Ni’noxsola – Annie Joseph


Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw – Kingcome Inlet

Annie Joseph remembers her home always being full of children from the community. She was a middle child, born into a large family of 12 children. She remembers her parents were loving, protective and always hard working and they were always quick to help family and neighbours.

When she was a small child, Annie was injured and this kept her from being sent away to residential school like many other children in the small village. This meant that Annie grew up speaking Kwakwa’la and she is a fluent speaker of this First Nations language. Also, the Big House was not accessible due to Canadian laws. At the time, it was against the law to potlatch and perform ceremonies.

Because she grew up in Kingcome and spoke the language, Annie was fortunate to experience a traditional way of life in Kingcome Inlet.

Annie left Kingcome Inlet at age 20 with her husband who would travel for work. They lived in Port Hardy, Alert Bay and Vancouver. They had 5 children together and fostered a dozen more over the years. Now there’s 21 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Always community-minded, Annie used to teach Sunday school in Kwakwa’la at St. George’s church in Kingcome. Today Annie lives in Courtenay and she still teaches Kwakwa’la to children and adults.