Title and statement of responsibility area
Agnes Alfred and Daisy Sewid-Smith at Jimmy Sewid's house
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- Sound recording
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- Source of title proper: Title based on description of the content by the creators
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15 (MAN 232)
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Dates of creation area
February 18, 1985 (Creation)
- Martine J. Reid
- Campbell River
Physical description area
1 audio cassette tape (90 min.)
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Name of creator
Martine J. Reid (née de Widerspach-Thor) was born in France. After completing her Master’s thesis on the role of salmon on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Kwakwaka'wakw communities, she moved to British Columbia. While studying at the University of British Columbia, she started learning Kwakwala from Katherine Ferry Adams, who introduced her to the language and culture and adopted her into her family in 1978.
From 1976 to 1978 she attended several potlatches in the area of Alert Bay (BC). There, she came in contact with Kwakwakka’wakw communities, which would lead her to write and defend her doctoral dissertation about the Kwakwakka’wakw hamaca (Man-Eater) ritual in 1981.
In the 1970s, Dr. Reid received funding from the Urgent Ethnology Program of the Museum of Man in Ottawa to record languages and customs to prevent their loss. As part of this project, Dr. Reid came in contact with Agnes Alfred (or Axuw or Axuwaw) with whom she travelled to different Kwakwakka’wakw communities. As part of these visits, she met Agnes’ granddaughter, Daisy Sewid-Smith.
Between 1979 and 1980, and in 1983 and 1985 Sewid-Smith and Reid recorded and translated Agnes’ memoirs. From then until the late 1990s, they put a hold in their project for personal and work-related reasons. In the late 1990s, they resumed their work, which lead to the publication of Paddling to Where I Stand in 2004.
Between 1979 and 1983, Dr. Reid worked at the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. There, she lectured in the areas of Anthropology, Ethnography, and First Nations studies. She also participated in several art-related projects in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, while consulting projects for the Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs and for the Native Investment Trade Association.
From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Reid was the Director of Content and Research, and Curator at the Bill Reid Gallery. Then, she became the Honorary Chair of the Bill Reid Foundation.
Scope and content
Conversation between Agnes Alfred and her granddaughter Daisy Sewid-Smith., recorded by Martine Reid at Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Sewid's house, Campbell River on February 18, 1975.
Side 1: Agnes Alfred ad Daisy discuss the 1921 "illegal" potlatch at Village Island followed by the arrest of many participants, including herself and her husband.
Side 2: Regular and larger canoes, Agnes' may names and the origins of the names, where she was born, her houses, menstruation, pregnancy, having children, reincarnation, aristocracy, etc.
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Audiotapes Box 19