Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nass Valley with the Nisga'a People

You know you’re in a special place when the people residing there pull over on the side of the road in their cars and randomly offer you fresh smoked salmon or take you onboard their boat to crab fish.

This is a small example of the extraordinary welcoming we had in the Nisga’a ancestral lands in Northern British Columbia last week.

The Nisga’a people live within the Nass Valley, famous for its lava flow, mountain ranges, fast flowing rivers and waterfalls. These natural wonders form the rich ecology that is a source of food for those who make the place their home. 

Lisims a Nisga’a word means breadbasket. Aptly used as a metaphor for how the land from ancient time to present day is a source of an abundant variety of food stocks which the Nisga’a people harvest for their needs and share with those in each of the four communities* plus those on filmmaking expeditions.

We went to the Nass Valley to document the local point of view using interviews and filmmaking capturing stories and opinion about Treaty relations with Canada.

The Nisga’a for generations have defended their hunting grounds from incursion by outsiders. In recent time the Nisga’a engaged the Canadian judicial system to secure a treaty that protects their ancestral lands outright today for their management and preservation for future Nisga'a generations.

*Gingolx: Seafood Capital of the Nass, Gitwinksihlkw: At Home on the Nass River, Laxgalts'ap: Where River Meets Sea, Gitlaxt'aamiks: Capital of the Nisga'a Nation


No comments: