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Cultural Advisor Eugene Harry

Blessing of the Community Garden at Grandview/¿uuqinak’uuh Elementary School
(Photo Credit: Leona Antoine)

 

Eugene Harry (XiQuelem) has been the Cultural Advisor at BCACCS since 2007. He is a member of the Cowichan Tribes, and a Shaker Church Minister in Squamish First Nation; he also works at Vancouver Native Health. Eugene provides general spiritual and cultural guidance for our agency, and since April 2009, he has also been our Culture and Language Teacher at Eagle’s Nest Preschool and Singing Frog Preschool.

Eugene is sometimes a guest at each preschool, and teaches our preschool children Halkomelem language, songs, stories and prayers bringing. He brings a joyful presence as a knowledge keeper and is a positive role model to children and adults alike assisting with transitions, playing with the children with great love and respect, and valuing children for being children. He often leads the children in blessings and prayers, regularly sharing traditional songs and stories from his people and entertaining the children while instilling important cultural values.

Eugene often shares in teachable moments implementing his knowledge of culture throughout his time with our program, singing songs and teaching words and phrases throughout the preschool. Eugene has the ability to alter his demeanor to meet the needs of those around him and he can often be found assisting children with extra support needs be it shy or outgoing. He consistently brings an energy which has a profound effect on people of all ages and cultures. We are very grateful to have Eugene with us.

– Leona Antoine, Coordinator, Singing Frog Preschool
A wonderful moment was our graduation ceremony at Eagle’s Nest Preschool. All of our families and their guests were moved by XiQuelem’s blessings and the way he encouraged all of the children to drum and dance with him.

– Maria Spano, past Coordinator, Eagle’s Nest Preschool