Sezí Suzanne Boucher súlye, my name is Suzanne Boucher and I am one half of K'estuwe Pieces.
I am dënesųłı̨né tthetsënɂotı̨́né dene. My family originates from Rocher River, NWT. I am registered to Deninu Kue First Nation under Akaitcho Territory Government, signatories to Treaty 8 on the South Shores of Great Slave Lake. I grew up in the oldest community in the Northwest Territories, Fort Resolution. I spent a lot of time between Fort Resolution and what use to be Rocher River with my parents and close family members.
My biological parents were very young when they had me, so I was custom adopted by my maternal grandparents, my mom Mary Rose Boucher, and my dad, Henry King. Together they had 13 children, all of which attended residential school except myself and their youngest son, my brother K.B. We were fortunate to have been raised on the land by our parents.
My early years we lived off the land between Rocher River, Taltson River, Rat River, Jean River even thought we had a home in Fort Resolution, NT. My parents longed and missed their home and we went as often as they could, and would spend months out there at a time throughout the years. I was taught the traditional lifestyle. The skills and knowledge passed down to me from my parents such sewing, harvesting, hunting, trapping, tanning pelts/hides, navigating and reading the waters and ice, and the importance of hard work. I am very thankful for the traditional values and morals passed on to me from good people. Not many people my age were raised on the land like I was, I am very fortunate.
We moved back into town when I was 6 years old because I needed to attend school, my mom got a job at the school as a language teacher and my dad got a jobs at the sawmill and carpentry work in Fort Resolution. In the summer, they help start a Summer Camp with the hamlet in the mid 80s, taking out kids weekly doing traditional activities. I got to spend my entire summer out with them, it was amazing. And in the winter, we would go to Jean River or Rocher River for part of December and January trapping, and then back to school I went, dad continued to do more trapping out of Fort Resolution, he and mom fixed and sold pelts.
I became young mother to a beautiful baby girl, Skye, the other half of K'estuwe Pieces, I was 19. She became my world and my drive in life. When she was two (2) years old I attended post secondary and worked in the summers, I obtained a Diploma, Certificate and Bachlors Degree. Although Skye did not experience the life on the land as I had with my parents, I passed down the traditional morals and values taught to me, and passing on the sewing skills and getting her more on the land. She's working on her own education and I am so proud of her.
I have always sewed small projects with my mom, and then on my own. Made my first pair of beaded moosehide slippers at age 4, beaded earrings and necklaces, gun cases, shell bags, embroidery work, ribbon shirts & skirts, etc. I also had a liking with wood working in shop class, so I have also dabbled in refurbishing and making furniture.
The hobbies I enjoyed doing has now become K'estuwe Pieces.
I have so many ideas I haven't tried or shared yet and I look forward to seeing where this will go. And having this opportunity to share and teach my daughter the traditional skills and knowledge that was passed down to me by my parents makes me happy that I am able to pass on our culture.
I am very glad you have chosen to be apart of our journey.
Marsi Setsine (thank you my friend),