about us

The Literacy Circle provides opportunity for Indigenous elders and adults to learn English literacy skills through storytelling in a supportive, safe and self-paced environment.

CTV National News:
Extended interview with Florence Marshall

“It was only a dream to come up here, now look at me, I’m in class, and I’m proud,” Marshall said. “I love it. They treat us so good.”   Florence Marshall, one of the Elders participating in the new literacy program, told CTV News.


-November, 2021

Our History

Discussions to create opportunities for literacy learning began in 2019 and the Pilot Project opened in Oct. 2021.   The Literacy Circle was officially registered in May 2022 and is expected to flourish and grow.

The Literacy Circle Society (formerly FEATHERS) in the Media

“I’m learning so I can be an example to other survivors out there.  Never too old to go back to school and learn.”  Florence Marshall, Learner.  April 20, 2022

“The students are amazing.  They are incredibly brave and courageous to be coming back into a classroom after what they experienced.”  Mary Desprez, FEATHERS board member.  April 20, 2022

“So this is kind of a bonus for me, to learn how to read and write at my old age.  And to meet these beautiful people.” Yvonne Frenchie, Learner. April 20, 2022

“I can feel warmth, the welcome, the love…I’m not so much afraid.  I’m trusting people.”   April 20, 2022

“Wherever we can do it, we’ll be able to do it,” said Chuck Loëwen, General Manager of Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

‘It feels like a miracle’: Survivors of residential and day schools learn to read, write. October 18, 2021.

Literacy program launched for Indigenous elders, residential school and day school survivors. October 4, 2021.

At this Indigenous Elders’ literacy circle, survivors find healing. October 21, 2021.

‘There is so much hope and love:’ Indigenous literacy program for Elders unveiled. October 20, 2021.

Founding Board Members and their territories

Mary Desprez                     

Laurie Harding           

Yvonne  Rigsby-Jones 

Doug Savory                       

Kate Wallace

Ally from Stz’uminus Territory

Ally from Quw’utsun Territory

Sunueymuwx First Nation

Ally from Stz’uminus Territory

Ally from Lekwungen Territory


Board of Directors and their territories

Jacquie Adams             

Laurie Harding           

Yvonne  Rigsby-Jones 

Doug Savory                       

Logan Swain                                

Dr. Cheryl Ward               

Ahousaht and Ehattesaht First Nations

Ally from Quw’utsun Territory

Sunueymuwx First Nation

Ally from Stz’uminus Territory

Métis from Cowichan Valley

Namgis First Nation  

Part-time Staff

Mary Desprez, Fundraiser and Administrator.  Ally from Stz’uminus Territory

Kate Wallace, Operations Manager. Ally from Lekwungen Territory

Maureen Robinson, Education Advisor.  Ally from Stz’uminus Territory