Raven in the MoonRaven In the Moon Logo

Haida Art by Don Pongracz,
Old Massett Band, Haida Gwaii

Raven In The Moon - About Don

Born in Prince Rupert to Alex and Freda Pongracz in 1951. The forth of what would be nine children. He was well loved. His father was a fisherman, a millright, and a dedicated father. He read to his children at night from an encylopedia. They didn't get a TV for a long time and when they did the parents came home to find Don taking the TV apart to find out where all of the people had gotten to or how they got in there. Instead of punishing Don his Dad went out and got some old broken TV's so that he could discover what TV's actually were. Don's father passed when Don was 13 and it was one of the hardest times in his life.

Remembering those years. In 1956 Canadian Parliament enacted legislation made retroactive to 1947 so that all Aboriginal People were citizens. in 1960 Aboriginal People in Canada could finally vote without giving up their status. Growing up in the 60's Don was well aware of the disparity between "colours" and in the late 60's he joined a group, that was surveying non-status indians in BC. The work done by that group later led to bill C-31 restoring the status of Aboriginal women who had it removed when they married non-aboriginal men. Don was not entitled to his Status until that bill was passed.

The group Don traveled and worked with, the BC Association of Non Status Indians, later became the United Native Nations. Don never forgot what it was like to be "Lost in Canada." Upon his return to Castlegar Don along with Laurin Hackman, Leonard Seymour, Eugene (Bear) Seymour, Barry LeCouffe, Darlene Cockerill and more formed the first Aboginial Support Group in Castlegar, the Lower Columbia River All First Nation's Council. Owl Mask made for Ed Pongracz

Don was a plumber and a pipefitter, local 170, but took a piece of metal in his eye which led to him becoming a Third Class Power Engineer. This occupation led to him becoming a Power Engineer at the first Aboriginal Cannery in Port Simpson.

In 1990 Don moved to Kamloops and worked for the Aboriginal Apprenticeship and Industry Program eventually becoming its head. He also wrote the Building Maintenance Worker Program recieveing the number 0001 for the first Ticket ever given out. At this time he also became a certified NAID, Native Adult Instructor Dipolma and is authorized to teach across Canada.

A much younger Donny

Contact Don

Life, Love and History

Don and Nugget

Don loved being near the sea, working with the people, and feeling a part of something wonderful. His first two children were born while he worked in Port Simpson. It was a special time in his life.

Fishing Boat Cannery Port Simpson

Don left Victoria where he had lived for some time, and traveled up to Hope, a kind of crossroads would he go back to Castlgar where his family was, or home to Prince Rupert. His coin toss settled on Castlegar.

Don, home in Robson, 1990