On July 21st, I was in the Cowichan Valley for the filming of Harold Joe’s new documentary, Tzouhalem. Produced by Les Bland Productions and by Harold himself, the film will attempt to unpack the oral stories and urban legends surrounding the near-mythic figure of Chief Tzouhalem, who Mount Tzouhalem is named after.
What makes this project unique is that Harold is a Quamichan traditional Gravedigger. The Quamichan Nation acknowledges the existence of human and nonhuman spirit entities, so strict protocol is observed during funerals in order to avoid problems with either. Harold’s role often calls upon him to repatriate human remains and to help disembodied ancestors find peace.
Chief Tzouhalem had a complicated relationship with this same spirit world. So who better to investigate the legends surrounding him than someone familiar with his teachings? Tzouhalem was a member of the nation Harold is, as well, which means Harold has access to oral histories no other investigator would ever be able to acquire. Continue reading “Ghosts of Mount Tzouhalem and Stone Butter Church”
I enrolled at Vancouver Island University during the summer of 2014.
I’d been diagnosed with chemotherapy-caused nerve damage – something I still deal with to this day. I was being medically released from the military and had been offered two years of postsecondary education as part of a payout package.
My disabilities from the nerve damage include sensory pain, digestive issues, fatigue, and cognitive challenges, including slower memory recovery and occasional slurred speech. I feel hung over every morning. My vision can become blurry and it can be difficult to concentrate. As fate would have it, I was also diagnosed with PTSD. Continue reading “VIU’s Creative Writing Program: A Graduate’s Review”
The Beau Dick: Revolutionary Spirit book review I wrote was published in the 2019 issue of Portal magazine. Even though Beau Dick passed away in 2017, he’s still someone I look up to and admire, both as a visionary artist and as an activist. I’m proud my piece was chosen because it allows me to tell more people about him while critiquing the book.
Two of my photographs were also accepted into the magazine. Continue reading “Portal Magazine”
“Shanon Sinn – The Haunting of Vancouver Island” was released by Some Other Sphere podcast on February 27th. In this episode, I was interviewed by Rick Palmer about The Haunting of Vancouver Island and our region’s ghost stories.
Because it’s a United Kingdom podcast, I found Rick’s choice of which stories to focus on interesting. We talked about First Nations spirituality, Vancouver Island’s sense of place, made comparisons to European folklore, and much more.
Continue reading “Some Other Sphere Podcast: Shanon Sinn – The Haunting of Vancouver Island”
On May 31st I went to Victoria to photograph–and participate in–a Transmountain Pipeline protest. I overheard a reporter saying there were 700 people. At its peak, there could have been 1000. The protest was in response to the controversial purchase/bailout of the Kinder Morgan project by the Trudeau Liberal Government for $4.5 billion dollars. Continue reading “My First Transmountain Pipeline Protest”
My new book The Haunting of Vancouver Island is now available. Many of these stories are told in full, complete with images.
Continue reading “Haunted Locations on Vancouver Island”