About Us 

Costal Salish Knitting 

The T’Sou-ke Nation initiated an arts development program through a FPHLCC grant 2008-2009. Restoring, reviving & living our culture can only prove to be our greatest gift to our future generations. We became incorporated under the Society Act on August 18, 2011.


The purposes of the society are:

  • To develop and deliver community programs, projects, services, activities and initiatives in the areas of:
    1. Arts & Culture
    2. Heritage & Language
    3. Education & Training for the Society's members.
  • To raise moneys and acquire property, supplies and equipment as needed to promote the above-mentioned programs, services, activities and initiatives.
  • To Encourage full participation of membership in all above-mentioned objectives.
  • To provide similar and related services as determined by the membership.


The bylaws of the society are those set out in Schedule B to the Society Act. 

Our Board

Jeff Welch, President

Jeff Welch

Jeff is a member of T'Sou-ke Nation with family ties to Pacheedaht Nation. He was raised on T'Sou-ke territory and the city of Victoria. He lives with his wife Sarah and three of their children in the village of Siaosun, T'Sou-ke Nation. In 1993/94 Jeff was an assistant carver on the nation's large-scale red cedar dug-out canoe project. He apprenticed with Master Carver Fred Peter on the 53' Warrior Canoe and several smaller dug-out canoes, used to this day on the annual Tribal Journeys where all Coast Salish nations come together to celebrate unity and the practice of oceangoing canoe travel. In 2000, Jeff became a certified PADI Divemaster. He has logged over 200 dives and instructed others on planning dives and safe diving practices. Jeff was raised on the beaches of T'Sou-ke territory harvesting seafood since childhood with his family. Some of his earliest memories are of his grandfather sitting by the woodstove in his rocking chair singing in the T'Sou-ke language. In 2010 Jeff became an Aboriginal Role Model for School District 62. He teaches the traditional uses of cedar, T'Sou-ke harvesting practices, drumming, and shares stories of his life to children and youth throughout the district. He works with a spiritual Elder on the Elders Project for kindergarten children sharing the Sencoten language and drumming. He is a guest speaker and presenter for student teachers at the University of Victoria. His workshops include: drum-making; bringing culture into the classroom; and beach harvesting. 


Sarah Wright Cardinal, Vice-President  

Sarah is a Cree educator from northern Treaty 8 territory and a community member of T'Sou-ke Nation through marriage. She lives with her husband Jeff and three of their children in the village of Siaosun, T'Sou-ke Nation. She has spent a lot of time on the land over the years learning from Elders and family, including harvesting of some medicines and hide tanning. Sarah has eighteen years experience on community based education projects, both local and national in scope. She believes in projects that honour Indigenous knowledges and support community wellness. From 2014-2017 Sarah held the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship for her PhD project on reclaiming Indigenous identities. Sarah is a former President of Aurora College and former AHRDA Coordinator for the Native Women's Association of Canada. She has served on several boards and committees over the years in the areas of education, governance, and community wellness.


Kate Barton, Secretary/Treasurer

Katherine Barton is a professional Painter and Teacher of Art and Design. After earning a BA degree in fine art and print making in Sheffield, UK Katherine's own artistic career has been based predominantly around the production of oil painting works which have exhibited mainly in the county of Kent in the UK.

Alongside her painting career Katherine established herself in the art education sector in the UK. After achieving a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Canterbury Christ Church University in 2004 Katherine worked in secondary school education as a teacher of art and later as head of art department. Through her teaching career Katherine has taught in schools with varying cohorts often including marginalized ethnic groups. Her focus has always been on embracing diversity through art and helping young people engage with it to empower themselves.

Since leaving the UK in 2010 to follow her husband in his work Katherine has lived, worked artistically and in voluntary youth Art education in various places including Ghana, West Africa, and Haida Gwaii Islands BC, Canada. Through these travels Katherine has taken her passion for Art, and enjoyed learning from a wide variety of artists and craft makers.

Katherine relocated to Sooke, BC with her husband and son in December 2013. With her current focus on raising their family Katherine has sought avenues locally to engage in Art communities and learn about new cultures. Katherine looks forward to the challenge of working with the T'Sou-ke Arts group to assist in First Nations cultural renaissance. She views the opportunity as a privilege to experience T'Sou-ke and the wider First Nations culture of Canada and first hand and to use her skills to assist and encourage creativity within the community through the T'Sou-ke Arts group.


Edith Newman, BEd. University of Victoria, Director

Edith Newman

  • taught school in Bella Coola, Bella Bella and Sooke
  • homeschooled own 3 children through high school 
  • library clerk/supervisor, VIRL, 26 years
  • award winning fashion designer, 22 years
  • married to First Nation Artist/Master Carver Victor Newman, 42 years
  • retired


Chief Gordon Planes, Director

Gordon's traditional name is Hya quatcha, named after his great grandfather from Scianew, the salmon people.  He is the Elected Chief of the T'Sou-ke nation for the past 6 years and previously worked as Back country operations manager of the West Coast trail for Parks Canada.  He is a Coast Salish carver, artist, traditional singer and a captain of T'Sou-ke traditional dug-out canoes for the last two decades. Gordon has previously taken a three year assignment in working with his community in bringing back their Northern Straits Sencoten language. Gordon and his wife Marcella presently reside in the village of Siaosun and have six children and four grandchildren. He is actively working closely with the community in renewable energy, food security, cultural renaissance and Economic Development, just to name a few.


Kathleen King-Hunt, Director 

Information to be posted soon.  



We rely on Elders and knowledge holders to guide us. Including:

Linda Bristol, Founding member & cultural advisor

Linda Bristol

Linda (Shee-aysh Te Doe) comes from the T'Sou-ke (Coast Salish) and Ditidaht (Nuu Chah Nulth) Nations of Vancouver Island. Linda grew up on her birth band of T'Sou-ke and still resides there today. Linda's accomplishments in community development have spanned decades, but her love of the cultura and art (both traditional and contemporary forms) decided her path the past few years. She co-ordinates and promotes First Nation art work and has been mentored by an established First Nations art manager, Lou-ann Neel.

"I want First Nations Arts and Culture to be restored and maintained in all disciplines and taught from traditional mentors for all generations." Her abiity to do this comes from the support of family and her community.

In the past Linda has served as Chief of T'Sou-ke Nation, Chair of Nil/tu'o Child & Family Service and Co-Chair of the Victoria Native Firendship Centre, to name a few. Currently, Linda is a director for First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Council and Chair of the T'Sou-ke Community Practise Circle for South Island Wellness Society.

Linda is an advocate of First Nation Culture and Awareness and Family wellness.