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 sites.

Chief Nuqwlqwliyu
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 February 2010

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

Chief Qwatsinas held and shared the Walkus Family Hereditary Chieftainship with his cousin Horace Walkus and his half brother Anfinn Siwallace.
Left: Cecil Moody (left) standing with his brother at the Snuxyaltwa Totem Pole Raising in August 2009 where Qwatsinas wore his headmask for the last time.

Below: Ceremony during which Chief Qwatsinas returns his headmask to the Walkus Family so that his brother, Cecil Moody, can carry the Hereditary Chieftainship for the Moody Family. The ceremony took place during the Snuxyaltwa Potlatch in 2009.


Nuxalk Smayusta Homepage