Kwikwetlem First Nation
My name is Kristina Joe, Stakaya (wolf). I am from Kwikwetlem First Nation. I am a proud 39 yrs old multi-cultured strong independent woman I am Coast Salish, Cree, Scottish and Swedish descendant. I have 3 sons with my husband/ best friend Percy Cunningham. I'm the 2nd generation emancipated from attending residential school in Canada.
I moved to my nation of Kwikwetlem at the age of 9. Where my sister and I grew up on the Coquitlam River and the surrounding lands that helped shape who I am today. I have fished with my father, Marvin Joe, for the Salmon in the Fraser River for 30 years, where I learnt to respect the danger it comes with. At 12 years old, I was the first generation encouraged to learn & practice my Indigenous culture. From that day, I started my journey on cultural identity. I am learning the language, practicing cedar bark harvesting, weaving as well as other traditional plants and berries. I pulled on canoe journeys and was honoured to help bring canoes ashore to my nation for the first time in decades. I made my first Traditional regalia and learnt traditional songs lent to us from our sister nations. I was part of a group called Gather of the Young Eagles, which performed across the lower mainland. With these teachings, I paid it forward and became a public speaker and teacher to anyone who would like to educate and learn what I have been gifted with. I dabbled with Coast Salish art and, over the years, have created my crest of the wolf (stakaya) and moon. In my artwork, you will find yin and yang because I believe in the balance of everything. My second piece is an Eagle (Yexwele) that was inspired by International Women's Day. My last was the eagle I offered to create for Trans Mountain, which is my proudest achievement. This is my only piece that is displayed and seen by so many. A rare piece that is the reflection of Kwikwetlem's journey to reclaim our Culture. Yet healing through art with indigenous friends had released the spirit in me I did not know, and with digital art, I created healing and beauty.