Maryanne Stanley contributed photo Front row: Maryanne Stanley, Diane Smith, Hazel Nyce, Louisa Gray, and Marlene Robinson. Back row: Stephen Ward, Henry Bob and Moses Stewart in Winnipeg for the 2019 National Gathering of Elders from Sept. 9-12.

Northwest B.C. elders travel to Winnipeg for national gathering

Eight Nisga’a elders joined thousands of Indigenous elders from across Canada

The Terrace Nisga’a Elders Association met with other First Nations, Inuit and Métis elders from across the country at a national gathering in Winnipeg this week.

“The gathering is similar to the provincial gathering of elders, but it’s huge,” says Nisga’a elder and group president Louisa Gray.

The 2019 National Gathering of Elders brings thousands of elders together to build ties and discuss collaboratively on a variety of topics, including missing and murdered Indigenous women, cultural preservation and traditional knowledge. The conference goes from Sept. 9-12, and is to be held every two years — the first one took place in 2017.

READ MORE: Kitselas holds first elder knowledge gathering event

“It means so much to us,” Gray says. “We get to witness different cultural events, we get to watch the dancers from different cultures like the Cree Nation and Nations from Ontario. Even provinces like New Brunswick — we don’t have an opportunity to meet other Nations unless it’s at the National Gathering. ”

Gray travelled with seven other northwest B.C. Nisga’a elders, including Henry Bob, Hazel Nyce, Diane Smith, Marlene Robinson, Stephen Ward, Moses Stewart and Maryanne Stanley. The association began raising money two years ago to attend the gathering this week, collecting between $10-15,000 through several community events.

“We’ve had a lot of support from our families, they’ve just been incredible.”

The chance to meet with thousands of Indigenous people from across the country and participate in various cultural activities with them is a huge opportunity, Gray says.

READ MORE: Nisga’a Terrace Urban Local establishes as Gitlaxdax Society

The Terrace Nisga’a Elders Association first started out with 25 people, but due to tragedies and death, a lot of them dropped out, Gray says. With the amount of knowledge elders carry with them, it’s all the more important to have gatherings like this to bring people together from across borders.

“The opening ceremonies, the parade of Nations, is just breathtaking,” she says.

At the gathering, elders usually exchange gifts and souvenirs that represent their Nation with each other. Gray says the group brought Nisga’a pins for any elders they meet to remember them by.

And before the group left, Gray says she looked forward to meeting Nisga’a members living in other parts of the province.

“Some of them have always lived in Vancouver, and so we don’t see them that often. We’re pretty excited.”


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Village studies retail pot store rules

The Village of Burns Lake is examining its approach to retail cannabis… Continue reading

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Village might earn $384,000 in camp deal

The Village of Burns Lake is set to receive hundreds of thousands… Continue reading

Helping the Burns Lake community for 13 years

In its 13 years of existence, the Burns Lake and District Community… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Most Read