I am Diena Jules and am a member of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc. The
traditional names that I have been given over my lifetime are: Sundance
Pipe Woman, Yellow Flower Woman, and Black Wolf Woman. I am proud to say
that I have two daughters and five grandchildren.
Late Clarence Jules (former Chief and Band Councilor for many decades),
Canadian Governor General award, 2009-Cowboy Hall of Fame
Mary Delores Jules, nee Casimir, founder Kamloopa Pow-Wow, Silver
Jubilee Award Recipient
Siblings: Manny, Jeanette, Felicity, Freda and Raymond Jules. Deceased:
John, Cindy and Geraldine Jules.
Late Joe Jules (1885-1962), former KIB band councillor for many decades,
fluent in several FN languages, farmer, horse logger, storyteller,
Late Agnes Jules, nee Duncan, (1900-1967), herbalist, fluent in several
FN languages, basket maker, horticulturalist
Late Thomas Casimir (1907-1968), former KIB band councilor, spoke
Secwepemcstin, farmer, horse logger, trapper, hunter, fisherman
Late Sadie (Felicity) Casimir (1907-1959), nee Leonard, farmer, spoke
Secwepemcstin, hunter, trapper, taught traditional Secwepemc songs and
I was raised up in the mountains while my dad was a horse logger. We later
moved onto the reserve and I attended the Kamloops Indian Residential
School as a day scholar until I was in Grade 6. All Indigenous children
were integrated into the public school system in 1967. In 1971, I lived at
the KIRS for one year. I consider these years as the dark ages of my life.
As a teenager, I was a member of the Paul Creek Tribal Dancers and we
performed our traditional songs and dances across BC and Alberta and, in
1975, we went as far as Quebec. I was a traditional dancer at pow wows
primarily in BC.
In my younger years, most of my employment was with my band as a labourer,
lifeguard, librarian, welfare financial officer and welfare department
coordinator, home school coordinator and cultural and educational
researcher. With my determination to improve the quality of life for my
daughter and I, I decided to enroll in the NITEP at UBC where I graduated
with my BEd and went on to to compete my MA at UBC. My thesis was:
Traditional Ways Shuswap People Identified and Nurtured Gifted and
While completing my graduate degree at UBC, I worked as a librarian,
educational researcher and did a contract as a Native Indian Teacher
Education Program instructor. After I returned to Kamloops I worked as at
Sk’elep Elementary School teacher as a primary school teacher, then from
2004 until 2017 I was the Education Department Manager.
After I retired, I moved to northern Ontario and, after 18 months, I
returned to my home community and family and began a term position in the
natural resource department and worked part time in the cultural heritage
study and genealogy research project. In July in began to work as the
administrator of the SMHP.
I try to be a good role model in healthy living, I bike, ride and walk
daily, I pray to the Creator for the health, safety and protection of our
land, water, animals and ice, I live my values of showing respect and
caring to all living things, but most of all, I take time to show my loved
ones, especially my grandchildren, how much I love and value them. It is
everyone's responsibility to
be the change we wish to make in the world.