Fayth’s Story: Love, addictions and determination on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

‘When her grandma passed away that’s when her world was taken from her.’

Fayth Rose Alexis was born March 8, 1982 in Bella Coola, British Columbia.

Her mother Mavis Benson was just 16 at the time.

“Being really young and naive I just didn’t know what I was in for,” Mavis tells APTN News. “And after the labour I was just so exhausted and she was a beautiful little baby and I just totally fell in love with her when she was born.”

Soon after Fayth was born, Mavis left Fayth’s father because she claims he was abusive and moved back to her home community, Cheslatta First Nation near Burns Lake, BC.

Mavis’s parents helped raised Fayth while she finished school.

Two year old Fayth with her uncle. Submitted photo.

She says Fayth thrived in the stability of family life – and learned about her culture.

“She knows how to snare rabbits,” Mavis says. “I don’t know how to do that. She knows how to do the dry meat, knows how to dry fish, she knows how to cut it up.

“She knows all of our tradition and being close to her grandma was the most important thing in her life.”

Mavis says her daughter wanted to become a movie star and a model.

She was excited for her future.

In 2002 she attended the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, CA to pursue her goals and travelled to Hawaii to explore a new culture.

“She was a beautiful girl she was always energetic and full of life she just loved life she used to do everything she could,” Mavis says.

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