“Ka-ri Mâ-bi wîyâ – Raven’s Nest Woman”
August 8, 1922 – Big Horn, Alberta
October 18, 2014 – Banff, Alberta
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mother Nora Stevens on October 18, 2014 at the age of 92 years. Nora Stevens, the last Matriarch of the Wesley clan, descendant of hereditary Chief Peter (Ta-Otha) Wesley, passed away.
Nora was born and raised in Wa-pta Mno-tha (Bighorn, Nordegg area, AB). By age 6 Nora was taken by train to Morley Residential School for 3 years. Her parents pulled her out of the Morley Residential School and returned to Wa-pta Mno-tha (Bighorn, Nordegg area, AB), where Nora was raised until she was 19 years old. In 1940, John Stevens exchanged a dowry to Moses and Mary Wesley for their wa-kâ hâ-bi. Nora then followed her husband to Ga-hna (Eden Valley, AB), where they resided from 1949 – 1959. Nora, her husband and children relocated to Mînî-Thnî (Morley, AB), where she lived out the rest of her life.
Nora was a spiritual healer and her faith intertwined with her Christianity and her traditional teachings knowing that Wa-kâ is one. Her skills of cultural traditions, butchering wild animals, and cultural activities were important to her and she shared her knowledge with her children. Nora knew that as she shared her knowledge that it would be a way of preserving Stoney Culture and Identity as Stoney First Nations (wa-pa mak-the). Nora’s butchering skills were exemplary as she knew the anatomy and uses of wild animals. She taught her children and her grandchildren how to make dry meat, to tan hides, how to bead and make beautiful cultural regalia. Since she was a skilled seamstress, who could make vests, gloves, mossbags and other types of clothing from tan hides. She also taught her daughters and granddaughters how to cut material to make teepees and tents used at sundances, pow wows, and other cultural events. Nora knew where to go to pick berries, where to harvest natural medicines, and where to pick warh-pe-rhpen, from Alexis Reserve all the way down to Chief Mountain (îyâ-sa îpa to Hûga baha).
There was a period when cultural activities were abandoned and left dormant. Nora, her husband John, brother Lazarus and sister-in-law Lily got together and revived cultural activities. This began with forming the drum group, Bow Valley Singers, holding Hand Games, hand drumming, and teaching to the younger generations the different cultural activities. The group of four also revived cultural ceremonies such as Ghost Dances, Sundances, Sweat Lodge ceremonies, ceremonial rites of passage, Medicinal ceremonies, and when called they held prayer ceremonies for community members.
Nora is survived by her children, Glen, Phillomene (Willy), Virgil, Audley (Tilda), and Tracey; 32 grandchildren; 116 great grandchildren; 34 great great grandchildren; sisters-in-law Bella Alexis, Winnie Francis, Eliza Holloway, and Alice Twoyoungmen; her adopted children, Elizabeth Twoyoungmen, Gordon (Louise) Potts, Una and M. Pauline Wesley, Gerald Powderface, Rolland Rollinmud, Sedrick Baker, Mary (Toby) Pena, Ollie Benjamin, Stuart Dixon, and Paul Rasporich. Her relatives also include the Abraham, Alexis, Adams, Bearspaw, Benjamin, Brown, Crawler, Daniels, Dixon, Ear, Francis, Fox, Goat, Goodstoney, House, Hunter, Holloway, Kaquitts, Kootenay, Lefthand, Mark, Manywounds, Poucette, Powderface, Rider, Rabbit, Rollinmud, Simeon, Sunchild, Snow, Shortneck, Twoyoungmen, Wesley, Wesley-Beaver and Wildman families.
Nora was predeceased by her husband John Stevens (Spotted Bird – Thi-kta rhne-rhne-ya); her parents, Moses and Mary Wesley; her siblings, Bella, Peter (Winnifred), Tom (Ina), Paul, Caroline (Frank) Powderface, Lazarus (Lily), Guy, Isaiah, Alexander Alexis, and Archie Daniels; her children Alvina, Ralph, Harold, Mary Barbara Poucette, Lorne, Nicholas, Darcy, and Eloise.
Wake Services will be held at the residence of the late Nora Stevens (Morley, AB) on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 to Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Funeral Services will be held at the Bearspaw Youth Center (Morley, AB) on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. A Graveside Service to follow at Bearspaw Cemetery (Morley, AB). Please forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Nora Stevens, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Cochrane, 369 RAILWAY STREET, COCHRANE. Telephone: 403-932-4740.Print This Obituary & Condolences