Friday, March 22, 2013


Voice News

More Than Just A Drumstick

Soowahlie show their respect and appreciation to the Voice

Staff/Voice photo



wo weeks ago, Mike Johnson, Soowahlie Drug and Alcohol councillor, presented the Voice with a special drumstick, crafted by one of their talented band members, as a show of appreciation for their stories which have appeared here. He also invited me to drum with them.


Johnson holds annual community dinners with keynote speakers in hopes of providing inspiration through their own stories to youngsters in the Soowahlie community. For the past few years, the Voice has been invited to cover these very special dinners. There is no other event where I feel as privileged to be at as I do there.


Somewhere on the river our ancestors met for the first time.


In 1808, my ancestor Jules Maurice Quesnel came down the river with Simon Fraser on the last leg of their journey across the country. My grandmother was the last true Quesnel and whose ashes are now in the Lumby cemetery along with 25 other Quesnels.


For me, getting this gift was 200 years in coming, and although it's just a drumstick, it's beautiful and has deep meaning. In a symbolic way, it shows just how far relations between our two cultures has come. Johnson has welcomed me to his community and has become a friend. That means everything to me.


Johnson is a wise man. He's had a tough ride early on in life. His gift is what he's learned and  how he's turned that into wisdom to share with youths that may be on the same rocky learning curve that he once traveled.


Yes, it's only a drumstickóbut what a drumstick.



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