Sunday, April 18, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Monday, April 12, 2010)

A suspicious death is investigated, The Ministry of Forestries closes their Rupert branch and the city will host a convention in 2011, some of the items of interest from Monday's news files.

Daily News, front page headline story
METLAKATLA BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER TO LAUNCH A PROUD NEW TRADITION-- The launch of North America's longest canoe is featured as the front page story in Monday's paper.

A collection of visiting authors are set to arrive in Prince Rupert on April 14th, as four nominees for the 2010 BC Book Prizes arrive for a number of sessions across the city.

Some details on the discovery on the Cow Bay waterfront of the body of a sixteen year old Prince Rupert girl, the discovery and circumstances of her death are now under investigation by the RCMP and BC Coroner's service.

Results from the weekend's Half-marathon are featured as well as a review of the PRSS girls soccer team in weekend competition.

(Daily News Archives for April 12)

Metlakatla brings people together to launch a proud new tradition
Four B.C. authors to visit Rupert
16 years old found dead Saturday 
Blockade by Unis Hot’en has a peaceful, although temporary, resolution 
The boat that Schmidt... and Smith... built 

The Northern View
16-year old girl's death treated as suspicious -- The Northern View was first with the details of the investigation into a suspicious death on the Prince Rupert Cow Bay waterfront (see article here)

The Northern View 
Job cuts come to forest, energy ministries -- The provincial government lays off 294 employees on Monday with the forestry and energy sectors hit particularly hard, including the closure of the Prince Rupert field office for Forestry (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Body of Prince Rupert Teen Found on Prince Rupert Waterfront -- CFTK's item regarding the suspicious death of a Prince Rupert teen on the Cow Bay waterfront (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Rupert Residents Reminded to Watch out for Wolves -- CFTK catches up to the crowd on the Alpine pug story (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
City Approves Development Permit -- The City Of Prince Rupert approves a new development above the current home of the Movie Gallery, with a residential unit to be constructed above the commercial space on First Avenue East. (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News 
Prince Rupert to host convention in 2011 -- The City makes its plans to host the 2011 North Central Local Government Association Annual Convention (see article here)

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
No new items were posted to the Daybreak site on April 12

Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here

Daily News, front page, headline story
Metlakatla brings people together to launch a proud new tradition
By Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Daily News
Monday, April 12, 2010

 North America’s longest canoe was launched in Prince Rupert Saturday.

Spanning 65 feet, the fiberglass vessel belongs to the community of Metlakatla and will be used for tourism opportunities.

The Canoe has been named, “Ha’ nda ‘wit ‘waada”. Smiling, Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell of Lax Kw’alaams translated the name he’s given the canoe.

 “It means where people can come together and get to know one another. People from all over the world will be on this boat and they will be able to talk to one another in the boat and to know one another. That’s what it’s about nowadays, to get to know one another. It’s a multicultural boat.”

Campbell described the inaugural paddle of the boat from Rushbrook Floats to the waterfront near the Lightering Dock that morning as “awesome”.

 “It’s so great to see all the people come together. That’s exactly what the name of the boat means.”

When it was his turn to address the crowd, Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton smiled as he looked around.

 “I’d like to thank you all on behalf of the community of Metlakatla for coming out to celebrate with us today,” he said.

 “As you can well imagine, it wasn’t that long ago that this sized canoe paddled the whole coast of British Columbia. Our history tells us these canoes travelled as far north as Anchorage and as far south as the Fraser River. The Tsimshian travelled all over the coast for economics and trade and other things. So we’re quite excited about building a canoe of this size.”

 When Leighton informed the crowd that he understands it is the largest canoe in North America today, big cheers and applause erupted.

“We look at the material of the canoe and the way it is built today, and we look at the wood they had carved in cedar before, we know we don’t have enough big cedars to build these sized canoes anymore. When that happens we have to adapt and change the way we build our canoes using new materials. That’s what we’ve done. To us, this is a traditional Tsimshian canoe and it always will be.”

In June 2009, the community of Metlakatla raised its first totem pole in over 100 years. On Saturday Leighton commented the canoe was building on that effort to restore their culture.

 “This canoe is our second project. What we are trying to do is revive our culture so that our young people become involved. It’s very good when you see some of the young people paddling the canoe alongside some of our older guys,” he said as people chuckled.

Tsimshian artist Mike Epp, who carved the totem pole raised in June, was also the artist that painted the designs on the canoe.

“This project was brought to me before Christmas. I started it at home. On the bow of the canoe is a warrior that represents the protector of our families and the provider to our families,” Epp explained.

Below the warrior there is a raven and below that a sockeye jumping.

 “The sockeye represents all our food, not just the sockeye, but all our food. It represents respect for all the things we take from our Mother Earth.”

 The four main crests – eagle, wolf, raven and killer whale – are depicted and on the stern there’s a little man holding his hand up.

 “That represents coming in peace to the shore,” Epp said of the little man.

 James van Nostrand of the Fraser Valley led the project and was there to unveil the canoe as well.

 “Today I feel like I am a very fortunate canoe designer and builder to be able to be involved in a project like this. It’s been mentioned earlier today that this is the longest canoe in North America and it’s also been close to one hundred and forty years since a canoe of this scale was built,” Van Nostrand said, adding that it was a strange feeling to be the guy that’s constructed it after so much time.

Van Nostrand said he was deeply honoured to be approached by the Tsimshian people to undertake the project.

 “I want to point a finger at Prince Rupert canoeist Peter Loy. He’s the guy that reeled me into this gig. Peter’s had a dream of a canoe of this size for some time. He pulled me in and thought I could do it. It was really Peter’s perseverance and the will of the people at the Metlakatla Development Corporation that I would say convinced me to take it on. At the time I was apprehensive but today my apprehension is gone,” Van Nostrand declared.

Loy said the completion of the project was pretty fascinating. He’s been part of Prince Rupert’s canoe culture for a long time, teaching adults and school children.

Last Saturday Loy trained the paddlers at the Islander Hall in preparation for the big day. He set up chair in the shape of a canoe and went over the various movements required.

 “It’s been a long time coming and what’s been really great is how the Metlakatla Development Corps embraced the project, believed in it, and made it happen. I feel privileged to be involved,” Loy said.

For the canoe’s journey Saturday, Peter invited other vessels to paddle alongside, including his own canoe, the RCMP’s canoe and the local dragon boat. “I purposely placed the boats so people could get a perspective of how big the new canoe is,” he explained.

Alrita Leask of the Metlakatla Development Corporation said the canoe was funded by the Coast Opportunities Fund, Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Metlakatla Development Corporation.

 “I would like to thank Ryan Leighton, Peter Loy and Erminio Pucci for all the dedication they brought to this project, Leask said.

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