Odyssey of repatriation in northern B.C.

Donald Luxton will be in Maple Ridge on Thursday May

The Nisga’a Museum is a unique institution that is a direct result of the Nisga’a Treaty signed in 2000.

The Nisga’a Museum is a unique institution that is a direct result of the Nisga’a Treaty signed in 2000.

Bringing our ancestors home: that is the title of a talk Donald Luxton will present Thursday, May 24 to the members of the Maple Ridge Historical Society, their guests, and anyone else interested.

The talk will be at 7:30 p.m. at the old St. Andrew’s Church building at 22279 – 116th Avenue.

The sub-title of Luxton’s talk is “The Nisga’a Museum and an Odyssey of Repatriation in Northern British Columbia.”

The subject may come as a surprise to all who see Luxton as a specialist on the subject of heritage, in general, and historic buildings, in particular.

We in Maple Ridge owe a debt of gratitude to him for his work on producing the first inventory of Maple Ridge’s heritage resources on behalf of the Community Heritage Commission.

His book The Heritage Resources of Maple Ridge, published by the CHC in 1996 in conjunction with the District of Maple Ridge, is the enduring outcome of his work in Maple Ridge.

The book, accessible on the municipal web site, contains buildings, cityscapes, and trees perceived to have heritage value in each of the historic communities of Maple Ridge.

But Luxton’s vision and expertise is not limited to this kind of heritage.

Donald Luxton and Associates call themselves the foremost cultural and heritage firm in western Canada, and they took a leading role in the creation of a stunningly beautiful and unique museum for the Nisga’a Nation in the Nass Valley.

It was Luxton who assembled a team of experts to bid for the Nisga’a Museum project, and who for three years worked with the project team that saw the project through to its completion.

The Nisga’a Museum is a unique institution that is a direct result of the Nisga’a Treaty signed in 2000. This was the first time that First Nations cultural property was repatriated as part of the treaty process in British Columbia and a landmark event in Nisga’a history. The repatriation occurred on September 15, 2010, and the museum opened on May 11, 2011.

The Nisga’a Museum is a remarkable accomplishment – a stunning 10,000 square foot museum built in the remote Nass Valley to display 330 repatriated artifacts.

It was also conceived as the cultural heart and soul of the Nisga’a Nation, and as a living embodiment of the Nisga’a culture.

As Simon Calder, a Nisga’a youth representative, expressed it at the opening ceremony of the museum: “We need to embrace our culture. There is nothing better than this right here, seeing our people together, happy. There is no longer darkness above us, there is nothing but light now.”

Luxton’s illustrated talk will highlight the museum’s vision, architecture, artifacts and displays.

Fred Braches is a local historian who lives in Whonnock.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A small memorial to Rich Goulet was started at Pitt Meadows Secondary after his recent death. (Neil Corbett/The News)
LETTER: Rename Pitt Meadows school gym in coach’s honour

Rich Goulet was considered one of the provinces best basketball coaches and died recently

Doug Nolin, a Maple Ridge senior, snapped this picture of his pet pigeons taking flight down by the old Albion ferry dock. “What a beautiful land we live in,” he said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Chirp, chirp: Ridge senior captures pigeons taking flight

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Pamela Franklin captured this picture of a raccoon in Maple Ridge, “chilling” in her backyard, on her storage bin. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Lounging in the spring sun

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Debbie Noseworthy snapped a sunset picture the first day of daylight savings as seen from the dikes off 216th Street in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Sky on fire over Maple Ridge dikes

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Darlene Martin captured this ‘breathtaking’ view of a sunset and the Fraser River as taken from Osprey Village. (Special to The News)
SHARE: View from Osprey Village breathtaking

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read