SEPTEMBER 30, 2004

CARRIER LEADER MARY JOHN, SR. DIED

Born in Lheidli, British Columbia (B.C.), June 15, 1913, Mary grew up in Saik’uz, B.C.  Leaving school at age 14 and married at 16, she bore 12 children.  Joining B.C. Homemakers Association in 1942, she was the first President of the Saik’uz chapter and later district president.  In the 1950s, Mary helped established a Saik’uz committee to place children in aboriginal foster homes.  In the 1970s, she taught Carrier language and culture, as well as medical terminology at St. John’s Hospital, and was a major contributor to the Saik’uz Dictionary.  In 1978, she was named Citizen of the Year in Vanderhoof for her work.  In 1980, she helped establish the Stoney Creek Elders Society–a vehicle for social and political progress.  In 1988, Mary gained notoriety through her book, Stoney Creek Woman, and was invited to appear on Sesame Street.  She also began liaison work with the RCMP.  In 1997, Mary received the Order of Canada for her service to her community and was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2003.

Source:  “Eulogy for Mary John, Stoney Creek Woman June 16, 1913 - September 30, 2004 Delivered by Colleen Erickson.” Retrieved 7/14/2019, http://www.ydli.org/cultinfo/MaryJohnEulogy.html
Photo:  Bridget Moran (1923-1999), 1997.  Mary John receiving Order of Canada.  Courtesy of Northern B.C. Archives and Special Collections.  Permissive Use pursuant to Canadian Fair Use and educational copyright laws.  See  https://search.nbca.unbc.ca/index.php/2008-3-1-013.