Daisy Sewid-Smith


Daisy Sewid-Smith - Kwaxkwaka'walaDaisy bio

"You must really try and learn your own history"

Daisy Sewid-Smith is the descendant of Nahxnaxwolla, third son of Caqqamey, of the Qwiqwasutinutw, of Gilford Island, British Columbia. Daisy is from the Wi'umasgpm, or Mnmawigan Clan of the House of Sewide. She is the third daughter of the late Chief James Sewide, of the Wigumasgam Clan of the Qwiqwasutinukc, who have resided in Mimkwomlis, Village Island, British Columbia, since the massacre in their homeland by the Bella Coolas in the mid-1800s. Daisy's great-grandfather, Clan Chief Sewide, and his sister Waiot, were two of the few remaining survivors of that massacre at Gilford Island. At the death her great-grandfather, his son, James Sewide was the successor of the Clan Chieftainship of the Wigumasgim. Clan Chief James Sewide died in the arms of her maternal great-grandfather, Clan Chief Jim Bell, six months before his son was born and shortly after his own father death.

Born in 1938 in Alert Bay, Daisy is one of nine children of the late Chief James Sewid; she is a member of the Mamaliliqala tribe of Village Island.

As a First Nations educator and historian, she received her education in the culture and history of her people from her father and her two grandmothers. Formerly, she was the Department Head of First Nations Education by School District 72 (Campbell River).

Daisy has made outstanding contributions in faithfully translating and interpreting her special knowledge of the Kwak'wala language, culture and history to others. She developed a grammar book, which for the first time, records her previously oral language into a form which can be spoken, read and written for use in schools. At the University of Victoria, she was a member of the Advisory Council for the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.

Today, she is a sought after and internationally recognized teacher at schools, college and universities.

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