While his children were growing up, Percy became interested in his traditional culture. “I had had disturbing dreams as a boy. Years later on someone’s advice, my mom took me to a Sun Dance in Sandy Bay. An old man there said, ‘This boy needs an Indian name.’ I got my first Indian name at 13 years of age. After that visit, those same dreams seemed friendly."

One evening in a dream, the spirits showed Percy a sweat lodge. “Afterwards, I built a lodge and spent days in the bush learning what it was, and how I could help people. Later, the Sun Dance came in my dream.”

People suffering from various ailments were coming to Percy -- some, modern doctors couldn’t help.Traditional medicines also played a part in the healing process: “Everything you see growing, small bushes and plants are medicines. I told my wife, Mary, ‘You work on the medicines while I do the other work.’

Percy and Mary are dedicated elders still helping people get well after 40 years. Percy became a highly respected medicine man but it was never for accolades. “I did what was expected of me. I did it because of my dream. When you have it, you must follow that dream.”


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Percy Houle
Sauteaux, Ebb and Flow First Nation
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 175