This page includes resources for educators about the Ni’isjoohl Memorial Pole Re-p/matriation process and its significance.
For background on the Ni’isjoohl Memorial Pole Re-p/matriation, see the featured article: Scotland Returns the Ni’isjoohl Memorial Pole to the Nisga’a Nation in the Smithsonian Magazine.
For a chapter-length discussion of the re-p/matriation process, read: Afterword: Building Solidarity: Moving Towards the Repatriation of the Ni’isjoohl Totem Pole by Dr. Amy Parent.
To watch the international panel discussion on the Ni’isjoohl Memorial Pole, click HERE.
Citation: Parent, A., Robinson, B., Stephens, E., Robinson, A., Leeson, D., Schober, T., Filion, B., Giblin, J., & St Clair Inglis, C. (2023, April 27). Ni’isjoohl Memorial Pole Rematriation Panel Discussion 02 22 2023[Video]. Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/821845250?share=copy
Halyt Mr. Bruce Robinson Owii`lo`ly`eyum`gaudlth`ni`Ki`insque, which means Grizzly Bear with a Big Heart, comes from the Nisga’a people from the House of Nii’is’lis’eyan, Laxgiibuu (wolf) tribe, from the village of Gingolx on the Nass River. Mr. Robinson is currently an Elder and advocate with the Urban Native Youth Association and the Ki’lala Lelum Clinic. He also provides traditional services for Metis Family Services and the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Ms. Barbara Filion is the Programme Officer for Culture, with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. She has previously worked as a consultant and served as the Reconciliation Program Director at the Canadian Museums Association. Prior to that, she was the Director of Education at Working Assumptions, based in the U.S., which uses art to examine social issues. Filion has extensive and diverse knowledge and experience in the museum sector and about Indigenous issues, both in Canada and abroad. Ms. Filion grew up in the region of La Mauricie in Quebec and is a member of the Ilnu Nation of Mashteuiatsh.
NATIONAL MUSEUMS SCOTLAND REPRESENTATIVES
Dr. John Giblin is Keeper for the Department of Global Arts, Cultures and Design at the National Museums Scotland. He is responsible for the department, its staff, collections, and projects. His research interests lie in Archaeology, Anthropology, Art, Critical Heritage Studies, Empire and Participatory Practice. Working with diaspora communities and museums from across the UK, Dr. Giblin leads participatory collections-based research into empire, migration, and life in Britain. In partnership with descendant communities around the world and diaspora communities in the UK, Dr. Giblin also leads projects that reveal and connect collections in Scottish museums with stakeholders in the UK and internationally.
Ms. Chanté St. Clair Inglis is the head of Collection Services at National Museums Scotland. A recognised leader in the field of cultural heritage, Ms. St. Clair Inglis trained originally in law and brings with her a legal rigour to assessing and mitigating risks associated with museum collections to enable them to be used and shared as broadly as possible. At National Museums Scotland, she leads the teams of conservation, collections care, collections management, analytical science, collections digitisation and the research library and is responsible for setting the policies and procedures that underpin best practice work to manage, care for and share museum collections.
HOUSE OF NI’ISJOOHL DELEGATION REPRESENTATIVES
Sim’oogit Ni’isjoohl (Mr. Earl Stephens) was raised in the village of Laxgalts’ap during his childhood years and later moved to the lower mainland to attend secondary school. As an adult, he lived in Prince Rupert for eighteen years and eventually returned to the village of Laxgalts’ap where he has lived for over thirty years working with School District 42. He received the name Sim’oogit Ni’isjoohl from his late uncle, Chief Horace Stephens (the former Sim’oogit Ni’isjoohl) over fifteen years ago. On his matrilineal side of the family, he had nineteen uncles and three aunts who were all siblings. Sim’oogit Ni’isjoohl is the proud father of three children and grandfather of five grandchildren.
Dr. Amy Parent’s Nisga’a name is Sigidimnak’ Noxs Ts’aawit (Mother of the Raven Warrior Chief). On her mother’s side of the family, she is from the House of Ni’isjoohl and is a member of the Ganada (frog) clan in the village of Laxgalts’ap in the Nisga’a Nation. On her father’s side of the family, she is of Settler ancestry (French and German). Dr. Parent is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Education & Governance (Tier 2) in the Faculty of Education at SFU. She has also recently been appointed as Co-Chair of the Indigenous Research Leadership Circle with the federal Tri-Council Agencies and the Associate Director for the SFU Cassidy Centre for Educational Justice.
Hlgu Aama Gat, Mr. Donald Leeson, is the Chief Councillor for Laxgalt’sap Village Government and is from the House of Wilp Aama Gat. He is proud to be clean and sober for over 21 years. Working for the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority’s Mental Health Department and Crisis Response Team for the last 17 years, he brings his wisdom, knowledge and inner strength to the various leadership roles he takes on serving his community. Mr. Leeson received a Master of Educational Administration and Leadership from UBC in 2022 at the age of 67. He is passionate to deepen Nisga’a law, ethics, and virtues to restore and revive Nisga’a language, identity, harmony and balance.
Mr. Andrew D. Robinson, Apdii Laxha is the Industry Relations Officer for the Nisga’a Lisims Government (MA UNBC). He has a lengthy history of public service, beginning with his work as the Manager for the Ayuukhl Nisga’a Department in the Nisga’a Lisims Government. Since this time, he was the Chief Administrative Officer for the Laxgaltsa’p Village Government for 12 years where he was a key player supporting respected hereditary leaders and the community’s elected officials to implement a community charter, engaging in robust annual plans, and inclusive governance models. As a member of the House of Niis Yuus, Mr. Robinson brings forth unique cultural teachings that were taught to him as a young man growing up with his great grandparents, extended family and community members.
Ms. Theresa Schober serves as Director and Curator of the Hli Goothl Will-Adokshl Nisga’a | Nisga’a Museum in Laxgalts’ap, British Columbia. Her responsibilities include oversight of museum operations and rotating exhibitions while supporting strategic efforts to increase access to Nisga’a cultural belongings at the museum and beyond. Ms. Schober has previously held leadership positions in the archaeological and museum communities in Florida.
This event was made possible with support from: the Nisga’a Lisims Government, UNESCO Canada, Cassidy Centre for Educational Justice, SFU VP External Relations, and SFU Research Centre for Scottish Studies.
To watch the film “Critical Understandings of Land & Water: Unsettling Place at Simon Fraser University”, by Dr. Amy Parent, please visit: https://amyparent.ca/films/