My name is Qa dji Dja ada (Head Woman). My given name is Dana Carmen Simeon. I was born on September 17, 1969 in Old Masset, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). I am a descendant of Tiiyaan from the house of Sawn-nee-wans. My family crest is the Killerwhale with a split, extra high, dorsal fin from the Raven Clan. My mother is Hazel Wilson Simeon. My Nonnie is Grace Bell Wilson Dewitt. I’m a full- blooded Haida from Haida Gwaii. I’m the 2nd youngest of 10 children. We (my family) moved to Vancouver when I was 2 years old. I have been raised with my culture, traditions, and identity.
My Nonnie Grace, Nonnie Ethel Jones, Nonnie Florence Davidson, and Nonnie Amanda Edgars, as well as my Chinnie Augustas Wilson (Haida) and my Chinnie Forrest Dewitt Sr. (Tlingit) have all been my teachers. I have passing my traditional teachings to my two beautiful daughters, Jadene and Marla.
With my Mother’s love, encouragement, blessings, and not forgetting her infinite patience I have learned to design and create Haida art. She has been my teacher and mentor. I proudly carry on her legacy as a creator of the button robes. My Mother has been the pinnacle of my life’s lessons as a Haida Woman. It’s with the love, gratitude and utmost respect, I have for my Mother that I am able to share my creation(s) with all of you.
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