Evelyn & Terry Eaton
Terry Eaton 1929-2008
Author & Ceremonialist
Evelyn Eaton was a Canadian, maritime author who re-discovered her indigenous roots of Micmac, Algonquin descent. She wrote her best 3 historical, Acadian novels set in a cabin on the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia between 1940 and 1945. Her most successful novel was Quietly My Captain Waits, along with Restless is the Sails and The Sea is So Wide. Even though she considered Nova Scotia her home, became an American citizen in 1945.
Evelyn was born in England but moved as a child to New Brunswick with her parents who were original Loyalists to England. She spent some years in Paris where she apprenticed as a writer, then birthed her daughter, Terry. She wrote Desire, Spanish Version, Every Month Was May and The North Star is Nearer. Threatened with tubercular illness, she retreated to her Canadian cabin to heal and focus on writing.
The high point of Evelyn's mid-career was when she was chosen as one of a select group of journalists to tour and report on the war areas of 1945 in the Pacific and Europe for the top newspaper and radio networks of United States. She had high level interviews with Chiang Kai Shek to the Pope. Then in the 1950s, she taught creative writing at Columbia University and Sweet Briar College in Virginia.
Throughout these years, she was on a spiritual quest that finally led her to a spiritual life she had longed for. In 1962 she had come into contact with the Paiute and Arapaho Medicine People of California. She spent the next 20 years with them, the Shoshone and Washoes becoming a Medicine Woman in their cultures. During this time, she wrote, Snowy Earth Comes Gliding, I Send a Voice and The Shaman and the Medicine Wheel. She can be seen in a photo wearing a Native headdress and buckskin that was gifted to her from a descendant of Wovoka.
For many years, during the 1970s and 1980s, Evelyn was the beloved Grandmother of Sun Bear's Bear Tribe. She owned land on Vision Mountain, near Spokane, Washington beside the Bear Tribe. She gifted the Pipe Ceremony teachings given to her by her Teachers, along with the spiritual values in how to walk the red road of all Earth Peoples.
Evelyn wrote her autobiography, The Trees and Fields Went the Other Way in 1966 when the Mugar Memorial Library of Boston where her extensive works of manuscripts and papers were dedicated in its archival holdings. In her career, she had written 13 novels, 3 works of non-fiction, 3 volumes of poetry and 2 children's books. She passed in Independence, California in 1983, nearly eighty years of age, leaving behind her a legacy or love and admiration by many.
Author & Teacher
Known to many of us as "Grandmother Terry," Terry Eaton was an author, poet, facilitator of Spirituality, and the Honorary Grandmother of the Bear Tribe. Born in Fontainebleu, France near Paris in 1929, Terry lived in England and Nova Scotia before arriving in the U.S. as a teenager after World War II. She received significant recognition as an actress, appearing in productions of "Guys and Dolls", "The Music Man" and "Brigadoon," as well as the award winning Broadway production of "Holy Ghosts" in 1987. She received awards from both The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center. Terry also toured with the Rustavi Dance Troupe, where she became known as "Teruska."
Terry was also a talented writer. Some of her works include a biography of her mother, called "Joy Before Night, Evelyn Eaton's Last Years;" and she co-authored "Shamanism," with Serge Kahili King. In 2003, Grandmother Terry was the recipient of the Rose Voci Fellowship for Women Writers in Indiana for both her talent and courage. She was profiled in the book, "Bridge Builders," by Elaine Voci, PhD. We will always celebrate the joy, warmth, love, and wisdom she brought into our lives.
In 2004, Grandmother Terry blessed the inaugural edition of Smoke and Fire, a one-year journal based on the old Many Smokes. She was a beloved Grandmother and Teacher of the Bear Tribe, following in her mother's spiritual footsteps.
"When I look back at my life, I think my greatest achievement has not yet come. I consider birthing and raising my children as a great accomplishment, and the theater work I have been a part of has been very satisfying because I have used it to help others find their light and their healing. Getting to be an Elder, something I didn't seek, has been an accomplishment. But perhaps it is just surviving this funny old journey, that is my greatest achievement to date."
- Terry Eaton
"Bridge Builders," by Elaine Voci
Grandmother Terry passed into Spirit in 2008. She was wonderfully loved and is greatly missed.