Official Signing of Carving Contract for the Raising Nisga’a Language, Sovereignty, and Land-based Education Through Traditional Carving Knowledge Project Awarded to Ts’awit, Mr. Calvin McNeil Sr. and Team

With thanks to Dr. Amy Parent and the Lax̱g̱alts’ap Village Government for sharing the news of this exciting initiative! 


On December 9th, 2021, Ts’awit, Mr. Calvin McNeil Sr. (Carver) of the Wilp (House) Ni’isjoohl and his carving team (Gerald Robinson, Wilps Ni’isy’uusand Judith Moore, Wilp Nagwa’un) were awarded a contract for their successful proposal for the carving of Wilp Laay’s new pole as part of a new carving program being administered by the Lax̱galts’ap Village Government. The carving will begin under Sim’oogit (Chief) Laay’s guidance in the in the Village of Lax̱galts’ap’s carving shed in the coming weeks. The pole carving is a part of a multi-year research project titled Raising Nisga’a Language, Sovereignty, and Land-based Education Through Traditional Carving Knowledge (RNL) that began in 2020 to support on-going efforts to strengthen Nisga’a language, culture and ways of life.

The project honours and follows Nisga’a Ayuuk (laws and protocols), with Noxs Ts’awit, Dr. Amy Parent (Principal Investigator) of Wilp Ni’isjoohl meeting regularly with respected Lax̱galts’ap hereditary leadership for guidance and direction. The project is the result of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada New Frontiers in Research Exploration grant awarded to Dr. Parent and Wal’aks, Keane Tait (Co-investigator) from the House of Axdii Wil Luu-Gooda in collaboration with Sim’oogit Ni’isjoohl (Chief Earl Stephens). The carving program that is a part of this project will serve as a cultural learning opportunity for all Nisga’a citizens and visitors to Village of Lax̱galts’ap and will support the next steps towards the construction of the Nisga’a Language and Cultural Centre beside the Nisga’a Museum ( in the Village of Lax̱galts’ap, B.C.

The multi-year project is the first study of the Nisga’a language to take a wholistic approach to cultural knowledge production, focusing on the philosophy and pedagogy of traditional carving and land based education. The project will also develop new language learning tools using virtual reality technology and support repatriation efforts of the Wilp Ni’isjoohl original house pole from the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2022.

Photographed above:

Sim’oogit (Chief) Ni’ismuut, Sim’oogit (Chief) Ni’isy’uus, Lax̱galts’ap Village Councilor Pamela Wright, Sim’oogit (Chief) Laay’, Noxs Ts’awit-Dr. Amy Parent, Ts’awit-Calvin McNeil Sr, Gerald Robinson, Lax̱galts’ap Village Councilor Matthew Bright and Lax̱galts’ap Chief Administrative Officer Andrew Robinson were attendance for the official signing of the carving contract.

To learn more details about the project, please visit

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