Students march back to school keeping the traditon strong

Back to school it is and time to hit the books!  This year’s Back to School March is taking place in the four Nisga’a Villages to commemorate our history, show support to our students, and to inspire a successful school year.

Students from Kindergarten to grade 12 begin the school year by sharing a meal with their community, schools staff, respected chiefs and matriarchs. After the meal, they gather strength in numbers, march as one to schools lead by the Lisims RCMP and the chiefs as they perform a cultural song to the march.

Once arrived to the school, the staff are assembled strength in numbers with drums as they perform the song; Ts’inin Sim’oogit to show honor to the chiefs, matriarchs, and students as they enter.  Students and staff are then seated to witness Nisga’a Cultural Protocol take place by the Council of Elders. 

The ceremony is conducted by four chiefs, representing four tribes of the four villages, along with the Chairperson of the Council of Elders, Willard Martin, and Madam President, Eva Clayton of Nisga’a Lisims Government. This traditional ceremony was passed down from generation to generation by the Nisga’a Nation Elders and first began with the Nisga’a Tribal Council during the beginning of the Nisga’a Land Question. It’s called the presentation of the Ganim Siwilyeenskw. This ceremony grants an organization in the fields of health, education, and or governance the authority, blessing, and responsibility to move the Nation forward, this time being a ceremony for the Principals, they are handed the talking stick and granted authority to move the students forward with their educational journey.

The ceremony is followed by introductions to new staff, an introduction to this year’s student board representation from the four communities, words of encouragement, and an overview of goals and objectives for the year. The Principal, Mr. Cameron Nott made two important announcements, first; “With technology today, we are seeing tremendous changes, that’s what we have to do, all of us at NESS will be looking at those changes so that we can get those programs in so students really want to be here. Secondly; “There’s opportunities for Nisga’a Elders to come in and to share knowledge, wisdom, to keep the Nisga’a culture and language strong, and vibrant.

By keeping culture, language, and traditions strong, we are joining as one. Nisga’a Lisims Government will continue to show our support to staff and students of School District #92 Nisga’a in the Nass Valley, we encourage all students to do their absolute best and we look forward much more UNITY to come.

Sa’amhl wilsim!

For photos of the events go here

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