Haisla Homecoming this weekend; schedule has been altered

The Haisla Homecoming which was set to begin on Friday has been pushed forward to Saturday.

The Haisla Homecoming which was set to begin on Friday has been pushed forward to Saturday.

The change in schedule comes as the community mourns the loss of one of their elders.

As is tradition in the community, events come to a stop during the time immediately following a death.

However the events are set to go on, and the opening ceremonies, which includes a welcoming prayer, opening statements from Chief Jassee and other Haisla Chiefs, plus dance group performances, is scheduled to happen at 1 p.m.  Saturday at the Haisla Rec Centre.

A barbecue dinner will take place at 6 p.m.

People may buy tickets for helicopter rides from the Soccer Field from 1 to 5 p.m.

“In Memory Of” balloons will be released at 8 p.m. as well.

Vendors will be set up at the Rec Centre parking lot.

Meanwhile all day the Haisla Health Department will be providing free blood sugar screening, bottles of water and fruit.

The events continue on Sunday, with a free 7 a.m. breakfast at the Nee N’Wagilas Elders Centre, followed by canoe races at 8 a.m. at the bay area.

At the Rec Centre, there is a fried bread contest scheduled from 7 to 10 a.m., and there will be live music until about 5 p.m., when there will be a raffle draw and closing remarks.

A dedicated committee is behind all the hard at work which put the events of the weekend into motion.

“It was brought up about how they had a Homecoming weekend and it was a big celebration and it was a place for families to get together and set all their animosities aside and just come and have fun and to show the kids that adults have fun too,” said committee member Kimberly McKenzie on how everything got started this time around.

“It’s been a lot of hard work but we’re working well as a team,” she said last week.

Among those making the trip to Kitamaat Village is Trevor Martin, who will be bringing his three-year-old daughter with him.

“Being raised by my step-mother and father in Alberta, I didn’t have access to our culture or our heritage,” Martin said.

Now for his daughter Eleanora’s visit during the Homecoming, he wants her to connect to Haisla friends too, and hopes “it is the first of many trips back home over the coming years.”