Remembering Chief Qwatsinas

We shall miss his teachings, his profound wisdom, and his unwavering example of resilience. He could not be bought; he proudly lived in humble surroundings with few material comforts and no financial security. Instead he called upon the great wealth of our lands to provide: fish, game and berries for food and trees for fuel for heat and timber, which he gathered and milled with his own hands, for shelter. He has set a high standard of integrity; humble yet powerful, quiet yet profound.

Chief Qwatsinas continuously instructed in both life, and now in death, that our Nuxalk history, heritage, Smayustas (stories), our songs and dances and particularly our language is the radical, the root of our sovereignty. In these, we find our deep and lasting connection with our territories and our inherited responsibility to honour and protect all life within our lands. He has continued the legacy of our wise and honourable ancestors by bravely and selflessly resisting genocide and fighting to the death for the integrity of our traditional laws and the security of our Nuxalk territories. He was a true leader and will continue to inspire Nuxalkmc for generations to come.

Remembering Chief Qwatsinas

The Moody Potlatch    Chief Qwatsinas Memorial     

We miss Qwatsinas dearly and will carry out his wishes and his dreams for all Nuxalkmcs to strengthen our Way of Life.

Qwatsinas is in his final resting place here on Mother Earth. He chose to be buried on his family's Home Land, at Burnt Bridge, with good Nuxalkmc spirits.


Chief Snuxyaltwa
3 September 2010

Tributes to Chief Qwatsinas

My deepest sympathies for the passing of Qwatsinas. . . My thoughts and prayers are with the Nuxalk people in this time of profound sadness. May the soul of Qwatsinas be carried swiftly back to the Creator and may it continue to provide strength and inspiration to all those who remain behind in the mortal world, carrying on with humility his great legacy of justice, peace, and the protection of the land and sea that give life to us all.
With love and respect,
1 September, 2010

Right: "Chief Qwatsinas is a man among men, a human who walked this Earth with a purpose inherited through his hereditary title as Chief: to steward the land, waters and life of his traditional territory and to exemplify the true role we all have as humans in relation to this planet. . .

The culture of his people and stewardship he represented must not be forgotten but built upon and enjanced as he kept something alive that has been ignored and almost forgotten amongst the economic game plans of corporate profit. It has been such an nonor to know him and to share experiences and stories with him. We thank you Ed for all you did for the forests and life and people of the coast."

For All Our Relations, Steve Lawson and Susanne Hare, First Nations Environmental Network

Right: "I was saddened to learn of the loss of this great chief, not only for family and the Nuxalk People, but for the world as we know it." Harriet Kuhnlein, Professor of Human Nutrition and Founding Director, Centre for Indigenous Peoples Nutrition and Environment, McGill University.

Left: "Qwatsinas was an honourable man. One of the last great fighters for our nature." Fredy Bruelmann, Weesen, Switzerland.

Right: "Edward was a gift sent to us and we are very lucky for all that he taught us and for all that he provided to us. He has touched all of our lives for the past work he has done in keeping us out of the Treaty Processs for we are a Nation. . . the Nuxalk Nation and he helped many of us to be proud of who we are and who we will remain" Marureen Talllio.

Left: "I went to Qwatsinas when I needed guidance, direction, clarity, a glimpse of his wisdom and a random chat about this and that . . . combined with a deeper lesson" Spencer Siwallace.

Right: "I would like to express my deepest condolences also on behalf of our human rights organisations in Austria (Working Circle Indians of North America) and Switzerland (INcomindios)" Peter Schwarzbauer.

Left: "With the courage of a true warrior, he stood up against the colossal might of destructive deforestation companies and was willing to suffer the consequences, including jail . . . We salute the memory of a great man" Nicolaas Rupke and Karen Wonders, Goettingen University, Germany.

Right: "Qwatsinas taught me that we are part of the forest and what we do to the forest we ultimately do to ourselves and each other . . . he has been part of a ground swell for change in how Indigenous people's rights are recognized and respected" Herb Hammond, Siva Ecosystem Consultants.

Left: "Few people that have crossed my path have taught me as much as Qwatsinas did – it will be very different coming back to Bella Coola now there are only the memories of the many moments of laughter as well as long and thoughtful discussion with him. I will miss both" Jutta Kill, EU Forest Watch.

"In Gedenken an Chief Qwatsinas"

Solveig Lubeley, Qwatsinas, Lydia Kroll, Germany, 1998

Hereditary Chief Qwatsinas (Edward Moody) ist international für seinen Einsatz für den Great Bear Rainforest und indianische Landrechte bekannt. Zwischen 1996 und 2002 reiste er mehrfach auch durch Deutschland mit der Initiative 2000plus, Urgewald und der Totempfahl Tour von Greenpeace. Er war ein Visionär, der den Einsatz der Nuxalk für Landrechte und Erhalt der Natur in ihrem Stammesgebiet international bekannt machte. Dabei dachte er stets über die Anliegen die Nuxalk hinaus und vernetzte sich mit indigenen Gruppen weltweit. Im Sommer 2010 verließ ihn unerwartet seine Kraft; am 31. August 2010 starb er nach kurzer schwerer Krebserkrankung in Bella Coola.

"Qwatsinas takes an important part in our exhibition about paper, forests and environment, touring through Germany since 2004. . . he can be seen in his traditional garment and speaking to the public about forest destruction for paper that is going to Europe"AKU (Council for Northern Primaeval Forests)
Right: Chief Qwatsinas talking with Bärbel Höhn, German environment minister, Wupertal, INITIATIVE 2000plus, 2002

Chief Qwatsinas, Chief of the Nuxalk, was a great visionary who strove tirelessly for justice and the protection of nature. He fought with great commitment for the preservation of the forests and the rights of his people. Qwatsinas was a driving force behind the international campaign for the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest. His courage and deep love for his people as well as the beings who can't speak for themselves have changed the world.

Er war ein Häuptling, ein Anführer und Antreiber, ein Visionär und ein großer Kämpfer gegen die Willkür der Holzindustrie und Regierungvertreter . . . Er starb nach wenigen Tagen einer erst kurz zuvor entdeckten Erkrankung – wohl bezeichnend für sein intensives Leben.

Links: Qwatsinas mit Greenpeace Campaigner Thomas Henningsen vor der kanadischen Botschaft in Bonn, 1998


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