Category Archives: Indigenous Nations History

Ni’isjoohl memorial pole is coming home

Windspeaker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Nisga’a Nation, and especially the house of Ni’isjoohl, is celebrating a Dec. 1st announcement from the National Museum of Scotland. It will return a memorial pole that was stolen from Nisga’a territory and later acquired by the museum.

“In Nisga’a culture, we believe that this pole is alive with the spirit of our ancestor,” said Sim’oogit Ni’ijoohl, Chief Earl Stephens.

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2018: Food And Culture

Originally published on Cortes on July 7, 2018, as part of the Deep Roots Initiative, Season Two

“It’s a mouth-watering touring through time in this piece as I explore how the preservation of food and culture are connected on and off the Reserve. Pull up a chair, all are welcome at the table as we learn about smoking salmon, stringing herring, and why all important events start with sharing a meal.” – Manda Aufochs Gillespie

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Spill to Sustenance

Six years on from the fuel spill that devastated Heiltsuk waters and clam gardens, the nation is pulling together to proactively build food sovereignty

Originally published on the Watershed Sentinel

by Jamie-Leigh Gonzales

The central coast rainforest, with its horizons of emerald islands roamed by wolves, orcas, and bears, is a source of life and wellbeing for all peoples who live there. The Heiltsuk Nation have lived off their land since time immemorial, and their culture is deeply rooted in the land and marine ecosystems. They continue to protect their relationship with the land against extractive industry and ongoing colonial practices that seek to eradicate Indigenous land stewardship.

In 2016, the Nathan E. Stewart tug ran aground, spilling over 110,000 litres of diesel oil in Heiltsuk waters of Gale Creek Pass. The devastating impacts on marine life and the surrounding ecosystem continue today, nearly six years after the spill. A healthy clam beach has yet to return, and the site remains a danger to the marine life, such as herring, salmon, and kelp, that once thrived there.

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The History of Residential and Day Schools

By Chadd Cawson, The Columbia Valley Pioneer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Many people have heard about residential schools but are uneducated about them. And too many have known about the horrors and injustices that happened within the walls of them, but for too long their voices were never heard. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children were taken from their families, communities, and culture for over 150 years. During this period, over 150,000 children attended what were then called Indian Residential Schools. Many never returned home to their families.

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2013: First Nation’s History Seen Through A Village Workshop

(From the Archives: Dec 23, 2013)

I recently took part in a “Village Workshop” at the Klahoose New Relationship Building on Cortes Island, in BC. This is a role playing exercise designed to help people see British Columbian history from a First Nations perspective.

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