a big step for Stó:lō artists to take – they finally have a home to
showcase and sell their art.
On Friday, Francine Douglas, along with Stó:lō Resource Centre (SRC)
officials, threw open the doors to the Gift Store and Interpretive
Centre in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to rededicate the store which
unofficially opened last summer.
Featured Stó:lō artists Bonnie Graham-Krulicki and Nikki LaRock were
also on hand for the event.
Douglas told The Voice, prior to the ribbon-cutting, they put in a
lot of time and energy into setting up the retail store and were all excited
the day had finally come.
main goal of the gift shop is to raise the awareness of local, authentic
handmade items, to have a place for artists to sell their items," she
Now they're in full-swing and booking weekly tours in the attached
Interpretive Centre. Douglas was excited about the opening.
"This is to help tie it in so people will be learning about our local
Stó:lō history and our culture and our technology and all of the
important resources to the Stó:lō people and our culture and then have
an opportunity to take something home with them," she said referring to
the basket and bracelet classes offered.
Since its soft opening in the summer, the gift store has been run by
But, things will be different now that the store is in the hands of the
"We're now open after work hours and on the weekend to provide that
extra shopping opportunity. It's geared more towards the work that we're
doing here," she said.
During the ceremony, Douglas told the group gathered outside the shop
doors, that she was honoured and thankful for the support.
Weaving classes will be taught in the
ambiance of the Interpretive Centre. Below, Francine Douglas welcomes
the community on Friday.
"I think there is a small portion of Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley
that is excited about having a place like this become a shop and take a
peek at our Stolo culture and our Stolo history home with them. This
place is meant to showcase our artists. So, we are working hard to bring
in artwork and craftwork from our Stolo community members and the
Aboriginal community that are within our Stolo territory," said Douglas.
Thomas performed a "Ceremony Song" and before leading the procession
inside the store he said "What we're going to witness here today and
take part in today ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters is we're
going to do a cutting of the ribbon. We have Bonnie Graham-Krulicki and
Francine Douglas and Nikki LaRock, all helping get this place going and
today. It's a very special day for them."
"This is a great little project that we've all been working on," said
said Stolo artist Bonny Graham-Krulicki. "I helped develop the store and
bring the products in and make everything look pretty in here and this
is a very happy day for all of us. I'm really thankful that you can all
be here witih us."
For more information visit
and watch for
www.stologiftshop.com to be online soon.
The store is located at Stó:lō Nation 7201 Vedder Rd next to Building
#10. Hours are Thursday to Saturday 10am to 5:30pm. To book Cultural
Tours email here
and download the information sheet and booking form
Nikki LaRock is a Stolo Nation Qwetelhmelhet Cultural Resource
Guide/Admin Assistant at the Resoure Centre on Vedder. She's also a
talented artist and teacher. LaRock's father is a master carver across
the Fraser River in the Chehalis community.
I was born in Chilliwack, BC and am a member of Yakweakwioose First
Nation in the Stó:lõ Territory. I grew up with a strong cultural
In knowing my history, I have the determination to work with children
and youth to keep our culture alive with arts and crafts, our language
and the different healing methods to help us stay strong as First
Some of the gifts that I have to share with others are native design
fashion, painting drawing,
storytelling and teaching the Halq’eméylem language. My children are my
inspiration to be all
that I can be and by sharing my k nowledge I hope to help prepare our
children and youth to be our future leaders.
I do "Vintage Native Fashion Designing" And how this works, is I upcycle
"your own" clothing by adding LaRock Dezines either with fabric paint or
applique to create a unique piece just for you All designs are my own
designs. When I paint its all freehand and I go with what I feel. When
you make a custom order from LaRock Dezines, you will be the ONLY person
in the WORLD to own your piece as I rarely do duplicates of my work.
She shares Halq’eméylem language and has storytelling classes with kids,
teaching them how to make bracelets, medicine bags, purses.
The first two stories are stories that my great grandmother Dolly Felix
used to tell and the story of Chehalis is told by the late Ed Leon and I
chose to have this part of my story telling because this is where my
bloodline runs, in the Chehalis Territory.
Contact Nikki La Rock via email
The Salish artist, Bonny Graham Krulicki resides with her family on the
West Coast of B.C. in the Fraser Valley community of Chilliwack, where
her Stó:lõ ancestry dates back to the late 1800’s, a descendant of her
great-grandmother (wife of William Prest) (Tata) Mary (Ben), [Schiatox],
of the Skwah Reserve in Chilliwack, B.C.
Bonny was born in Hope, B.C., Canada and is a member of the Snuneymuxw
First Nation of Nanaimo B.C., on Vancouver Island, where her mother,
Ellen (Prest) Graham and grandmother Lavina (Wyse) Prest (Daughter of
Chief Joe Wyse) were born.
She is currently developing her art and Halkomelem language products
such as professional quality cards, bookmarks, 8x10 and 11x14 matted
prints, through her own business and
website and her
original pieces and prints are on exhibit in Southwest B.C. Wholesale,
custom, business and personal orders available through Bonny via email
Learn more about Bonny
here and visit her website at:
Stolo Tourism Gift Store Grand Opening - November 28, 2014
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