The Heiltsuk Nation begins 5 days of celebration in Waglisla or Bella Bella, B.C.

Gvukva’áus Haíɫzaqv

Photo by Ilona Mihalik.

Yesterday, the Heiltsuk Nation began 5 days of celebration in Waglisla, or Bella Bella, B.C. as they open their first Big House in 120 years.

This is a historic event after the Heiltsuk faced hundreds of years of colonization which saw a series of efforts to erase Indigenous culture including a federal ban on potlatches between 1880 and 1951.

The Big House is a space for potlatch, governance and ceremony. “Going forward it’s a symbol of our strength and our resilience as people. I know it’s just going to make us stronger” – Marilyn Slett .

Photo by Charity Gladstone / The Canadian Press

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