Cowichan Tribes Medicine Woman, BLS
Della (Rice) Sylvester / Huyamisé is a member of the Cowichan Tribes First Nations. As a young girl Della learned about plants as food and medicine from her Grandmothers Ellen Johnny and Sylvestra Modeste. Ellen was a midwife who helped birth over 300 babies in the Cowichan Valley; and Sylvestra was well known for her local cultural keeping. As her inspiration, these women challenged Della to a lifelong learning about medicines, culture, health, and well-being. Della's work includes being involved in nature's advocacy throughout her lifetime; working for 4 years with the BC Wild's Leadership Initiative for Environment; with Nancy Turner; and with the Pacific Networking Association, which is a group of cultural and spiritual First Nations from around the Pacific Ocean. Della's training through her Aunt - Ellen White of Snuneymuxw, taught her the cultural and spiritual aspects of Ethnobotany. Della's ongoing self-training included handling large crowds.