived experiences, stories, and legacies left for those of us to discover and share through storytelling, teachings, ceremony, and art. This year Honouring Our Grandmothers continues moving forward by joining the cycle of the wild salmon, lasting for four years from fall 2022 to 2026.
The heart of this journey are the stories told by the thirteen Indigenous artists who, through the visual artwork they place on their cedar bentwood traveling message chests, share their relationships with their grandmothers, families, nations, ancestors, and Mother Earth.
A special community art project is the Elements chest. Which is created with the combined talents of seven multicultural artists, ranging from carpenters, poets, and visual artists whom have a historic relationship with Indigenous peoples. The chest is inspired by and named for the four main elements of fire, water, air, and earth, which no human being can live without.
We are optimistic that indigenous peoples will unite with community at large, beginning with the foundation elements. By working hard in every way, we wish to leave our children with the same natural gifts Mother Earth has given us all. It’s our born responsibility.
In ceremony these traveling message chests will be carried in and out by young honour chest guardians. With them we will feel our way through, recognizing, and releasing generational traumas we all survived and which impacted many. With dreams only to lighten grief’s burden and generational trauma for the next generations, who, by gaining a better understanding of it all, will continue moving forward, building, and creating a brighter future for all.
These chests will travel to different communities collecting written letters, photos, and tokens for the creator, ancestors, mother earth, grandmothers, and families. These offerings help people to give thanks, celebrate, honour, grieve, resolve trauma, and find peace with what was destroyed, lost, stolen, forgotten, taken, gone missing, or murdered in their lives. The Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey will end with the messages being properly respected, laid to rest, and released in ceremony to the sky. The focus is on personal, family, and community healing journeys, which take strength, truth, and courage. The environment created will be a safe and respectful place, valuing all human emotions.
The touring chests will be featured in private and public ceremonies, personal and group exhibits at galleries or museums, special gatherings and festivals. These events will include visual artwork, performances, cultural talks, community engagement art projects and the Further We Rise Indigenous Arts Collective. With many unique engagements between indigenous hosts and guest nations that include Indigenous language, traditional singing, dancing, drumming, and regalia connected to canoeing, feasting, and gifting to improve relations between nations and its visitors.
Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey is a movement assisted by Further We Rise Indigenous Arts Collective and supported by Sacred Rock with community partners such as Vancouver Moving Theatres Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, Massy Arts Gallery, and Oppenheimer Park.
Visit Honouring Our Grandmothers Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/269555261748221/ for the latest events and information.
Honouring Our Grandmother Healing Journey, and all its contributors and partners, ask you to join us on this remarkable indigenous led and inspired voyage.
Sacred Rock “We are the Lands”
Sacred Rock is a small community non-profit organization founded in early 2019 to re-unite Indigenous Peoples through Ceremony/Health, Mother Earth/Natural Environment, and Storytelling/Arts/Teachings.
Indigenous Peoples way of life in North America have always been one with the natural environment – throughout our history, culture, heritage and language – from time immemorial. This remains in us all, to this day, even with the challenges we survived in the destruction of that, we are still one with the lands, air, water, plants, fish and wildlife, that will never die. Knowing ourselves – mind, body, heart, and spirit -of being connected with nature, we will share our ways of life again with the community to protect, preserve and nurture that bond, through our indigenous art, education, health, and natural environment we create today, leaving a legacy of truth for our own Being, our Peoples and the Mother Nature.
The Sacred Rock was formed with the vision of reconnecting Nlaka’pamux Arts, Cultural Heritage, Language, Health, Education, and the Natural Environment. As we move ahead together as Indigenous, we all must acknowledge what has been lost, what we are losing still, what is left, and how we must preserve and protect to revive our culture and natural environment by implementing those ways that work for Indigenous along with the development of arising honorable partnerships.
With this collaboration between health uniting with education and natural environment, developing that connection through the arts will give all a better understanding of how we can all work together with the natural world to improve the health of indigenous peoples and others. This organization and its partners will improve their professional position in regard to indigenous health as well as nurture their own free creative ideas and solutions.
Utilizing traditional holistic approaches, that reconnects what we were separated from in ourselves,our families, and in our tribes, with hopes of a resolution and a dream of unity, ending an era with a long healing journey ahead for generations to come.
Sacred Rock will continue researching/rediscovering and developing traditional arts, culture, heritage, medicine, and language projects in conjunction with modern health, education, science, and technology, while always working respectfully with, honoring, and nurturing the natural world we are an intrinsic part of.
For the latest discussions and interactions with the founders, partners and artists, please visit us on Facebook.
Nadine Spence (bio)
Nadine Spence is an indigenous Nlaka’pamux/Secwepemc mother and grandmother from the interior of BC, hometown Spences Bridge. Her education began with illustration and design, fashion, and wearable art at the University of the Fraser Valley. With business management, marketing/advertising, and project management courses. Becoming an entrepreneur, creating opportunities through producing arts and cultural events, fashion shows, plus workshops, she has a diverse background, experience and expertise as an arts and culture administrator, and community-engaged arts and cultural practitioner. She was led into opportunities where she became a creative director, events and project coordinator, fashion show producer and manager, visionary consultant, and workshop producer and facilitator. She is the founder and creative director of Sacred Rock which connects indigenous arts, heritage, culture, language, and traditions with the natural environment, health, and education.
Over the past 10 years Nadine has been developing her creative writing skills through short stories, essays, quotes, and poetry, relative to her life experience as an indigenous woman. Her visual art started to surface strongly these past 4 years in pencil sketched prototypes to ink, pencil crayon, chalk, and felt. With three years learning and perfecting her soapstone carving talent and skills. Photography has also become a significant part of her creative endeavours. Self taught in creating video footage and developing short stories of indigenous history, projects, and events. Most recent interests, opportunities, and developments are in theatre, dance, and music.
Nadine is a recipient of the “Sharing Traditional Arts Across Generations” grant, through the First Peoples Cultural Council, receiving as an individual lead visionary artist applicant, as a writer and visual artist developing “Further We Rise”.
Spence is the lead visionary artist, producer, and director of the Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey launching with partners Vancouver Moving Theatre and Heart of the City Festival this November 5-7, 2021, in Vancouver BC downtown east side.
Irene D. Adams (bio)
Irene D Adams is a Nlaka’pamux/Secwepemc woman who is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and community elder. She gained her GED when a young mother and went on to gain her Master’s Degree in Social Work.
In her life time she has worked as a grocery store clerk, residential schools child care worker, group home parent, preschool assistant, and social worker. During this time her skills at sewing have helped in her survival and desire to be creative. She has created quilts, wall hangings, purses, ribbon skirts and regalia. Thanks to her grandmother, she was able to observe how to create patterns out of newspaper and quilts from used old blankets and rags.
Presently she turned her attention to creating a cloth doll representing a grandmother and a small child. She was inspired to create the dolls due to the lack of toys she witnessed the children at the residential schools got to enjoy.
Irene’s wish for the future is to keep enjoying the gifts she inherited from her grandmother, mother and great Yaya.
Patricia R. Schaefer (bio)
Trish is of Oglala Lakota descent and was raised on a small farm/ranch on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation in South Dakota, USA. She is a mother, sister and auntie. Trish earned an Associates in Commercial Art and a Bachelor’s in Communications with a Graphic Emphasis back in the early days of computers.
Trish has worked as a Graphic Artist for over 30 years. She started out in production and worked her way up to Advertising Director before putting her career on hold to start a family. Pregnancy late in life turned out to be life threatening, resulting in complications that made it impossible for her to work outside the home ever again. But in a way it was a blessing. With the advent of the internet, Trish was able to connect with artists all over the world resulting in collaborations that have been incredibly artistically enriching. She is now an award winning logo designer and been published four times internationally. Soon after settling in at home with her premature son, past employers and professional acquaintances started to call with job opportunities. Through word of mouth, and despite a second life threatening pregnancy, Trish has built a thriving freelance business from her home.
It seems like a lifetime ago, and it was, but Trish’s memories of growing up poor on her dad’s family farm/ranch will always be clear in her mind. The tremendous amount of hard work, riding her horse through the long grass, sharing adventures with her sisters, chasing cattle along the Medicine Creek, the breadth and solitude of the Great Plains, and swimming in the mighty Missouri to rinse a day’s dust and grime away will always be greatly influential. Trish considers herself both an artist and a pig farmer’s daughter.
Sacred Rock is non-profit. All donations go to help support the artist collaborations including materials, travel and events, the artists themselves, the upkeep and maintenance of this website, and to provide help to those in the surrounding community who are in need. Please feel free to specify exactly where you want your donation to go: Sacred Rock, Further We Rise, Honouring Our Grandmothers, or the local indigenous community we serve. We will provide documentation for tax purposes as needed.
All donations will receive a mention with options to be on the website, with the addition of a link to your site, online portfolio, or social media page.
For any donation of $200 or more, you will receive a 14” x 14” limited edition print of Roger Spence’s original drawing that was done in black and red ink, along with “Salmons’ Journey Home” written by Nadine Spence. Prints are done on fine art Hot Press paper, 100% cotton with pigment inks, heavy weight with a smooth matte surface, acid free coating, acid free base with a water-resistant white background. Shipped in a crystal-clear acid free bag with Rogers Spence art bio and the “Salmons Journey Home” story. These prints are only made available at this special time to support the Honouring Our Grandmother Healing Journey.
Shipping costs are not included and will be determined at time of shipping. Please include your contact phone number and address upon donating.
Roger Spence was an Elder, Great Grandfather, Grandfather, Father, Son, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, and friend, belonging to the unceded territory of the Nlaka’pamux people in the Interior of BC. Roger Patrick Spence was born September 26, 1944 and passed on April 6, 2020. Growing up he attended the St. Georges Indian Residential School in Lytton BC, he carried lifelong trauma from that, yet he remained a provider, protector, and leader since his childhood for many. In life he worked as a firefighter, construction worker, councillor, X-ray tech, and Psychiatric Nurse. Roger developed his own artistic style which he designated as a modified, more graphic style, hybrid of Haida/Kwakiutl with a hint of MC Escher. The spirituality of the First Nations is reflected in his art.
“In sharing one of my Father Rogers artworks with the world, is done in the highest respect and honour for his contribution and inspiration to my life in arts. I quote a section of his write up defining his art style “HIS ART INCOPORORATES THE USE OF THE CIRCLE REPRSENTING ETERNITY AND LIFE’S CYCLE IN THE SEASONS AND THE CYCLE OF BIRTH TO DEATH OF MAN”. As his daughter I had the privilege to complete cycles of life with him, the ones that didn’t transpire between us are now happening with him in spirit. This will connect us forever in eternity through the arts, like I have always dreamed. Thank you, Dad, for supporting the Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey love always Nadine Spence 2021/09/19”
Those who wish to keep updated and to share memories of Roger are welcome to join the public Facebook page called “Final Wishes of Roger Spence.
Salmons’ Journey Home – There is always a new sunrise and a new sunset.
“Quiet creeks shimmer red with salmon. Eggs are laid and strengthened. Come Spring those that made it through winter hatch. The journey downstream is easy, for they are young. As they enter the mouth of the sea, some are excited, some are afraid. Some don’t leave the delta. The big blue open waters offer many opportunities, good and bad. If they survive, what stories they will tell.
They grow and enjoy their newfound world. Then, driven by an unexplainable calling, they go back to the rivers that birthed them. It isn’t an easy journey back, but they are stronger now. They fight currents, low waters, and sharp rocks. Some give up. Most keep on, pushed by a primordial force. Only the strong end up where they began, in the calm streams of rest. Here they leave the next generation to continue the Salmons’ Journey Home.”
Written by Nadine Spence
Further We Rise:
- David Gordon Archie
- Lorraine Spence
- Irene Adams
- Stephen Lytton
- Nadine Spence
- Tamara Archie
- Marsha Spence
- Chelanne Adams
- William Nelson
Honouring Our Grandmothers:
- Irene Adams
- Stephen Lytton
- Nadine Spence
- Trish Schaefer
- Richard Pop
- Peter Spence
- Chelanne Adams
- William Nelson
- Tl’aaiyah Adams
- Aiyanna Adams
- Piebe De Jong
- April Leprette
- Marion Boggs Jr.
Copyright ©2021, 2022
All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise stated, all content, written and graphics, are the property of Sacred Rock and Nadine Spence. No section or text or graphics may be copied, quoted, or reproduced in part or in whole without the written permission of Nadine Spence or her appointed representative. Last updated 09/19/2022.
Background photo of Arthur’s Seat [colonial name of Sxãxanmx] and the Thompson River near Spences Bridge by Amanda Rose Billy.