Raven is a former NVMA youth team member and student at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary, set to graduate in 2016. Aside from having French and Polish ancestry, she also has Gitxsan and Cree roots; the different parts of her cultural background are important to her. One way she celebrates her identity is through dance— most notably, Raven performs with Dancers of Damelahamid group. She is also interested in visual art, studying to make Northwest Coast style indigenous designs.
“I have competed individually in the women’s Fancy Shawl category at pow wows throughout British Columbia and have been recently welcomed into the pow wow circle. I have been dancing for one year now, and am so happy to have been openly greeted into such a beautiful community. I’ve been dancing ever since I could walk, really. I’ve done a lot of Northwest Coast dancing, and I’ve started learning to do Cree and pow wow dancing. I also do Irish dancing through the Nora Pickett Irish Dance Academy in North Vancouver—training to compete at a national level.
There isn’t anything about dance that I don’t absolutely love. Like, performing; the music; learning how to use my body to convey a story; the cultural connection –the aboriginal dance I do, and my Irish dance. I love how it’s taught me so much in terms of how to be persistent and what it means to set goals and how things don’t always turn out the way you want them to. If there’s anything that I feel bad about, when I dance, it just goes away.”