Donation to the Victoria Health Cooperative
December 12, 2017

“Our Gift” is our humble offering, to acknowledge the Victoria Health Cooperative for all its hard work in supporting the health centre and its devoted team of physicians and staff in the care of our patients. Pictured in front is the individual, a vulnerable person surrounded and held by the collective of helpers and healers. The blanket in behind represents the fabric of the co-op community, in its devotion to caring for, and bringing wellness to its members. In west coast First Nations culture, when we wrap someone in a blanket we bring them into our family.

Chris Paul, W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip) First Nation, is a Coast Salish artist who is gifted at bringing story to life through his beautiful west coast images. Captured best in his giclee prints, cedar panels, and steel and glass sculptures, his work has decorated southern Vancouver Island, bringing the spirit and the mythology of his culture to life. He is a devoted partner, father, brother and son who works tirelessly to create space for his family, community, culture and history in his homeland. Art, in Chris’ life, has been a great gift that has opened many doors to support local initiatives, bridge communities, and uphold the legacy of his people.

Krista Stogryn is a family physician who has spent her career living and learning in First Nations communities on the west coast. Her personal journey and style of practice, have been deeply impacted by indigenous ways of being and approaches to healing. Inherent in this is the knowledge that we are all one – every individual is valued and important to the community – and that the wellness of the community is the responsibility of each and every one of us. Krista has brought the spirit and wisdom of her experiences to the care of her patients at the Coop Health Centre since 2014, and her role as consultant physician with the W’SÁNEĆ (Saanich) First Nations.

Chris and Krista deeply appreciate that the culture of relationship and community is often expressed through the giving of gifts. The sharing of wealth through ceremonial giveaways, is a way of recognizing, enriching and embracing the community that surrounds us. In this spirit, “Our Gift” is our way of lifting up the Victoria Health Cooperative, as it finds its wings for a new beginning.