Qwelxana was raised in an environment that not only allowed her to participate in the syilx way of life but supported and embraced it, from both sides of her family. It wasn't until she was in her teens that she learned her friends and in some cases, relatives, were not exposed to the same teachings and practices. With this realization and after the loss of several syilx elders, knowledge keepers and fluent language speakers Qwelxana decided it was time to start moving into a new direction. A techinical one.
When she first appoached her mentors they did not scold or scoff at her ideas, but considered it and... as syilx mentors do, had a teaching and life lesson about combining the two... syilx tradition and technology. Qwelxana was then introduced to a deeper level of understanding by not only her grandparents and grand-aunts and uncles but to other syilx communities and families. During this part of her training, it was understood the lessons she would be learning and the teachings she were to recieve would be about understanding the responsibility, process and protocol of being a knowledge keeper and mentor, even though she was still in her late teens and early twenties.
Qwelxana was immersed in syilx teachings and stories, history and language, at the same time she began learning skills in video production with her first film, a docu-drama filmed with a video camera onto VHS and edited on her VCR. Shortly after that film was complete she was given an opportunty to learn digital video with SHAW Cable via Rainbow Productions under the mentorship of her first technical mentor, Marlena Dolan. This was where Qwelxana was taught camera operation, editing digital video, transferring VHS to DVD and making menus, burning DVDs and even the art of writing proposals.
Victoria is a former teen parent having raised four (4) now young adult children primarily as a single mother until she met her husband in 2012 and became his wife in a traditional syilx blanket ceremony and by exchanging wedding vows in 2014, changing her name from Victoria Baptiste to Mrs. Victoria Jaenig. Together they traditionally adopted a daughter. Tori is the middle of three daughters between parents Audrey Baptiste and Richard Armstrong and has a total of five sisters and two brothers.
The steps taken in both personal and professional aspirations led Qwelxana back to her roots as a syilx woman. The syilx people are known to be story tellers and are keepers of knowledge and tradition. The knowledge and stories they hold is the key to the survival of the syilx peoples. By telling these stories, sharing this information and by releasing it under our own terms we not only share who we are with our audiences but teach them who we are, the knowledge we have and the stories we hold. Thus enabling our practices, lifestyles and world views to be heard, even if not always understood.