What I like most about selling Megaphone is just getting out there, meeting people. It brings your spirits up. I also like going to different areas of Vancouver that I don’t usually go to. I think that’s important, because you should get to know other people from other communities and they should get to know you so they can get through the stereotypes of the Downtown Eastside.
“I was born and raised in Smithers. The Hudson Bay Mountain was part of my dad’s clan. So that mountain was our hunting ground, our trapline and our fishing, before it got taken over.
“It’s pretty racist around Smithers. I grew up with that racism from the day I was born until I left. Back in the ‘80s, there was a land claims case going on, and that’s when the racism really reared its ugly head. People were going around beating up natives walking on the street.
“It’s still like that, maybe not as bad, but it’s still there. That was one of the main reasons I left. There’s no getting away from it in a small town, you run into the same idiots every day. Plus all my friends were moving out of Smithers, looking for work.
“I’ve been living in the Downtown Eastside off-and-on since 1985. I tell people when I’m selling Megaphone that everything the media portrays about the neighbourhood is always negative. But there are a lot of women down here trying to help themselves. And not everybody is a drug addict or a sex trade worker. There are healthy families down here and healthy people.
“There are a lot of good people in Vancouver, a lot of generous people, and I just want to thank them.
“A lot of times I end up talking to my customers about whatever goes on down here and they give me their point of view and I learn from that. And they learn from what I have to say also.”