Amanda Crocker’s art connects to her heritage

June 4, 2024 Steph Allesia No comments exist

As a child, Amanda Crocker received a special gift from her father: a dreamcatcher  crafted to ward off bad dreams.

“He bent and shaped a willow branch to create a hoop,” she says. “We come from a commercial fishing family. He used fishing line to weave a web. I have cherished and carried my treasured dreamcatcher with me over the years.”

This traditional item sparked Amanda’s curiosity about her indigenous background and ignited her passion for designing and creating art.

She has been an Indigenous support worker at  Ecole Puntledge Park in Courtenay, and has a deep connection to the land she resides on and where she grew up, the unceded territory of the K’ómoks people—Pentlatch, Eiksan, Sahtloot, and Sasitla.

Her art and jewellery will be featured at the Rainforest gallery from June 4 to July 27, and she will hold a demonstration and meet-and-greet on Sunday, June 23 from noon to 3 p.m. Amanda works with with natural pigments, paints, and binders that include scents—for example, cinnamon and turmeric.

Her ancestry is a rich blend of English, French, Irish, Scottish, and First Nations. She is Coast Salish and a member of the Penelakut tribe. Her First Nations lineage comes from her father, who currently resides on Penelakut Island (he grew up on Galiano Island). Her mother hails from Hornby Island. 

Amanda shares her love for art, design, beading, and painting with others. She also actively learns and educates about the diversity of indigenous cultures and Canadian history. Through her work with students, she continues to learn and grow, fostering a sense of cultural pride and understanding.

“I have reconnected to my indigenous identity and culture through lived experiences, making connections through my own education, and working as an indigenous support worker in School District 71,” she says. “To them, I am grateful.”

The power of art is a vocation for Amanda. “Sharing with others, especially children and youth, gives me hope. I want to help pave the way for our children, our future. I want them to feel empowered, gain confidence in themselves, and to understand the importance of finding their own gifts.”

Rainforest Arts is located at 9781 Willow Street. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. You can contact the gallery at or 250-246-4861. Find out more at

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