Blood and Baha'i Traditions:
Allison and Earl Healy....
By Pat Verge
Sharing their culture both at home and abroad has become a way of
life for the Healys. World travellers, they have taken their
traditional culture and spiritual beliefs to such widely-scattered
places as Siberia, India, New Zealand, Scandinavia, St. Lucia and
Dominica, and Greenland.
Both Healys spent part of their youth in residential schools where
use of First Nations languages and practice of cultural heritage
were discouraged. For many years. Earl knew little of his native
traditions. However, after he decided to quit drinking in 1975, he
started to explore his own culture in earnest and began dancing in
"I wanted something to keep my mind moving, not to ever think
backwards," says Earl. "Something to be proud of
myself." Today a very well-known traditional dancer, Earl is
a frequent winner of pow-wow competitions and often has the honour
of bringing in the Eagle staff, the Indian flag, during the grand
Their long-time membership in the Baha'i faith has also encouraged
the active expression of their cultural heritage, adds Allison.
"Baha'u'llah (founder of the Baha'i faith) in his writings
says that it is important to know who we are. So that is why since
we became Baha'is I got to be proud of who I am. Before, I was
never proud of the culture. Coming from the boarding school, we
learned that it wasn't important and were made to be ashamed of
"In the Baha'i faith, we believe we should all accept the
differences, with unity in diversity."
Earl was born in 1937 on the Blood (Kainai) Reserve and has the
Indian name of "Black Crow." His great-grandfather Joe
Healy was prominent on the reserve as an interpreter. Whisky
traders passing through had found Joe as a baby on an encampment
that had been raided by another tribe. They took him home to Fort
Benton, Montana and raised him. Healy was the name of his adopted