Nuqwlqwliyu Steps Forward
Thousands of years ago, the Nuxalkmc were charged with
being the stewards of their lands. The past century has taken a toll on
these lands and our environment. My Grannie Felicity remembers that
when she was young, the Bella Coola River was the only highway up to Stuie.
Back then, the forests on either side of the river were home to giant Cedar, Spruce and Fir trees.
These forests were habitat for animals, birds and the Nuxalkmc. Grannie said that it was very dark
in the forest because the trees were so thick. It would take a week or more for the Nuxalkmc to pole
their laden canoes up the river to Stuie to trade and pick berries. They would rest and visit families at the different villages along the way.
The Nuxalkmc were rich, with nature providing everything they needed to live
a comfortable life in their villages. These were located all along the Bella
Coola River, Green River, South Bentinck, Kwatna, King Island, Labouchere Channel,
Dean Channel, Kimsquit and elsewhere.
The planks hewed from giant Cedar trees with which
the Nuxalkmc built their homes can still be found at the ancient village sites.
Commercial logging in these areas must stop until we Hereditary Chiefs are given
enough Cedar to build longhouses and erect totem poles at our ancestral village
23 December 2011
The Ximkila Totem Pole is dedicated
to the memory of Scott Moody, son of Chief Nuqwlqwliyu. Before
the pole was raised on 10 September 2011, a traditional
Nuxalk cleansing ceremony was performed. Hereditary Chief Slicxwliqw'
(Charles Nelson, in blue vest) instructs the women, under Karen "Skyakw" Anderson
(cedar hat), to cleanse the totem pole with cedar branches and
bless it with Eagle down. The Moody Family is standing in front of the
totem pole to witness the ceremony. Silyas, carver of the pole,
is standing in full regalia behind the women.
Chief Nuqwlqwliyu lost
his son "Qwatsinas Wii Ha Ximkila" (Scott Lee John Joseph Moody)
in 2009 due to a tragic accident. In 2010 he lost his grandson, John
Earl Edward Moody, and his brother Qwatsinas (Edward Moody) to cancer.
When he was born, Scott was chosen by the Nuxalk Elders to be a leader
and he was given a name that reflected his future importance to the Nuxalkmc.
The entire community mourned his early loss and came together to remember
him on February 27th 2010 when the Nuxalk Hall was decorated in his honour.
Lance Nelson created a painting of Scott transforming into a Raven
which he presented to the Moody Family. Scott's father and his widow
(Walleah Moody) took part in a traditional Copper Ceremony.
Decorations for Bravery – 2
The Governor General of Canada presented Medals of Bravery to Scott Lee
Joseph Moody (deceased) and Gary Victor Brown at Rideau Hall, 4 February
2010. Mr. Moody's award was received by his son, Mr. Jay Lee Moody. The
medals honour those who risked their lives to try to save or protect the
lives of others in hazardous circumstances.
On 13 July 2007, river guides
Scott Moody and Gary Brown saved a family of six after a boating mishap
on the Bella Coola River, in British Columbia. The guides and the family
had been travelling in two drift boats when one of the crafts was pulled
under a log by the strong current and its five occupants were thrown
into the water. When they resurfaced, Mr. Brown
managed to get two of the victims to a nearby small island where the
rest of the group had gathered. Mr. Moody then crossed the swift current
to the river bank and set up a makeshift pulley system tied to their
remaining boat. For the next two hours, Messrs. Brown and Moody shuttled
the victims over the raging river, to bring them to safety.
Moody Family Chieftainship
NUXALK STRONG – NUXALK FOREVER