Jean Smith

Jean Smith

Na̱mg̱is First Nation

Jean Smith is 'Na̱mg̱is Nation, Alert Bay. Her Grandfather Gideon Whonnock, of Ft Rupert and Grandmother was Edith Nelson from Quatsino.

My Grandmother Edith is my inspiration as she travelled in the community she would look after the children if their parents missed the ferry or needed support. She was always busy working on fish to knitting, and involving the children. She hung out washed clothes over the fire before bed and switched it to hang fish.

She knew how to make Medicine Tea, and would give tea in baby bottles. When the sprouts arrived she would ask us to harvest them, bringing it back to eat there. This kept our bodies strong.

I’ve been working on learning everything I can about Devils Club Medicine and passing that along. In 2006 I was diagnosed with cancer. I turned to our culture and Ceremony, and began using Devils Club. I am always praying over the Medicine from the time we harvest to marking teas and salves.