Featured Funded Project
Focus Area: Community Impact Fund Grant Program: DTES Small Arts

The Poetry of Myra Pierre | A DTES Small Arts Program Story

Líl̓wat artist and residential school survivor Myra Pierre finds healing through poetry

Written by Laura Walker

Photography and video by Marina Dodis

WATCH: Myra Pierre recites “Eagle Feather” and shares about her history as a residential school survivor >>

Myra Pierre reads poetry to an audience while holding an eagle feather

Every year, Vancouver Foundation’s Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants program helps emerging artists working and living in the Downtown Eastside to advance their art practice. Among those talented artists is Myra Pierre, whose newly published collection of poetry A Rising of Voices and Other Poems presents an intimate and heart-wrenching journey of her life as a residential school survivor.

Her poetry not only provides a glimpse into her life living through the school’s brutality and the destructive aftermath on her family and culture, but demonstrates her beautiful, resilient soul and the importance of family and community as part of the process of healing.

Born in Mount Currie into the Líl̓wat Nation, Pierre’s traditional name, Ka’zez’semaka7, means “Busy Hands” — a celebration of her creative personality. “When I received the name