Aurelia Stacona: “It Was so Beautiful” to Show a Better Way of Life

Aurelia Stacona talks about her work in the church, founding a 12 step program, and teaching her language.

Bio: Throughout her life, Aurelia Stacona has been a dancer and beadwork, and has attended pow-wows nationally. She also opened up a church and ran a 12-step program on the Warm Springs Reservation. She passed away in 2019, three years after the interview was conducted.

Transcript: I’m a ordained minister also. And so I traveled and into Arizona and Mexico and California and Utah, taking the gospel. And so that was part of my life. And when I lost my husband I just decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. When I came back here though I opened up a little church in Simnasho. I really ministered to the problem we have on our reservation which is happening every place, with drugs and alcohol. I was doing a 12-step program that I used to take into the jail, I would go into the jail and I would take my life recovery Bible and give it to the inmates there. And I had a lot of them that are still–’oh grandma, I’ve still have my Bible,’ they’ll tell me. They’re still doing what they do but I was having the 12 step program when I had my church, and I was also teaching the Indian language and songs. We have our songs but I was teaching the words, Indian words to the songs. And then we also traveled with the canoe that’s out there. That’s parked out in the back. And that became part of my life to travel with the canoe. And Randy’s still apart of that. His son travels with the canoe family. And so we were busy with that through the summer, too. That was one of the things I’ll never forget because it was so beautiful to be able to bring my young people back and to show that there is a better way of life.

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