To the raven, her own chick is white

Irish Proverb

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Glimmers of light - Thanks for the Award AVCOC

Last week White Raven were recognized by our own community, well the AV Chamber of Commerce part of our community, as Entrepreneurs of the Year. Imagine that!? We are totally humbled and honored to be recognized in any capacity for the work that we do.

 Dawn and I and all of the Raven’s in our flog care about the work we do very deeply, in our aim to bridge local First Nations communities and world views with that of business, local governments and the entire community.  We aim to do this in whatever small way we can, hoping that it grows in increments. We are always looking for the little cracks that let the light in.

 It is all very lofty, I know it. To think that we can make a difference in our community and that possibly our work could have some impact. It seems such a big job that often Dawn, myself, Mary, Terri and all the White Ravens out there have our heads down working busily, very busily, rarely looking up to review our accomplishments or toot our own horns for that matter!

 And then, we get small glimmers that perhaps our voices are being heard and White Raven Consulting is getting a little bit of notice.

 So thank you! Thank you for recognizing a voice of Aboriginal business, of youth owned business and of a business owned by women in our community.  My only hope is to see more aboriginal faces, more youth, more women represented in spaces in our community like the Chamber of of Commerce, local government and beyond.

I love the diversity of the region and our community and love to see that represented in as many places, spaces as possible. Chuu!

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"Echoes of Our Ancestors" - a unique Nuu-chah-nulth experience

Our own White Raven, Kelly, is currently rocking the Alberni Valley’s Rollin Art Centre with her divine paintings at the new First Nations art show entitled “Echoes of Our Ancestors”. February 11th was the show opening.

Featured Nuu-chah-nulth artists include Kelly Poirier, Jason Titian, Tom Paul, Tim Paul, and Ray Sim. Works on display include carved masks, paintings, prints, and a stunning hand-carved cedar table boasting a flash salmon theme.

The evening was well-attended by dignitaries, the public-at-large, and contributing artists.

"Echoes of Our Ancestors" runs through to March 3. Please visit the show at: 3061 Eighth Avenue, Port Alberni, British Columbia, Vancouver Island. Be there or be square.

Don’t miss it - you will certainly regret it.

(Original art and prints are available to buy.)

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"Walking the Tsawalk, Talking the Tsawalk": Hishuk ish tsawalk (everything is one and all is interconnected)

The Tsawalk Partnership, which kicked off in September 2009, is a coastal planning initiative created to ensure sustainability of marine ecosystems on the West Coast of Vancouver Island (WCVI) for you, me, our children, and our grandchildren.

Tsawalk is a framework for partnership.

Tsawalk is a project for change.

Tsawalk is an opportunity for people to contribute to common goals and interests.

Tsawalk is igniting inspiration for people to express how they care about this place.

Tsawalk is the vehicle that is bringing people together through a a planning process to produce vision, goals, and objectives, and to take action to achieve them.

Tsawalk is bringing together knowledge.

Tsawalk is doing things differently to get somewhere different (we don’t always know where we might end up, but hope that you’ll enjoy the ride with us).

Tsawalk is giving the voice you need to make things happen and provide tools to make a difference in WCAVI.

Tsawalk in connecting people in WCVI and empowering them to do what they are passionate about in the place where they are passionate about it.

Tsawalk embraces that we live in a unique place with converging world views.

Tsawalk is the action of remarkable individuals and groups.

Tsawalk is not doing it for you, but with you.

Tsawalk is a tool to give you the voice you need to make things happen in the Nuu-chah-nulth region.

Look out for great things on the horizon with the Tsawalk Partnership; the new website will be launched soon and promises to be enveloped in sheer awesomeness. Other highly-anticipated events include: soon-to-be-scheduled open houses at the West Coast Aquatic (WCA) offices in Port Alberni, and you joining us to check out our progress on FaceBook (become a fan!) and Twitter (called TsawalkPartners). Check out our amazing team members and learn more about Tsawalk at the Pacific Whale Festival in Tofino and Ucluelet in March 2010.

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The flock gracefully redesigned and launched the brilliant new Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce logo at the AVCOC’s monthly luncheon last week. Clean lines, contemporary vision, and respect for the traditional are all characteristics of the new logo, showcasing just why White Raven is an industry leader. Have a peek…

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White Raven Honoured at Heritage Awards Night

Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier and her sister, Dawn Foxcroft, were honoured with a Community Heritage Award by the Alberni Valley Heritage Commission, Wednesday evening. Port Alberni Mayor Ken McRae presented the heritage awards to recipients at the museum.

Here is what heritage commission chairman Ken Rutherford had to say:

"Kelly and Dawn undertook internships at the Alberni Valley Museum as part of their education. Since that time, each has used the experience and skills gained to further their understanding of First Nations culture within the community. They have built on the connections forged with the museum to undertake several projects which benefited the community.

“They guest-curated the exhibit ‘How We Are, How We Want to Be – Photographs of Bob Soderlund from the Ha-Shilth-Sa’, and have since taken that exhibit to a national museum in Hull, Quebec.

“They orchestrated the showing at the museum of the Nuu-chah-nulth artwork created for the 2010 Olympics.

“They have truly made a difference in building connections and working collaboratively in the community.”

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Returning to the Flock

I returned to the flock this past week, amidst the chaos and haste that is work-after-maternity-leave. Rearranging desks according to feng shui, updating outdated task boards, and re-establishing wall space for my professional life of sticky notes.

It is refreshing, invigorating, and even inspiring to be back in the roost, nesting in with the rest of the albino Ravens. I have missed the banter, the challenges, and, of course, the learning curve. Truth be told, I just plain missed the girls and the brilliant work that happens when we are all together. It’s magic being a bird!

A lot has gone down since I was off getting the newest member of my own little flock acquainted with the world-at-large.

A lot.

My head is still spinning from the warp speed at which this company is zipping right along. Like, for example, White Raven ensured that the Nuu-chah-nulth produced art piece for the 2010 Olympics got done. From start to finish, the Ravens oversaw every detail of this stunner. And it did get done, you bet it sure did.  The 21 ft. tall cedar and carved glass show-stopper now sits majestically outside the speed skating oval in Richmond, a result of the collaborative artistic efforts of several fabulous Nuu-chah-nulth artists. If you haven’t already, make a point of seeing this beaut in its own natural setting - you won’t be disappointed for the effort.

On a huge, flashy national level, the Ravens, together with Bob Soderlund, got the Nuu-chah-nulth photographic exhibit “How We Are, How We Want to Be” set up all the way across the country, in Hull, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. After flying all the way across this vast land, it is mind boggling just how the Ravens found the energy to curate the exhibit, but they did. And a good thing, too, because the Museum receives a whopping 1.3 million visitors each year. Well done, Ladies, well done!

Then, there is the Nuu-chah-nulth vs. Canada and BC fisheries litigation case that just saw its own dramatic end a couple of weeks ago in Vancouver. White Raven was a driving behind-the-scenes force of that. The BC Supreme Court case, which saw Nuu-chah-nulth win against Canada, finally wrapped up on November 3. Nuu-chah-nulth have been working on the case since 1993 – quite a haul for all, truth be told. The Ravens were responsible for a great deal of the media relations, key messaging, and overall communications for Nuu-chah-nulth, amongst the barrage of other tireless folk who were devoted to the cause.

On top of all of this biggy-wiggy stuff, White Raven also ramped up its efforts locally to improve life here, in the Valley. White Raven contributed to the important rebranding efforts of the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce by redesigning its logo. The logo is contemporary with a traditional twist – exactly what one thinks of when one ponders the state of this town’s business climate. It is very flash, if I don’t say so myself.

The Ravens also designed and developed a fancy brochure for the Alberni Valley Enhancement Association just in time for its launch of new information placards placed at several spots in town. The brochure looks just awesome and we are proud as punch.

Add to those tasks a reprint of the Raven’s overwhelmingly successful Nuu-chah-nulth seafood cookbook, Camus, and you have a recipe for BUSY.

Not withstanding the everyday miracles that the Ravens perform without pomp or ceremony, and you have a very impressed me.

Only the obvious question remains: How on Earth did they all keep up without me…?

I would like to say, “Thank goodness I am back – they sure needed me”. But, the truth is that they managed quite fine without me. So, I will just say, “Thank goodness I am back – I sure missed soaring with the White Ravens!”

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Here’s some local coverage of our exhibit, now in the Museum of Civilization.

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Artists Who Inspire

Check out the amazing and exceptional work of our friend and White Raven at

heart, Sonny Assu at:

Sonny created the White Raven logo for us four years ago and since then his

career has really taken flight!

White Raven Logo

We love his clever use of popular culture iconography to reflect some of the

irony and truth of what it is to be a contemporary First Nations person and

to place identity politics “in yo’ face!”

We’re pretty sure we will continue to hear more and more as Sonny continues to

spread his wings.

Kaw! Kaw!

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Of Ravens and Revolutions

submitted by Kelly Poirier


YES YOU can be revolutionary!

Sometimes it is hard to know if we are living our lives according to principles of our own choosing, or principles that are thrown at us at a dizzying rate by the media.

Every summer I turn off my TV. And this particular summer I have discovered a new sense of clarity, in having just a little more quiet to remember the values-based life that I wish for myself and my children.

It is revolutionary!

Really, it doesn’t take much to be a revolutionary. I mean it is a lot of work to be Castro or Che Guevara. But perhaps it is as simple as making choices on a daily basis that reflect the values you want to live and want to see in the world.

What you buy, in this day and age, is who you are. That is how advertisers have set up consumerism.

You wanna be sexy? Buy this shirt, wear this cologne, take this pill, get this Botox!

You want to be smarter? Take this vitamin, drink this bottle of water, take this course!

You want your kids to be smarter? Buy this video, feed them this vitamin, wear these clothes!

OR you can ignore all that stuff and be guided by your own inner compass. Pick up something to read; take in the messages you want, when you want!


Here is a link to all things revolutionary and clever; a little publication

that needs to be visited now and then to kick us all in the ass, and make us

laugh, cry, and pump our fists (or wings if you are one of us

Ravens) in the air, ALL at the same time.

Viva la Revolucion!

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