Mr. Speaker, on Friday I had the pleasure of attending the Nisga'a celebration of Hoobiyee, held this year in the village of Gitlaxt'aamiks. Two days of drumming, singing and dancing mark the Nisga'a New Year and the return of oolichan to the Nass Valley.
It is hard to describe the honour of walking into the hall alongside the Simgigat and Sigidimhanak, as drummers pound out the heartbeat of the Nisga'a Nation and hundreds of voices join together in songs that echo across the generations.
This year marked 50 years since the Gitlaxt'aamiks Ceremonial Dancers first came together to revive cultural traditions suppressed by colonialism. It was also a chance to cheer the triumph of the Gidmidiik basketball team, who returned from the All Native with their first master's title in 21 years.
I look forward to joining the Nisga'a again this May in Lax'galts'ap for the 20th anniversary of B.C.'s first modern treaty. I thank the Nisga'a people for their warm welcome and ongoing friendship. Hoobiyee.