Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Left Thumb Blogger Honoured with Talking Stick

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 10:43 pm on Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Holding the prestigious talking stick in a longhouse in ‘Ksan Village

I have safely returned from Smithers and points beyond. The months of work by the SPARC staff paid off; there were no transportation barriers and all of the accessible washrooms exceeded doable. (Darrell and I have concluded doable washrooms aren’t completely accessible washrooms, but when nature is calling loudly, they are accessible enough to be doable!)

Thursday’s community dialogue focusing on accessible transportation, accessibility for Aboriginal communities, and access to civic engagement in rural areas was well attended and was quite an eye-opener. I won’t bemoan (as loudly) when it takes Darrell and me nearly six hours for our 1.5 hour martial arts class; at least there is a way we can get there, which is more than people in the rural communities have.

Following our Board meeting on Friday afternoon, an accessible bus, which took months to arrange, took us up to the ‘Ksan Historic Village. We toured several of replicated longhouses of the Gitxsan people. In the Wolf House (the feast hall), I was given the honour of holding the beautifully carved talking stick, which I thought was ironic yet symbolic. I view this blog as my talking stick.

We then enjoyed an Aboriginal feast of moose, halibut, smoked salmon, stuffed salmon, turnip, herring roe and oolichan (also known as the “candlefish”). After hearing much about the oolichan in my First Nations courses, I, of course, had to try it. One bite was all I could managed, which later proved to be one bite too much. But I appreciate having the opportunity to experience it.

Thanks to the SPARC staff ‘s effort and persistent calls, I was able to see a corner of the province that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Please join us tomorrow, Wednesday, October 17th, 4-7pm pacific time for Readers’ Café. We may have a special guest in the house, if I can convince/coerce her to join the conversation. See you tomorrow.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Comment by Karen Putz

October 17, 2007 @ 5:10 am

That oolichan was a bit much, eh? I’ve never heard of it, but from the description of it, I think it’s something I’ll scratch off my “shall experience once in a lifetime” list. 🙂

Comment by Glenda

October 17, 2007 @ 9:26 am

Hi Karen,

Let’s just say I experienced that one bite a few more times later that night. 🙁 Very oily. But, at least I tried it!

Comment by Kathy

October 17, 2007 @ 11:50 am

The great thing about a talking stick is you can take as long as you want to say what you have to say and everyone will wait respectfully until you decide to pass the talking stick to the next person.
As to the Oolichan grease – stick to the herring roe on kelp. It’s just squeaky.

Comment by Glenda

October 17, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

Thanks for that tip, Kathy! The herring roe was ok, until I knew what I had just eaten – just psychologically. But the oolichan was definitely a physical reaction! But, I tried it!

Comment by Debbie Havusha

October 18, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

Hi Glenda!
I love the new term you and Darrel have coined for ‘doable washrooms’ versus accessible ones. I have experienced this many a time while praying that my son who is a wheelchair user comes out of the washroom having achieved the doable goal that he set out for in the doable washroom!!??
Debbie Havusha

Comment by Personal Growth

October 19, 2007 @ 7:11 am

I can understand what you consider as a ‘doable washrooms’. I have sat in a poorly maintained washroom before and wondered how someone in a wheelchair might be able to use it – I can see that you might not always be able to make it work, but your effort to make things ‘doable’ is amazing.


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