Nisga’a members to Journey Home

By Debora Steel, April 28, 2011

Nisga’a living in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island are invited to take a historic journey home this fall.

The goal of organizers is to reconnect with the 1,500 Nisga’a living away from home in southern B.C. and bring them back, even for a short while, to Gingolxand the other three Nisga’a communities located near Terrace.

The group has registered 350 people for the trip so far, and that number is expected to easily double, said Nisga’a Ts’amiks Society spokesperson Marilyn Stewart. Departure date from Vancouver is scheduled for Sept. 28, with a return of Oct. 8. And travel expenses are covered by funding grants from a variety of organizations.

Journey Home participants will travel to Prince Rupert for a feast and official welcome, then either drive to Gingolxon the new highway from Terrace, or travel to Gingolxby seiner or gill netter along the Nass River.

Traveling by water was once the only way to access the Nisga’a community, and it will be pretty exciting for people to go back and do that, said Stewart.

From Gingolx, travellers will head out to visit the three other Nisga’a communities—Gitlaxt'aamiks, Gitwinksihlkw, and Laxgalts'ap—with the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Society hosting a number of events that will help to rebuild the language and culture.An opportunity to reconnect (Community, Family, Wilp, Language & Culture)
An opportunity to learn
An opportunity to move forward
A home coming for our elders who attended Residential School
A first trip home for the many generations who have never seen the Nass Valley
A chance to create community, both in Southern BC and the Nass Valley
An opportunity to celebrate our great Nisga’a Nation
A chance to close the gap between generations and also communities
When is the actual Physical Journey? Autumn of 2011!
This is not just a trip from the lower mainland to the Nass Valley.
It is a commitment to building a strong, healthy and prosperous community now and for the future.
It is the Mental, Physical and Spiritual focus of Nisga’a Ts’amiks.
This is a Journey that will definitely benefit the whole Nisga’a Nation; your input is greatly appreciated, so please join us in our journey!
We are still accepting applications for those who want to join us on this Historic Journey!!!An opportunity to reconnect (Community, Family, Wilp, Language & Culture)
An opportunity to learn
An opportunity to move forward
A home coming for our elders who attended Residential School
A first trip home for the many generations who have never seen the Nass Valley
A chance to create community, both in Southern BC and the Nass Valley
An opportunity to celebrate our great Nisga’a Nation
A chance to close the gap between generations and also communities
When is the actual Physical Journey? Autumn of 2011!
This is not just a trip from the lower mainland to the Nass Valley.
It is a commitment to building a strong, healthy and prosperous community now and for the future.
It is the Mental, Physical and Spiritual focus of Nisga’a Ts’amiks.
This is a Journey that will definitely benefit the whole Nisga’a Nation; your input is greatly appreciated, so please join us in our journey!
We are still accepting applications for those who want to join us on this Historic Journey!!!

Many Nisga’a have been gone from the community for many decades, having been whisked away to attend residential schools in far off places, never to return. A lot of language and culture was lost in those residential schools, said Stewart, that’s why an important component of the Journey Home will be to allow survivors an opportunity to stop at their former residential school sites along the route.

It will be an emotional trip for many, and Nisga’a Ts’amiks is preparing for many contingencies, including having counseling support for travellers. Many who will participate will also be elderly, so the organizers are also working to ensure the health concerns of travellers will also be accommodated.

Organizers hope to have everyone registered for the trip by the end of May. They will be traveling to southern cities to meet with people to discuss travel options.

Organizers will be at the Travellers Inn at 1961 Douglas St. in Victoria on May 1. On May 2 they will be at the Travel Lodge at 340 South Island Hwy in Campbell River. On May 3 they will be at the Glen Lyon Inn at 6435 Hardy Bay Rd. in Port Hardy. They will be at the Hospitality Inn in Port Alberni on May 4. And on May 5 they will be in Nanaimo at Nanaimo Days Inn at 1 Terminal Ave.

They are also making themselves available to do some meetings in people’s homes.

Contact Cheryl or Marilyn at 1-866-646-4944 for meeting times, to make arrangements, get registered, or get more information.

Family is encouraged to attend the journey with Nisga’a members. It could be the first trip home for many who have never before experienced the beautiful Nass Valley.

The facebook page Nisga'a Ts'amiks "Journey Home" Registration-Vancouver Island reads the trip will be an opportunity to celebrate the Nisga’a Nation and to close the gap between generations and communities.

“This is not just a trip from the lower mainland to the Nass Valley. It’s a commitment to building a strong, healthy and prosperous community now and for the future.”