sacred rock

Our Legacy Freeing a Nation

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 for the latest events and information.

Further We Rise Indigenous Arts Collective participants are: David Gordon Archie Lorraine Spence, Irene Adams, Stephen Lytton, Nadine Spence, Tamara Archie, Marsha Spence, Chelanne Adams, William Nelson, Trish Schaefer, Tl’aaiyah Adams and Aiyanna Adams.

Please come walk with us on this powerful healing journey.

Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey

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. Visit Honouring Our Grandmothers Facebook Group at 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 spiritual voyage.

Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey supporters are: Irene Adams, Autumn Walkem, Stephen Lytton, Nadine Spence, Trish Schaefer, Chelanne Adams, William Nelson, Tyson Adams, Tl’aaiyah Adams and Aiyanna Adams.

Upcoming Events:

Honouring Our Grandmothers
Healing Journey brings you:

Share with us why your Grandmother, Mother, Auntie, and/or Sister
deserves to be acknowledged and given a gift.

We will be honouring Grandmothers throughout the 4-year
Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey,
which follows the cycle of the wild salmon.

All gifts are authentically custom made by Indigenous artists from differing Nations.

Email or mail your letters with “Attention Gifts for Yèy-e?” to: or Box 116, Spences Bridge, BC VOK 2L0
Please include your full name, email address,
phone number, and mailing address.

Follow us as we make our Healing Journey to Honour Our Grandmothers:

You are cordially invited to our
Opening Celebration!

“Downstream Where the Waters Mix” is part of a larger, multi-year project titled
‘Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey’, led by Nlaka’pamux artist Nadine Spence.

Opening Celebration an Honouring Our Grandmothers Healing Journey season at the

New Westminster Museum and Archives.

Opening Celebration:
May 24th from 6-8pm

Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

New Westminster Museum and Archives
at 777, Columbia St. New Westminster, BC

The exhibition is open to the public from May 24, through December 15, 2024.

This project is meant to honour Grandmothers, babies and youth, their families, the lands, waters, and the wild salmon cycle. A presentation of bentwood cedar chests made by Peter Wayne Gong and Son Matthew Gong, that are designed by other artists, chest carrier platforms, regalia, woven blankets, bentwood boxes, stands and other original artworks by Indigenous and community artists from a variety of Nations will depict their own individual histories, stories and healing journeys.

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Supported by:

New Westminster Museum and Archives, First Peoples Cultural Council, Canada Council for the Arts.

Contact Us

    Box 116, Spences Bridge, BC – V0K 2L0

    Background photo of Arthur’s Seat [colonial name of Sxãxanmx] and the Thompson River near Spences Bridge by Amanda Rose Billy.

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