Elder profile: Homalco’s Vera Peacey
Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council is run with guidance from an Elders Council with representatives from its 11 member nations. This article was originally published in The Salish Sea Sentinel.
When I sat down with Homalco Elder Vera Peacey, she spoke about the importance of tolerance and self-development.
“I was taught early in life from my family to be respectful, and considerate of others,” she said.
“We must work on ourselves and move forward in life. … If you put your mind to something there is nothing you can’t do.”
Vera lives at Homalco First Nation, but she was born in Vancouver. She grew up in Redonda Bay, a small fishing village near Church House and Klahoose First Nation.
Her father was originally from Russia, and her grandmother was from the Pielle family, but married into the Joseph family of Tla’amin Nation.
Learning how to weave baskets was a skill passed down through the generations, and Vera learned to weave as a child from her mother Irene and Great Aunt Annie. Irene and Annie’s baskets can be seen to this day at the Campbell River Museum.
Vera and her husband Dave of more than 50 years have three boys – Ron, Kevin and Todd — as well as seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Vera worked for the Province of B.C. in safety and First Nations health for more than 20 years.
She was also the housing coordinator for Homalco and Klahoose.
She spoke of how she would never have been able to get these jobs if she had not returned to school when she was 39 years old, when she entered a women’s program that taught her administration and computer skills. At the same time, she received her driver’s license.
Currently Vera is still working for her nation temporarily as coordinator for an upcoming language gathering being held at Homalco with surrounding communities.
She is still striving to preserve and learn the history and culture of our people, and serves on the NmTC Elders Council in order to be a voice for her community
We value all you do for us Vera, and thank you for sharing your knowledge, making us stronger.