Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gitxaala celebrates it's new service centre in Prince Rupert, Northern Health outlines the progress of its Cancer strategy and local community groups will have to wait until mid January for details on their grant applications, items of note for Tuesday.

While it seems that the Daily is getting a head start on those year end remembrance issues (Tuesday's featured a review of a number of stories from January and February of 2009), there were a couple of current items to keep track of.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
GITXAALA FIRST NATION CELEBRATES NEW OFFICES IN PRINCE RUPERT-- Gitxaala, known as Kitkatla for many, has increased its presence in Prince Rupert to better provide educational and health services to residents of that First Nation community. To that end, the official opening and blessing of the local offices took place on Saturday.

Northern Health updated their plans for the Northern Cancer Control Strategy last week, with members of Health region board gathering in Prince George to learn more on that initiative and other items of concern, including an H1N1 update and a discussion on budget projections.

The Sports section featured a review of the weekend PRSS Alumni Basketball tournament.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for December 22, 2009)

The Northern View
Groups awaiting grants -- Six local groups ranging from the Prince Rupert Golf Club to the Museum of Northern BC will be waiting through the holiday period as the City council weighs recently received information about the applications, prior to making a decision on funding in January. (see article here)

The Northern View
Work on new ferry dock starts -- An update on the construction progress for the new Lax Kw'alaams Ferry Dock currently taking place on the east side of Prince Rupert at the Aero Point Cove site. (see article here)

The Northern View
Donations needed for wildlife shelter - A local bookseller is doing his part to help raise money and provide supplies for the Prince Rupert Wildlife Shelter, Gordon Blumhagen is offering a 10 percent discount to customers who offer up a donation to the shelter (see article here)

The Northern View
Sherbrooke apartments work almost done -- The long running renovations to the Sherbrooke Apartments is almost complete, offering a rejuvenated building to the city's housing scene, with the low rise now complete, Macro Properties will turn its attention the challenges of the Dibgy Tower complex (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
No items of interest to the North coast were provided on the TV 7 website on Tuesday.

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
Daybreak is on Christmas break, a notice on their website advises that no new items are to be posted to their Daybreak site until January 4, 2010

Daily News, front page, headline story
Gitxaala First Nation celebrates new offices in Prince Rupert
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

At a community celebration held Saturday the Gitxaala Nation celebrated the official opening of its administrative offices in the Chatham Village longhouse in Prince Rupert.

Gitxaala, or Kitkatla, is located 45 km south west of Prince Rupert, and over the last two years the community has focused on establishing permanent offices in Prince Rupert for education and health services.

Hereditary and elected chiefs and councillors, elders, special guests and other members of the Gitxaala Nation filled the ceremonial space in the complex’s lower level to the brim. Decorated for Christmas, the room overlooked the harbour. The sun was shining and fresh snow glistened outside as people gathered on the deck for a formal blessing.

Before he called on reverends Samuel Lewis and Ben Hill to conduct the blessing, Hereditary Chief Matthew Hill thanked everyone for coming to help celebrate. “This is a great acquirement for the people of Gitxaala. This is a beautiful facility to be used by our nation.”

Sprinkling holy water with a cedar bow, Ben Hill recited a prayer. “We seek to make this dwelling for all people. May we share the hospitality of this building with all who came to visit us.”

Lewis asked that, “the building be a place of prayer and peace.”

Over the summer months Gitxaala completed an agreement to purchase half of the building from the Museum of Northern B.C. Chief Councillor Elmer Moody told the crowd he was hopeful and thankful.

“As we continue with this process and what we have in front of us we can look to build our future. We have an understanding that the Gitxaala Nation was built on the concept of acting as one and that is a very strong position to have. We will move forward as we seek to create opportunities as one people.”

Band Councillor Clarence Innes reiterated Moody’s comments, adding there are many challenges ahead that can be overcome.

“Gitxaala is open for partnerships and joint ventures, like we are in with this building and the museum. We want to participate in economic development and no longer be on the outside looking in or being on the beach watching our resources being used,” Innes said.

Museum co-manager and curator Susan Marsden said the agreement has made the future of the museum secure and that there couldn’t be a better fit than a nation that keeps its traditions and a museum.

“I cannot express strongly enough my gratitude to Gitxaala for making this a respectful process,” Marsden said of the negotiation process to purchase part of the building.

“You acted with a generous spirit. It was an honour to work with Elmer Moody, the hereditary chiefs and council. Congratulations to you all and I hope you enjoy your ownership in it.”
Mayor Jack Mussallem said Gitxaala’s purchase of its half of the complex spoke volumes about how people can work together.

“Your purchase of this building means a lot to you and to the City of Prince Rupert. Gitxaala and its elected officials are a valued participant in our community-to-community forums where we speak with one voice and we are all proud to participate. It’s been a long time coming.”

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