Section A.2 A Tribute to Marion Harry
Marion Harry was born April 30, 1937 in Bute Inlet, where she was raised. She fondly remembered trapping there with her father as a young girl. When she was around 5 or 6, she attended residential school for a year or two, but most of her childhood she was able to spend with her community, immersed in the language and culture which she loved.
She got married in Church House to Steve Harry, and they later moved to Tla’amin where she became a preschool teacher at Assumption Catholic School. She later became a much loved language instructor for School District #47. When she retired from teaching in the schools, she moved to Homalco to be near her children. While there, she once again became an instructor, this time for the University of Victoria’s Developmental Standard Teaching Certificate program. She also became an important resource for an ongoing ʔayʔaǰuθəm e-dictionary project.
Marion lived and strongly believed in the taʔaw (teachings) of her ancestors and passed them on to her children. She had a deep memory for traditional ways of life (including traditional food preparation), history, and spiritual practices. She lived with kindness and generosity, always ready to share her knowledge and help with language and cultural programs. This included her sitting with many linguists over the years, who were amazed at her ability to think linguistically, having great skill and insight in explaining her language and even anticipating their questions.
Marion passed away September 7th, 2019. We truly miss her wisdom, willingness to share, and kind heart.
Written by Betty Wilson and Marianne Huijsmans.
Click on the links below to read Small Number stories translated into Tla’amin: