Janelle Alladina (Alphonse)
Janelle Alladina (Alphonse) is a women’s fancy Pow Wow dancer, entrepreneur and business owner of Indiginize Creation. Janelle creates beautiful custom, one of a kind hats with designs of mother earth, animals, medicine, and our teachings. Each hat is completely different and reflective of her strong Indigenous culture. She says, “Follow your dreams, stand tall, and know your ancestors would be proud of you for becoming a trailblazer for the future generations to come.” Speaking of her creative process, she adds “lead with your heart and the designs will flow.” Janelle also competed in ‘Pow Wow Pitch’, where 2,000 Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island pitched their business and only 130 made it to the Semi finals. Janelle made it to the semi finals where she was named the runner up in the Fashion category! You can find her hats in two store fronts and online.
Joe is a father of three (Gwi7ne, Tony, and Fernando) and grandfather of four (Cyrah, Tavares, Ariah, and Keaton). Joe is a Journeyman Carpenter for WLFN’s Operations & Maintenance team. You can find him around the community doing everything from building bus stops and wheelchair ramps, to personally overseeing the massive renovation to the Chief William Pow Wow Arbor. Joe keeps his tradition alive by always being aware and listening to his surroundings. “Messages from the Ancestors are in everything, from a leaf rolling by, or a little bird singing.” As a musician, he loves to mimic the sounds and spirit of traditional music through his guitar. His message to the youth is to take the time to learn hands-on skills – like carpentry or playing an instrument – and spend less time on screens. He is always happy to give some pointers. Join us in celebrating Joe and all he provides for the community.
Kiddo is a father of four, grandfather of 10, and great grandfather of one (soon to be two!). 2022 was his very first year pow wow dancing, and he was the talk of the town. Kiddo dances for his late son, Rojun Alphonse, and for the late Sheldon Wycotte. As he dances, he lives and breathes the message that Every Child Matters. With his playful outlook and sharp sense of humor, WLFN celebrates Kiddo as a true pillar in the community.
Julie Doerfling started her professional photography business in 2021 under the name Julie Elizabeth Photography. She has taken beautiful photos for many WLFN events since then, including the Speaking Our Truth Competition Pow Wow and the Father’s Day Traditional Pow Wow. Julie is also well known around the community for photographing weddings, family portraits, graduations, and whatever else may arise. In Julies words, “My passion in this field of work sparked when I had my little one, which then grew into providing services for clients.” Check out Julie’s website to see some of her fantastic work:
Embarking on her artistic journey from a young age, Michaela Gilbert was introduced to the world of art through her mother. Creativity has always been an integral part of her life, pushing her to transcend the boarders of language and embrace a contemporary style that’s both vibrant and narrative. At the core of her artistic identity lies a steadfast commitment to holding space for indigenous worldviews. Reflecting on her artistic journey, she shares, “My current body of work draws inspiration from contemporary Indigenous identities, while also seeking to preserve the essence of traditional stories.” This endeavour contributes to a broader narrative of cultural reclamation and redefinition.
Dancing Water Sandy
Dancing Water Sandy is an elected WLFN Councillor, pow wow dancer, SD27 principal, and maker of regalia, traditional clothes, and accessories. She started pow wow dancing from the age of 10, and credits Dorothy Coyote, Jean William, Amy Sandy, and Nancy Sandy for making her regalias and traveling with her to pow wows (even today; not just as a child!). Dancer has run her business For the People – Dancing Water Incorporated for over 10 years. Under this brand, she not only creates traditional clothing and accessories, but travels across the country facilitating events and sharing Traditional Knowledge. At such events, Dancing Water shares her wisdom of subjects like medicines, plant and food harvesting, and salve making. Dancer received a Bachelor of Education with a specialization in Indigenous Education in 2017 and has worked in the region in that capacity since graduating. She is presently the principal at Dog Creek Elementary Jr. Secondary School. DW credits her mom, Nancy Sandy for teaching her to create high quality beadwork and garments, and the late Doris Lulua for teaching her about traditional lands and the reciprocal relationships between plants, land, animals, and people.
Helen Sandy is a WLFN Elder, photographer, videographer, and artist. She invests a deep love and attention-to-detail in each of her creation. Helen makes ornate pendants, earrings, containers, and any great number of other things in the traditional media of pine needle work and beading, interpreted through her own personal style. Helen sees creating as a therapeutic process; a chance to reflect on memories and let them flow through her. “Each and every stitch is a memory,” she says, “something really painful, something really funny, a person. Letting out the negative and pouring in the positive.”
Known by his close friends as Two Bears, or by the name Waskisu given to him by his father (Cree for Elk), Lennard is a father of three and a grandfather of one. He’s been pow wow dancing for over 30 years, with Men’s Fancy War Dance being his specialty. Dedicated to keeping Secwépemc traditions alive, Lennard dances and composes his own songs to provide healing and medicine for himself and for the people. His message to the youth is Ta7us Ke7 IIena – Never Give Up. He focuses this message on his children, his grandchild, and all the young warriors in his life, to remind them to walk proud with their chin up and chest out. He brings his warrior mentality to everything he does, including his passion for the Martial Arts of Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As a dancer, singer, teacher, father, and grandfather, help us in celebrating the wealth of skills and experience that Lennard gives whole-heartedly to his community.
Son of Jean and Wilfred William, Cody is perhaps best known in the community for his irresistible bannock. But did you know that he’s also a leading expert on the language of Secwépemctsín? Cody started working for Spi7úy Squqlut.s Language & Culture Society in 2012. With the society, he works closely with Elders Bridget Dan (Esk̓ét), Cecilia DeRose (Esk̓ét), Clara Camille (Xgét̓tem), Antoinette and Elsie Archie (Tsq̓escén), Julianna Johnson (Esk̓ét), as well has his mother Jean and instructors Dr. Marianne Ignace and Janice Dick Billy. Cody started teaching Secwépemctsín in 2019. He currently is an instructor at Simon Fraser University and Thompson Rivers University. Another way Cody keeps his culture alive is, you guessed it, with his renowned bannock stand. You can find him at an event near you, dolling out his top-secret family recipe all over the Cariboo.
Sally Wynja is an artist, beader, pow wow dancer, and avid forager. She regularly forages for medicinal plants, crafting materials, and edible plants and mushrooms. She got into creating arts and crafts later in life. As she had nobody to teach her how to make traditional Secwépemc art, she took the internet to learn on her own. Sally dove head-first into beading, buckskin, and pine needlework, all while learning how to pow wow dance. A lot of the imagery in her artwork comes from spirituality. “The Eagle means a lot to me. The animals mean a lot to me. I love the trees. I love the forest. I get my medicine from the forest, and I get my materials from the forest.” You may find Sally with a booth set up at local pow wows, craft fairs, and the WLFN Elders Bazaar.