Ni’noxsola – Ramona Johnson
Tsa Tsi Li Dzam’ga (Giving) and K’alam’alaga (Warrior Woman) – K’omoks First Nation
Ramona Johnson was born in Comox to Sonny and Ann Billie where she was raised in a family of ten children. She is a member of the K’omoks Band and has been adopted into the Kingcome Big House by Billy Robertson and the Late Gert Robertson. Ramona is married into the Guilford Island Big House through her husband, Charlie Johnson. Many people in our community will recognize Ramona through her almost 30 years spent managing the I-Hos Gallery. During her time there she gained significant exposure for the gallery by collaborating a Canada wide memorial event for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Walking with Our Sisters showcased more than 1,200 pairs of hand beaded moccasin vamps along with cultural events and healing ceremonies for the families. This event pulled together the community by bringing to light a disturbing truth that had long been considered an indigenous problem. Auntie Mona has always been drawn to work that interacts with the public, her first experiences were in banking and then in customer service as a hostess in the CN tower in Toronto. Upon her return to the Comox Valley in 1994, she completed a two year resort management course at North Island College. Afterwards, she worked as the in-house manager at a floating fishing resort in Ucluelet.
Ramona has maintained a presence in our community speaking at various Rotary groups, chamber of commerce meetings and North Island College’s Elder College. She sits as an Elder with the Indigenous Education Council for SD71 and continues to support and promote Indigenous ways of being through sharing her knowledge and generous heart in our local schools.