Courtesy of the Sooke Region Historical Society
This video clip is an excerpt from an interview by Sooke Region Museum Collections Manager Montana Stanley on Trena and her life and career.
Montana (not heard): You have done a project on what it means to be of the T’Sou-ke Nation, can you talk a little bit about that project, how it came to be, and what being T’Sou-ke means to you?
Trena: When I did my master’s degree in Indigenous Language Revitalization, for my final project I developed a website called beingtsouke.com, and it has a lot to do with my passion towards wanting to revitalize my T’Sou-ke language, and also sharing in my culture. I’m very involved culturally in my community, and dancing, and singing, and canoe poling, and harvesting, so I wanted to share those things, almost like a teaching tool. I didn’t want to speak on behalf of my Nation though, because although I’m from T’Sou-ke Nation, we are all individuals, and we have our own experiences, so I wanted to come from the point of view of my experience – what is being T’Sou-ke, what does that mean to me? So that’s how I came up with the “Being T’Sou-ke”. On the website I have photographs that I’ve taken, and then I had a friend who’s a cartoonist, who drew pictures of a young girl that represents me, but I didn’t want it to be about my face, I wanted young people to be able to look at that and see themselves in it. That was why the cartoon part of it was so important because even though I’m sharing my view of being a T’Sou-ke woman, and growing up as a child that way, I wanted to touch the young kids where they could almost see themselves in that.
Montana: In the education portion of the exhibit, we talk a bit about Ida. I did see in your project that Ida influenced your teaching style for your Grade 1s and 2s, is that something you want to talk about?
Trena: My granny Ida [Planes] was a master teacher, and she raised my mom with many of her values, and those values also came to me with my time with her but also through my mother. One of the neatest ones is the idea of keeping children busy with their hands while you’re teaching them – something like weaving, or even the steps of harvesting the grass, and preparing the grass, and drying the grass, and giving the teachings and the songs, and the lessons behind that. Another way she has influenced my teaching is, she has given me my passion for indigenous language revitalization.