2017 Nisg̱a’a Elders & Youth Forum ’Bridging the Generations’ a Huge Success
The Council of Elders hosted a Nisg̱a’a Elders & Youth Forum themed ’Bridging the Generations’ in the Nisg̱a’a Village of Lax̱g̱alts’ap March 14, 15 & 16, 2017.
Panel and break out discussions were primarily focused on Nisg̱a’a Language, Culture and History. The 2.5 day forum began with Chairperson – Council of Elders Sim’oogit Ni’isy̓uus, Willard Martin’s presentation of his Draft Strategic Plan for Reviving, Teaching and Sustaining the Nisg̱a’a Language Culture and Traditional Practices.
Two breakout sessions took place where participants could entertain detailed discussions and ideas, suggestions and concerns were shared. First on ’Why Nisg̱a’a Language & Culture is Important’ and second a tribal breakout session where simgigat, sigidimhaanaḵ’ and youth openly discussed Lip Wilaa Loom̓ - Our way of life. 1 elder and 1 youth then reported back highlights from their respective groups.
Special presentations included ’Taking Nisg̱a’a Spirituality Abroad!’ by Nisg̱a’a youth Brenna Doolan & Leilani Wright who provided an inspiring overview of their journey to Africa and their plans of re-visiting Africa in the near future. Dr. Amy Parent, also provided a well-received presentation, ’Surviving & Thriving: Your Educational & Life Journey’ that was both motivating and inspiring for all in attendance.
Based on the grave concern on the potential of Nisg̱a’a language, culture and customs becoming extinct – a Nisg̱a’a Elders & Youth resolution was entertained that provided direction to the Chairperson for the Council of Elders to introduce the potential loss as an urgent matter at Wilp Si’ayuuḵhl Nisg̱a’a (WSN) later this month.
In her closing remarks, President Eva Clayton who was in attendance for the duration of the forum said, “The Nisg̱a’a language is the basis of our culture, and the land is the foundation of our culture.” She went on to conclude, “Without this, we have no identity.”
While Nisg̱a’a athletes participating in the JR. All Native Basketball Tournament in Kelowna were invited for participation, introductions and a blessing during the forum, teams from Lax̱g̱alts’ap and Gitlax̱t’aamiks were in attendance.
Approximately one hundred Nisg̱a’a Elders registered each day, with the same amount of youth and adults.
For photos of the forum, visit our photo album at: http://nisgaanation.zenfolio.com/f91409715