Weyt-kp Xwexweytep, Sonya tsi7i7ilt Charley re (n) skwekst, Te Tsq’escen re ste7e7kwen. Muwin te T’Kemlups. My name is Sonya LilFawn Charley and I am Shuswap ancestry of Tsq’escen nation, People of the Broken Rock, however I live in Kamloops. I am a part of the Bear Clan, which is Kenkeknem Clan. My Indigenous name was given to me by my grandfather, “Henry Frank,” which is “Little Fawn”. Casey Myers re (n) skwekst ren Sxesxelwe, Casey Myers is my husband. Irene Charley re (n) skwekst ren ki7ce, Irene Charley is my mother. Gerry Charley re (n) skwekst ren qe7tse, Gerry Charley is my father. Elaine Charley re (n) skwekst ren kic, Elaine Charley is my sister. Jon Charley re (n) skwekst ren sintse, Jon Charley is my brother. Rita Charley re skwest.s le nqye7e, Rita Charley was my grandmother, and Eugene Dick re skwest.s le nxpe7e, Eugene Dick was my grandfather.
I value my education and the opportunities it provides for me so I fully intend on continuing in with the program; major, Degree, and Certificate at, “Thompson Rivers University.” I look forward to the day I graduate, so I can put all my knowledge towards helping other Indigenous people make the transition to a more positive ways of knowing.
I have always been surrounded by elders, my parents and siblings who have made a positive impact in my life, whether it’s educational, spiritual, or traditional within an urban setting. I would sit, listen, and obtain knowledge of Indigenous people because their stories demonstrate where our people once were and where we are going, which is why it is important to know the history and what society has to offer Indigenous people. They have shaped me to the individual I am by embarking wisdom of our ways of knowing, which I understand, respect and honour what has been passed on to me.
I would like to acknowledge several people who stood behind me on my journey which include their believing in me, having faith in me, and patience to see me accomplish my education degree. I want to make a meaningful contribution to my family because a lot of love and support comes from my parents, my siblings, my other half because they have all stood behind me, in order to fulfilling my ambitions because many times I have heard, “education is important” from them. Especially from elders, who know the importance of learning, and giving back to those around us and towards Indigenous communities, so they have always had much knowledge to share. The situations is also similar with my former TRU students who I have had the privilege of knowing, staff (Gathering Place: Cplul’kw’ten), TRU Student Union, instructors and faculty whose lives made an impact on me should I need information relating to resources, or a letter of reference, and just to discuss recent assignments that are do (someone to bounce Ideas off of.) Words cannot even describe how greatful I am for all those who stood behind me, and supporting my aspirations. Finally, my community for sponsoring my educations for several years, and the BC Native Women Associations has also advocated on my behalf towards finishing my degree, Kukstetemc to all!