GIT HAYSTSK DANCERS
Friday, March 2, 2018
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
This international renowned First Nations dance group is coming to Whistler to do a training with the SLCC’s performance team in the morning and now have decided to stay for the afternoon and put on a Cultural Performance!
Everyone is welcome!
“Git Hayetsk means the people of the copper shield in Sm’algyax which is spoken by the Nisga’a, Tsimshian, and Gitxsan Nations. Our dancers are bonded by their common ancestry to the Sm’algyak speaking peoples with distinctions in their family ties to the Haida, Tlingit, Haisla, and Musqueam Nations. Our home and ancestral villages are located in Southeast Alaska, Vancouver BC and along the coastline of the Terrace-Prince Rupert area including the Nass and Skeena Rivers.
The inspiration for our name is the copper shield. It is the most prestigious form of ceremonial wealth among the Northern Nations of the Northwest Coast. Owned by only the most high status people in our culture, it is made out of hand-pounded copper ranging in size from several inches to 4 feet tall. Its standard composition represents an ancestral being with its ribs and backbone made prominent by the raised T-shape in the center. Of its many meanings, copper shields also symbolize wealth, prestige, power, strength, and peace. As our ancestors have since time immemorial, we bring out copper shield at our ceremonies today to assert our hereditary rights and privileges.
Since 2003, we have shared our songs and dances at ceremonial and public events in urban and rural communities through Canada, the US, and abroad including British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Ohio, Hawaii, Washington DC, Austria, Malaysia, Germany, and Japan.”