Invitation to Snuxyaltwa Totem Pole Raising and Potlatch

Nuxalkmc (Bella Coola People) had over 300 villages within our territory. Our Families still carry many traditional names from these villages. Totem pole were used as territory markers, land markers or grave makers. As well, each long house had a totem pole to let the Nuxalk'mc know where they came from. Some Hereditary Chiefs carry Smuyustas, which are the Story of Origin from the beginning of time. The Families of Snuxyaltwa (Snow), Andy, Schooner, Tallio and Hans come from Talyu.

The Snuxyaltwa Totem Pole at Talyu (South Bentinck) tells our Smuyusta or Story of Origin. The Loon is on top and the Whale is towards the bottom with the Grizzly, Thunderbird, Yulm and Sun. The main carvers are Nuxalk Harry Schooner, Joe Mack and Richard Pollard.

This will be the first totem pole to be raised in our territory at Talyu. My family is very excited and many Nuxalkmc chiefs are now talking about totem poles going back to their Homelands. Raising a totem pole makes us happy, because this is the way of our people and the way the Creator has given us to remind ourselves of who we are and where we come from and our purpose here on Mother Earth. Many visitors – from New Zealand, Germany and within Canada, from Alert Bay, Bella Bella, Anihem Lake, and Oweekno – will come to Talyu to witness the historic event. Our Family would like to thank those who have helped with our messages in the past. Good strong spirits keep us on the right road. Let's make the circle bigger and stronger.

Canoe Journey to Talyu (South Bentinck) from Bella Coola
On August 18 and 19, 2009

Everyone is welcome. We are honored to have you witness these historic days in Nuxalk Territory. Please note that travel to Talyu (South Bentinck) and accomodation will be a factor. Talyu is about 23 miles from Bella Coola, and is only accessible by water. Our family will be looking for more canoes and boats to help with transportation. We need to know who is coming. Some visitors may want to bring gear for overnight camping at the Talyu Hotsprings (above). We may be asking for cash donations to help with expenses of gas, or for camping gear, tents, axes, lights, tarps, etc. We plan to restore a gillnet boat and build a large shelter for our dancing and feasting. Our pole raising ceremonies will be at about 11 am on August 19 and hopefully finish by 3 pm.

Snuxyaltwa Totem Pole and Memorial Fund
Bert Snow, Mercy Snow, Judy Windsor
Special Savings Account # 12207-7
Williams Lake Credit Union Branch # 3
P.O. Box 214, Bella Coola, BC V0T 1C0
Phone 250-799-5328

Memorial Feast and Unveiling of Tombstones at Bella Coola
On August 20, 2009

Everyone should manage to get back to Bella Coola by the next day, on August 20, for the memorial feast and the unveiling of tombstones for six family members who have passed on to the spirit world: Brandi Ann Siwallace Leona & Raymond Wadhams, Sam Hunt, Noel Cuyler & Marlene Cuyler (Snow). In our tradition, people believe that if we hold onto our loved ones who have passed away, then we stop them from carrying on their journey back to their rightful place.

Traditional Nuxalk Wedding at Bella Coola
On August 21, 2009
We will celebrate the traditional Nuxalk wedding of Marcia Krawll & Rongo Wetere with feasting and dancing.

Contact: Chief Snuxyaltwa (Deric Snow)
ph: 250-799-5961 cell: 604-928-2995
email: yulm_12 [at]

Click for a pdf invitation: Snuxyaltwa Potlatch


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