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Canada 150: Frank Calder founded Nisga’a Tribal Council, affirmed aboriginal title rights – Vancouver Sun

by ahnationtalk on March 2, 2017209 Views

March 2, 2017

To mark Canada’s 150th birthday, we are counting down to Canada Day with profiles of 150 noteworthy British Columbians.

In 1913, the son of Arthur Calder (Na-qua-oon, hereditary chief of the Nisga’a Wolf Clan) and his young wife Louisa, was drowned in a canoe accident on the Nass River. Not long after, a wise woman at Kincolith, a village 10 kilometres downstream from Arthur’s house, dreamed that Louisa’s youngest sister, Emily Clark, would soon conceive, that the baby would be a boy, and that he would be the spirit of the chief’s drowned son.

On Aug. 3, 1915, Frank Calder was born to Emily and immediately adopted by Arthur and Louisa according to Nisga’a law. Four years later, in 1919, at a tribal gathering of chiefs discussing the unresolved question of their legal ownership of lands settlers sought to take, Na-qua-oon picked up his son, held him high and said: “This boy is going to learn the language and laws of the K’umsiwa (the white settlers). When he comes back, he’s going to move that mountain.”

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