On February 13, 2023, we asked Bear/Phoenix Photography to attend a repatriation ceremony at the Royal BC Museum.
The ceremony began the official journey of a Nuxalk house entrance pole from the museum back to its home in Bella Coola. The carving was removed from its original position after a smallpox epidemic in the early 1900s. At the ceremony it was blessed and reawakened by a delegation of Nuxalk chiefs, relatives and supporters who gathered outside the RBCM to witness the pole being removed from the building.
This Indiginews article quotes Hereditary Chief Snuxyaltwa (Deric Snow) as saying “It’s a new beginning, not only for our Nuxalk Nation, but for all nations, all over the world. That totem pole tells us who we are, where we come from, and why we’re here. That pole tells us we come from Talleomy. It tells us the story of each creek, river, mountain within our territory.”
On February 20 at Acwsalcta School in Bella Coola more than 200 members of the Nuxalk Nation gathered to welcome the pole home.