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

TNRD plans fire service information meeting

Meeting on Monday evening in Little Fort Hall will look at whether TNRD should take over service

PHOTOS: No fear

Youngsters swim in Dutch Lake just a few days after the ice goes off

Theft at Mt. Timothy latest challenge for local ski hill

Society president Mike Kidston still hoping local politicians will support referendum on funding

New picnic shelter for Dutch Lake beach

Construction should be completed next week

UPDATE: Truck driver dead after semi goes off Highway 5 near Vavenby

No other persons or vehicles involved in crash, which occurred early Tuesday morning

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Most Read