Windspeaker: What one quality do you most value in a friend?
Wawmeesh George Hamilton: Family. Being as close — if not closer — than family.
W: What is it that really makes you mad?
W.G.H: Corrupt Indian politicians that ruin it for those leaders who legitimately toil for their people.
W: When are you at your happiest?
W.G.H: When I’m with my family, ferreting out then assembling a story, or behind my camera shooting.
W: What one word best describes you when you are at your worst?
W.G.H: Thriving — to be my best.
W: What one person do you most admire and why?
W.G.H: Documentary photographer James Nachtwey. He’s consistently drawn attention to issues like war, famine and social upheaval.
W: What is the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to do?
W.G.H: Hold my composure while taking pictures at crime and fire scenes, or documenting difficult court proceedings.
W: What is your greatest accomplishment?
W.G.H: Being a husband to my wife and father to our five children, and not just being a guy she married or someone who fathered kids.
W: What one goal remains out of reach?
W.G.H: Witnessing and documenting struggles in Egypt, Syria and other conflict zones.
W: If you couldn’t do what you’re doing today, what would you be doing?
W.G.H: Trying to do what I do today.
W: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
W.G.H: You’re not at an assignment to support a cause or mourn and console. You’re there to witness and document then let people make up their own minds afterward.
W: Did you take it?
W.G.H: Every time I’m at an assignment.
W: How do you hope to be remembered?
W.G.H: As someone who raised awareness and made a difference with his writing and photography. And as someone who compelled others to look at and think about things they’d rather turn away from.
Wawmeesh, George Hamilton is a married father of five who is a member of the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni, B.C. Hamilton earned a BA in philosophy and liberal studies from Vancouver Island University and a certificate in journalism from Langara College. He works as a journalist/photographer for the mainstream publication Alberni Valley News, and has won provincial and national awards for his photography.