Laura is of St’át’imc descent – born and raised in Lillooet, BC. Her St’át’imc name is “Stálhalamcen – Grizzly Paws,” she performs the Grizzly Bear dance and sings as an expression of St’at’imc culture that is unique and authentic.
Laura belongs to the people of Xwisten the Bear Clan. At the age of sixteen, Laura began to relearn the St’át’imc traditions as her passion grew stronger in education, and the heritage of her people became a way of life.
“I walked where the Grizzly Bear dances. I feel his pleasure, excitement and freedom on the earth and in the wind that carries his messages from the past. I dance where the Grizzly Bear danced his steps leaving an ancestral footprint on the land like a cellular memory in my blood. His face is a shadow that calls to me as the wind calls his name “St’álhalam.” The Grizzly Bear he sings his songs as we unite under his skin. I now walk where he left his ancestral footprints. I heard his prayer, I felt his pain; I am his anger; I am his hope; I am his faith. He now dances upon the earth, now, only where I leave my ancestral footprints.”
The New York Times featured a video of Laura’s Bear Dance that has been viewed over 700,000 times.