Spirit Bear

Spirit Bear: Echoes of the Past

Children's book written by Dr. Cindy Blackstock

Children's book tells story of Victoria's removal of Sir John A. Macdonald statue - Times Colonist, Oct 18, 2021.

Victoria’s statue of Sir John A. Macdonald and the decision to remove it from outside City Hall are featured in a new children’s book.

The story, by First Nations child-welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock, tells the story of a family of bears visiting Victoria and learning about Macdonald’s role in creating the residential-school system as they witness the removal of his statue from City Hall. Spirit Bear: Echoes of the Past is the fourth in a series of children’s books on reconciliation. (Times Colonist.)

Photo of BSW spirit bear
(Photo of Spirit Bear provided by Dr. Cindy Blackstock)


Photo of the spirit bear SweetyThis bear was gifted to the school from Dr. Cindy Blackstock and Dr. Jeannine Carriere was appointed as its kokum or caretaker. Jeannine asked Cindy if this could be a two-spirited bear as Spirit Bear is male and he has female cousins doing ambassador work across Canada. Our two spirit kids also need an ambassador so thought this was a perfect opportunity.

For now, the bear is named 'Sweety' as Jeannine calls her grandchildren by that name often since they were babies. In the new year, however, we should have a naming ceremony. Dr. Billie Allan has offered to link her with the two spirit student group to introduce the bear and perhaps some of them would like to be part of naming as well as making them some bling. 

Photo of the spirit bear, SweetyJeannine gave Sweety some bling such as the sash, beaded medicine wheel and cedar rose. Tracy Underwood made them an adorable Cowichan hat with the ear holes. Jeannine would like to approach Aunty May for some Cowichan slippers. ​All this can happen in the new year.

The bear came with Jeannine to the Reconciliation Forum where she spoke on the panel with Susan Aglukart. There were some two spirit youth in the audience and a mom who were very happy that our bear is two-spirit ambassador for our kids in care.” 

(Photos provided by Jeannine Carriere)