Year of the White Raven - Jill Fitz Hirschbold Photography

Last year on a cold February night I had  dream, not a regular dream, a waking dream.  I sat up in my bed and looked towards the window on my left, it was completely frosted over.  A  figure became to take shape, an outline in the silvery frost. I watched thinking I must be asleep but I was sure that I was awake but how could I be  seeing this. The outline filled in , every feather, every detail to reveal a  silver/white Raven in the frost.  I etched every detail into my mind so I would not forget. I laid back down, went back to sleep and to this day remember clearly everything  I saw.


My encounter was deciphered for me as a very powerful vision. 

" The White Raven is the messenger of profound change". 


I cannot begin to explain the circumstances, but will for anyone who would like to hear, how I arrived at the Big House for a Potlatch Ceremony in Alert Bay on March 6, 2015.  At the invitation of Chief Rande K'alapa and Mike Willie I had the honour of attending a this ceremony. I was also given permission to photograph the 19 hour event.  The beauty, richness and depth of this culture is absolutely amazing given all they have had to endure. It was like watching the past, at the present and seeing what can be for the future. I can never express what it meant to me to be present at such an event.  It changed my heart forever.

Due to the sacred nature of the ceremony I will not be posting these photos.

There was an additional very special deditcation and ceremony during the event involving Greenpeace. My photos have been used in various articles with regards to this ceremony.

Greenpeace and the Sisiutl: Cultural Appropriation and Reconciliation

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/blog/Blogentry/greenpeace-and-the-sisiutl-cultural-appropria/blog/545


I attended this Potlatch with my very dear friend Christina Hilborne and during our time there became acquainted with Chief Keith Gladstone of Bella Bella. He extended an invitation to a Potlatch in Bella Bella in October 2015.  This ceremony over 2 days was 32 hours long and I did not photograph this time.  Without the buffer of my camera I had to let all I could see, feel and hear sink deeply inside.  It is like the most intense meditative process that I have experienced.  You become so stripped, so raw that all that is left of you  is the truth.

To be invited and made to feel so welcome there, along with new friendships, has been amazing .  Jill