British Columbia Hundreds came out May 8 to Northwest Community
Colleges Terrace campus to witness the historic and long anticipated
opening of Waap Galtsap, the longhouse that is the first of
its kind to be built on a Canadian college campus.
commemorate the event, NWCC invited the public, chiefs, matriarchs,
elders and special guests and dignitaries to an afternoon of celebration
that kicked off with the ceremonial raising of two nine-foot totem
poles carved by graduates of NWCCs Freda Diesing School of
Northwest Coast Art.
an explanation of the poles, the doors to Waap Galtsap
Tsimshian for community house were opened with
Irene Seguin (Hagwillookam Saxwhl Giis Tyooksiy niin),
chair of the NWCC Board of Governors, along with dignitaries and
representatives from the Kitsumkalum and Kitselas Bands. The building
was then blessed by Kitsumkalum Matriarch Mildred Roberts.
Forsyth, NWCC president, told the packed audience inside Waap Galtsap
and many more outside watching the events on TV monitors
the projects story.
Northwest Community College is taking another step to show the college
is for all the people of the Northwest. Waap Galtsap is a
showcase for northwest First Nations architecture and art and it
serves as a glimpse of this very rich culture.
designing and building of Waap Galtsap engaged many First
Nations people our First Nations Council, board members,
chiefs, matriarchs and elders of Kitsumkalum and Kitselas. We have
been working towards this goal for many years.
then introduced the key people behind the project, including the
architect, the project manager and the First Nations artists.
closed to the public until May 8, the 50-foot by 80-foot building
houses a sprawling gathering space on the main floor with painted
art panels and carved crest poles on four massive main support poles.
Instructors and graduates of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest
Coast Art produced all of the art specifically made for Waap Galtsap.
NWCC trades instructors and students from the log building, carpentry
and electrical programs were involved throughout the construction.
by representatives of the Tsimshian hereditary chiefs and elders
of the Kitsumkalum and Kitselas bands and NWCCs First Nations
Council, Waap Galtsap is to become a gathering place for student
and college functions and celebrations and events, as well as a
place for public special events.
opening ceremonies continued with a cultural feast at the Terrace
Sportsplex, which featured a series of First Nations dances and
speeches from dignitaries and guests. Among the dignitaries in attendance
were mayors from across the region, Grand Chief Ed John of the First
Nations Summit, Dr. George Iwama of the University of Northern British
Columbia, and many guests from across Canada and as far away as
more information and a Waap Galtsap photo gallery visit waapgaltsap.nwcc.bc.ca.
learn more about events and programs happening at NWCC visit nwcc.bc.ca.