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Stephanie Wood

Stephanie Wood

North Vancouver, BC
Squamish Nation

“The contest just made me stop and consider the intrinsic significance of your family and your past. And I think when I first found out about the contest, that immediately came to me. When I read about it, I realized just how important it was to sit down and try and do something like that.”

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My name is Stephanie Wood. My story, The Indian and the Child, was placed first in Aboriginal Arts & Stories in 2010.

The contest just made me stop and consider the intrinsic significance of your family and your past. And I think when I first found out about the contest, that immediately came to me. When I read about it, I realized just how important it was to sit down and try and do something like that.

It opened up stories within my family, too, that they might not have told me otherwise, but after they [read] it, my aunts, and my cousin, and my granny and everybody are coming up to me and saying how much it reminded them of this or this that happened, and what happened to them in residential school, and whether they and their sister were separated, just like my character and her sister were separated. And it just kind of had them recall those memories and want to share them, because something like residential schools, it seems really far in the past, but the last one didn’t close until the nineties. And to meet people who after I told my story still hadn’t realized that, showed me that we need to have more story telling and sharing, not just within the Aboriginal community, but with everybody.

Nowadays it’s so hard to communicate about Aboriginals in general, even in everyday life. It’s kind of a sensitive issue with everybody. People are kind of scared to talk about it, and I think we’re in too much of a place of this kind of silence and censorship right now, and the only way to break out of that is even if you’re making mistakes, just to keep writing, and keep trying to communicate through any art as well about the issues that people may not want you to talk about.

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