Oliver Stewart looks at the button blanket his mother made when he was 10 years old. He hasn’t seen it since it was stolen three years ago. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Family reclaims stolen First Nations regalia found at thrift store

Salvation Army finds Indigenous regalia that was stolen from a Prince Rupert home three years ago

Treasures are found every day at thrift stores, but a recent find at the Salvation Army’s store on Third Avenue in Prince Rupert is being called a “blessing.”

On April 10, a woman was walking by the storefront when the display in the window caught her eye. The mannequins were wearing her family’s regalia — which had been stolen three years before.

“We immediately took it out of the window, locked it in the office until all the channels were followed to make sure it got back to the right people,” store manager Roma Dawe said. The display had only been set up 20 minutes before the woman walked by.

“Today we get to return it,” Dawe said at the thrift store the next day while waiting for the family to arrive. “Oh, it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s like I get goosebumps. Wow.”

When she first saw the donations, Dawe said she asked herself, “Why would somebody donate this? It’s precious.”

READ and WATCH MORE: A new husband-and-wife duo take the Salvation Army reins

The hand-sewn pieces include a vest, button blanket, tunics and fur-trimmed boots, all complete with delicate First Nations designs.

“I’m just really glad it’s going back where it belongs,” Dawe said.

The woman’s cousin, Oliver Stewart, came to take his family heirlooms home. His mother was the one who made many of the regalias that were found.

When asked if Stewart thought he would see his mother’s handiwork ever again, he said, “No, never. I didn’t ever think I would. It means a lot.

“I was 10 years old when she made this,” he said with the button blanket in his hands and tears in his eyes. “I’d just like to say thank you, guys.”

Lieutenant Sabrina Silvey, the corps officer for the Prince Rupert Salvation Army, said, “It was absolutely heartwarming to know that something so precious was taken away and we could return it. That doesn’t happen very often. It’s a good story, and I’m glad we were a part of it. It’s a blessing.”

READ and WATCH MORE: Gingolx bring a full house to All Native opening ceremonies



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Singing in the Christmas season in Burns Lake

Burns Lake residents enjoyed choral performances at Immaculata Church for the Lakes… Continue reading

Couple selling fake jewelry in Fraser Lake, say RCMP

A man and woman have been defrauding local residents, offering fake jewelry for sale

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

Fire destroys trailer home near Fraser Lake

A fire near Fraser Lake has destroyed a trailer home, but caused… Continue reading

Burns Lake speaks out on violence against women

Burns Lake residents met in the Gathering Place of the Burns Lake… Continue reading

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read