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Big House

Gvákva’áus Haíłzaqv


The Gvákva’áus Haíłzaqv, also known as the House of the Hailhzaqv, stands as a testament to the unwavering spirit and resilience of our people. Despite enduring 66 years of the outlawing of our cherished cultural practices and the loss of our previous Big House 120 years ago, the vision of a new one never faded from our hearts. Through decades of dedicated community fundraising efforts, we sowed the seeds of this ambitious undertaking.

During the process of Reconciliation negotiations with the Federal Government, we extended an invitation to them to be part of this endeavor, thereby demonstrating their commitment to reconciliation. Their generous contribution provided the final piece of the puzzle, setting the wheels in motion for an 18-month-long construction journey.

Using only red and yellow cedar sourced from our own territory, including majestic logs with widths exceeding a meter and weighing eight tonnes, locally milling them, we ensured that the new Big House resonates deeply with our heritage. On October 13-17, 2019, we proudly welcomed over 2,000 esteemed guests from other First Nations, provincial and federal governments, and First Nations organizations to witness the grand opening. This joyous occasion marked the dawn of a new era of cultural renewal, healing, and reclamation.

Chief Councillor Slett eloquently remarked that the Big House symbolizes not just our strength but also our indomitable spirit, which has only grown stronger with time. Today, this magnificent structure serves as a cherished venue for various cultural and ceremonial activities, and it is also made available for rental or in-kind support to further our shared cultural heritage

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