Indigenous·Photos

Nisga'a ring in their new year with Hobiyee celebration in B.C.

The PNE Forum in Vancouver resonated with singing and drumming as First Nations peoples celebrated Hobiyee, the start of the Nisga’a new year.

More than 1,400 Nisga’a live in Vancouver

The PNE Forum in Vancouver resonated with singing and drumming as First Nations peoples celebrated Hobiyee, the start of the Nisga'a new year.

More than 700 singers and dancers from Gitlaxt'aamiks, Gitsegukla, Gitwangak, Gitanyow, Tsimshain Tlingit and Lil'wat participated in the two-day event.

"We're going to turn back the clock. We're going to go back in time to when our people lived through song and dance," said Nisga'a patriarch and elder statesman Joe Gosnell, whose traditional name is Sim'oogit Hleek, after the event's grand entry on Feb. 3.

Hobiyee celebrates the Nisga'a Nation's new year. The event centres around the moon during the latter part of winter. A crescent moon with its tip pointed skyward symbolizes a spoon and a bountiful harvest to come.

The Nisga'a Nation is located in the Nass Valley in northern B.C. There are more than 7,000 Nisga'a citizens. More than 1,400 Nisga'a live in Vancouver, the Nisga'a Ts'amiks Vancouver Society says.

Hobiyee in the Nisga'a homeland is being celebrated on Feb. 17 in the village of Gitwinksihlkw.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wawmeesh George Hamilton is an award winning journalist/photographer and a three-time BC-Yukon Community Newspaper Association award winner. He has garnered three Canadian Community Newspaper Association awards and was a 2018 Webster Award nominee. He graduated in 2016 with an MA from the UBC graduate school of journalism. He is a member of the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni, B.C. @Wawmeesh

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