The community of Bella Bella is home to the Heiltsuk Nation. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Heiltsuk Nation among recipients of federal heritage funding

Sacred Journey Travelling Exhibit out of Bella Bella highlights importance of ocean-going canoe

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council was among 11 organizations who received funding on Wednesday for their efforts to preserve Indigenous heritage in Canada.

The funding comes through the federal government’s Museums Assistance Program, and will total $738,108 across the different groups. The Heiltsuk will receive $40,000 of the investment.

The funding comes in the Aboriginal Heritage category, which supports the preservation, presentation and management of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and cultures. Specifically, it will support the Sacred Journey Travelling Exhibit, which will seek to highlight the resurgence and importance of the ocean-going canoe.

READ MORE: Feds and Heiltsuk First Nation sign $37M reconciliation agreement

This is the second part of the Sacred Journey project, and consists of 13 short videos entitled Glwa – The Ocean-going Canoe. It was developed by the Heiltsuk Tribal Council and Ingenium, a Crown corporation overseeing museums that relate to science and technology.

The series will showcase the impact of the canoe on maritime Indigenous cultures, and look at its history and recent resurgence through annual tribal canoe journeys. The first part of the project was released last year, titled Glwa – The Documentary.

“Reconciliation can only work on the basis of understanding, and that is what Sacred Journeys does,” Marilyn Slett, chief councillor of the Heiltsuk Nation, said upon the project’s release last year. “We hope to contribute to Canadian society through ancient wisdom and the life-changing experiences that our youth are gaining through our traditional canoe culture.”

“Through museums, exhibits and cultural experiences across British Columbia, we will help communities tell stories, both old and new, that help honour and share Indigenous culture and tradition,” Pablo Rodriguez, minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, said regarding the funding.

READ MORE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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