Updated: Nov 25, 2019
That this native village , better known today as New Vancouver, exists is a testament to the vision and determination of one man.
A combination of government policy and economics resulted in many people leaving their villages for larger, one might say more Caucasian, places. The grandfather of our guide, Amy, was determined that his family would not be split apart.
Thanks to his determination and a lot of hard work, ten family members live at Tsatsisnukwomi year round.
In the summer, the population can skyrocket to around fifteen when other family members return for visits. Potlatches, which happen irregularly every few years can bring truly large crowds to the long house for days of festivities.
We stopped to learn more about this history and customs of the people and their home. Here’s some of what we saw. No photos in the long house, unfortunately.
The village as we approached
Mary Anne by the village Welcome sign
A recently completed totem pole in honor of the grandfather/Chief who died in 2016
The long house
A detail of the Chief’s pole: orca and bear
Amy and Mary Anne with another totem pole
A recently-completed “motel” just waiting for guests
The old water pump house, no longer used
The former schoolhouse, now used for administration since there are not enough school-aged children in the village