Meet the Elders

Elder Syexwaliya (Ann Whonnock), Skwxwu7mesh Uxwumixw (Squamish Nation)

As taught by her late grandparents, Syexwaliya supports families and shares cultural teachings and protocols within and outside of her community. Her passion is to see that Squamish culture, language and ceremonies continue to be the cornerstone of the Nation for future generations and the culture carried on by future generations and her snichim (language) to be used, not only by herself, but for all the families and future generations in their daily lives and ceremonies. Let's not let our Culture and Snichim die out!

Elder Margaret George, Skawahlook First Nation

Elder Margaret was born in Skawahlook First Nation and was raised in Ruby Creek by her grandparents. She attended school on her reserve and graduated from UBC. She has been involved in a variety of events and activities within the Tsleil-Waututh community, where she lives, and is very active in the broader Vancouver community area as well. She has been a part of the Elders Program at SFU for 22 years wherein she provided support to students, as well as the President’s Office.

Elder Marie Hooper, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem First Nation)

Marie Hooper is an elder from Kwikwetlem First Nation. Recently she has moved onto the nations reserve, so she can connect better with her Indigenous culture. This has, and will keep her connected with her culture. She keeps her knowledge of the history of the nation and its families. This is passed down from her ancestors, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and mother who is 96 years old and all of whom have lived on the reserve lands and territories. 

Marie who was born in the UK, immigrated to Vancouver, B.C. in 1967. Her background is Coast Salish, English, Scottish and Portuguese. 

Marie has studied at B.C. Institute of Technology and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Her qualifications include Indigenous Environmental Archeology, Ecologic Engineering, and Guardian of the Indigenous lands and territories.  

Marie is a mother of four and grandmother of nine. Her passion is to bring residential awareness into the school system, or wherever she can bring up the subject asking individuals, ‘What do you know about residential schools?’. Only learning about residential schools five years ago, and bringing awareness, help Marie process the trauma her family and others have endured.