Maggie Hodgson, pictured above with a shell blanket of the Frog Clan of the Carrier peoples, is from the northern interior of BC. Maggie is a tremendous Indigenous leader, co-founder of the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation, and an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Maggie’s life work is to serve the people and families who suffer from the trauma of residential schools and cultural genocide. She has created innovative social work programs, delivered counseling on the streets and, as an Elder, advised on supportive housing for people who, step-by-step, can develop a sense of control over their lives and feel part of community.
With each step she takes, Maggie expresses a deep gratitude to the Creator. Around friends she will say, “Don’t call me an Elder, I’m an Older,” with a chuckle and a twinkling eye. In a serious moment, Maggie offers insight about how we use individual words: they can be healing, but if used in the wrong way, they can also cut like a knife.
“The first two medicines,” Maggie says, “are water and air, two gifts of the Creator. When a mother’s water breaks, we emerge out of water. And our bodies are mostly water. The cry of a baby signifies our first breath of air. At the end of this gift of life, we take our last breath.”
Maggie is one of the many esteemed Elders who’ve chosen to participate in All Our Relations, a series of portraits created by Bowstrings’ team member, photographer Craig Richards. To learn more about these powerful, engaging images, please do contact us.