Thomas Family Dance: Explained by Jean Thomas at Walter Thomas potlatch

Walter Thomas, who was attacked by a grizzly bear in November 2008, hosted a Tlaakt’uultha May 25 to mark the end of his grief period. He has endured tremendous physical, mental, emotional and spiritual suffering since the grizzly bear attack. A helicopter rescued Thomas from thick brush near Smith Inlet, on the mainland north of Port Hardy, after he suffered severe injuries in the attack. He wanted to potlatch to signify putting it all behind him and moving forward in his journey.

Photos by Debora Steel