For Roy Vickers, it’s all about telling stories, teaching, guiding and passing down history.
“There’s a reason why we are always told, listen to our elders,” Vickers said.
Vickers visited the Community Centre in Fort St. James on April 14.
The community was invited to hear his stories and receive a sneak peak of his latest book, Peace Dancer which will be out in a few weeks.
The free event was hosted by the Aboriginal Services Plan of the College of New Caledonia, Fort St. James Campus.
Vickers is a Canadian artist best known around the world for his limited edition prints.
He is also an accomplished carver, design advisor of prestigious public spaces, a public speaker, publisher and author of several successful books.
Francois and Ruby Prince, from Fort St. James welcomed Vickers in song with The Grizzly Bear Song.
“Every song has a story,” Vickers said. “And everyone has their own story. It’s the most important thing to share, to share your story with your children so that they can understand why you are the way you are, it’s so important.”
There’s no doubt, Vickers emotional at times, spoke from the heart.
“If you speak from the heart, hearts will hear you. If you only speak from the head, then only heads will hear you. Speak with emotion and truth. The truth has light,” Vickers said.
For Vickers, knowledge isn’t just school based. It comes from history that is passed down from generation to generation.
“Knowledge was handed down before schools. Schools were on the land. Wouldn’t it be something if we could if we could bring the schools back to the land today. It’s our responsibility to bring back these valuable teachings,” Vickers said.
Vickers shared story after story with the community and even shared a song that encouraged all present to join in.
Vickers is also recognised as a spokesperson regarding recovery from addiction and abuse.
“If it wasn’t for the old people who taught me that life was a gift, I would have ended my life. It’s so easy to lose your way but it’s just as easy to find it.”
Recovery is all about recovering the strength, truth and beauty you were born with, it’s not just about sobriety,” Vickers said.
So what is it that inspired Vickers to be an artist?
“It was discrimination that inspired me,” Vickers said. “Not racism. There is a difference. We are all one race. We are all human beings.”
Vickers was open to answer questions and offered a book signing at the end of his presentation.
Community members shared thanks with Vickers and he too was thankful have shared his stories with Fort St James.
“We all make a difference in this world,” Vickers said.
“You are at the centre of your family, your family is at the centre of your community, your community is at the centre of the country and the country is at the centre of the world. So, it all comes around. You can all make a difference in this world.”