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

F350 stolen and smashed into 108 Mile Esso

The weekly police report for the South Cariboo area

What are you hoping for in the upcoming municipal election?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Paranormal conference coming to 100 Mile House

Paracon will be a celebration of everything weird and strange

100 Mile House preparing for another Orange Shirt Day

People of non-First Nations ancestry should listen to the stories of First Nations people for reconciliation

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read