Nisga’a Artifacts Returning Home – September 15, 2010

September 15, 2010

Posted on: 14/09/2010

Nisga’a Artifacts Returning Home – September 15, 2010

New Aiyansh, B.C., September 13, 2010. — The Nisga’a Nation will celebrate the return of several of their artifacts on Wednesday, September 15, 2010. There are 121 Nisga’a artifacts returning from the Canadian Museum of Civilization and 155 artifacts returning from the Royal BC Museum. The theme will be: The Spirit of Our Ancestors Has Returned Home.

The day’s activities will begin on the Nisga’a Museum grounds in the Village of Laxgalts’ap (Greenville) starting at 1 p.m. (PST) with welcoming remarks from Nisga’a Lisims Government. Formal addresses from the Nisga’a Nation President H. Mitchell Stevens and representatives from the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Royal BC Museum will balance out the program.

“As Canada’s national museum of human history, we share the Nisga’a people’s deep and abiding respect for their cultural heritage,” said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “We are pleased to join the Nisga’a Lisims Government and the Nisga’a people in celebrating this occasion and look forward to future joint endeavours.”

“This is a historic moment and an important step in the on-going story of reconciliation with the Nisga’a people,” said George Abbott, B.C. Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “These objects are essential pieces of Nisga’a—and British Columbian—culture and heritage, and will be the cornerstone of the new, world-class Nisga’a museum that I hope all British Columbians will have the opportunity to experience.”

“The Royal BC Museum is pleased to see these exceptional cultural objects returning to the Nisga’a people,” said Pauline Rafferty, CEO of the Royal BC Museum. “We sincerely value our longstanding relationship with the Nisga’a Nation and look forward to continuing that important relationship into the future.”

“This will be an emotional day for all Nisga’a people,” proclaimed Stevens, President of the Nisga’a Nation. “It is a day that we put aside to pay respect to our Nisga’a ancestors’ great artistic heritage.”

The returning artifacts—including masks, headdresses, rattles, blankets and a totem pole—proclaim the four Nisga’a tribes’ long heritage rooted along the Nass River. The artifacts are masterpieces, crafted by the hands of famed Nisga’a artists of the past.

“Many of the artifacts are sacred, living objects that we will be able to share with future generations,” commented President Stevens. “We invite our neighbours, friends and fellow Canadians to join us in contributing to this cultural gift—a gift to each other and the wider world.”

The day’s festivities will include performances by the Nisga’a Cultural Dancers, and will conclude in the evening with a Tribal picnic and cultural dancing celebrations at the Greenville Recreation Centre. There is no cell phone service on Nisga’a lands; however,