Yellowfly, with 3 Crows Productions, did his presentation of Qwalena for students at the ACT on Thursday.

Steady beat of a drum for Orange Shirt Day

Dallas Yellowfly presented his dramatic story of Qwalena on Thursday at the ACT in Maple Ridge in the lead up to Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30.

School staff in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are celebrating the event on Friday.

Yellowfly did his presentation of Qwalena for 15 classes of Grade 10, 11, and 12 students from throughout the local district.

Qwalena is “The Wild Woman Who Steals Children.”

In a dark theatre, to the steady beat of a drum, Yellowfly tells a startling and thought provoking, scary tale of a girl who is born disfigured, bullied and ostracized by kids in her own community. She runs away to the forest, where she stays hidden.

Over time, Qwalena becomes the wild woman who makes eerie whistling sounds like the wind and steals children who dare to chase her in the woods.

During the presentation, Yellowfly uses elements of video and sound that fill the theatre, creating a chilling atmosphere.

There is a surprise ending that shockingly brings the wild woman to life in the theatre.

The second half of the presentation is an interactive discussion, exploring how the story of the wild woman is allegorical to the Indian agents who stole Aboriginal children and took them to Indian residential schools.

Yellowfly shares the story of his own father, who was taken away from his family as a child by Indian agents and sent to a residential school in southern Alberta during the 1940s.

The forcible cultural assimilation and abuse his father endured is what later developed into anger and inner rage, which subsequently lead him to a life of crime and years of incarceration, then death.

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake in 2013, to recognize the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well being, and as affirmation of the commitment to ensure that everyone matters.

It stems from the story of Phyllis Webstad, who went to St. Joseph Mission for one school year, 1973/1974. She had her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school there.


Yellowfly did his presentation of Qwalena for students at the ACT on Thursday.

Just Posted

Golden Ears park road still on winter hours, visitors discover

Several vehicles trapped behind closed gate for a while, after missing 5:30 p.m. closure

Letter: Judging volume and speed of east-west traffic

‘This risk is only going to increase.’

UPDATED: Flames open junior B final with 2-1 triple-OT win over Delta

Paul Tucek earns win for Flames, making 87 saves.

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a rope system to drag the horse to solid ground

Poverty panel visits Maple Ridge next week

Seniors activity centre location for open house, all welcome

Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

‘A perfect storm’: Gas prices could hit $1.60 by April, expert says

Prices will shoot up to 155.7 cents a litre by end of week or early next week

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

5 to start your day

Kinder Morgan protests heat up, a horse rescued from a muddy field and more

Most Read