This indigenous and Jewish photographer wants to tell her people’s stories — before it’s too late

Canadian indigenous and Jewish photographer Kali Spitzer (left) was  mostly raised in Victoria by her Jewish mother, Eloise (right).  (Photos/Kali Spitzer)

Canadian indigenous and Jewish photographer Kali Spitzer (left) was mostly raised in Victoria by her Jewish mother, Eloise (right). (Photos/Kali Spitzer)

At the age of 20, Kali Spitzer left her home in Victoria, British Columbia, to travel north and immerse herself in the culture of her father, who is a member of the Kaska Dena, a First Nations people native to Canada.

For seven months she lived among her relatives on British Columbia’s northern border, where she learned to bead, hunt, fish, trap, and tan moose and caribou hides.

“It was so beautiful and challenging and humbling,” the 31-year-old photographer said in a phone interview from her home in Vancouver. “There was a lot of sadness, too, that came from it — not being able to grow up immersed in my culture.”

Spitzer, who until then had primarily been raised by her Ashkenazi Jewish mother, came back inspired and eager to teach others about indigenous culture. The best way to do so, she found, was through a longtime passion of hers: photography. . .

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