Nisga’a New Year Hobiyee 2012

Comments 5 by Rebecca Bollwitt

This Friday I am very excited to attend my first Hobiyee, which is the Nisga’a new year celebration presented by the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Society and Social City Networking. Organizers have informed me that this will be the first Hobiyee ever celebrated publicly on a scale this grand.

The event will take place at the 5,000-person capacity PNE Agridome on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10:00am to 10:00pm each day. Tickets are available at the door or online for $15 per day. Elders, seniors, and youth are $5 per day. Children 12 and under are free.

History of the Hobiyee
HobiyeeThe Simgigat-Nisga’a Chieftains – in past centuries studied the celestial heavens. They were knowledgeable in the behaviours of the stars in proximity to the moon which forecasted the weather patterns. They studied the astrology not from text books but by years of observing the heavens.

The Halayt-Simgigat (Spiritual Leader- Chief) studied the “Buxw-laks” moon, The Moon of February. Over time, they observed that whenever the first crescent moon is in the shape of a “Hoobix”- the bowl of a Nisga’a wooden spoon, thin shaped and the ends pointing upward- that in the following seasons the resources of our lands would be plentiful, the oolichan, salmon, berries and various other resources, bountiful.

Hobiyee is about the point in time when our “Gal-ha’ink” Cedar Bent Boxes of the Nisga’a are near empty of their winter provisions and they have begun to ration the last of their provisions. The Nisga’a are hoping and praying for a bountiful season of oolichans (saviour fish) and a fruitful year. So the Nisga’a say, “Hobiyee” meaning “the spoon is full”. – Source

A full schedule of events is yet to be released but there will be performances, dances, artwork, and much more. This is an extremely rare opportunity to experience our province’s deep cultural history and we are very fortunate that the Nisga’a have opened their doors to the public for this momentous occasion. Follow @HobiyeeEvent and @NisgaaTsamiks on Twitter for news and updates.

The Nisga’a Ts’amiks Society was incorporated on November 27, 2000 and its office is situated in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Nisga’a Ts’amiks represents approximately 1,400 Nisga’a citizens whose ordinary residence is within the greater Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo regions of BC and provide services to Nisga’a living on Vancouver Island and southern British Columbia from the Pacific coast to the BC/Alberta border.

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5 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Keane TaitWednesday, February 1st, 2012 — 10:41pm PST

    I am a Nisga’a Citizen who has resided in Vancouver since Winter 2004. Our cultural dance group here in Vancouver has hosted Hoobiyee Celebrations every Hoobiyee season in Vancouver since I have lived here. The Nisga’a Community that resides here in Vancouver have celebrated Hoobiyee many years prior to that as well.

    Every time that the Nisga’a Community in Vancouver celebrates Hoobiyee, they open up the celebrations to the entire community. This is NOT the first year it is open to the public.

  2. Alex WattsThursday, February 2nd, 2012 — 12:04am PST

    There has been an error about Hobiyee beeing the 1st to open to the public….it is not of the vancouver Ts’amiks 2012 Planning Committee that said those words. I just want to varify those words were not said by our committee, as we all know all to well that this is always been open to the public. Sharing a very small piece of our Culture to the non 1st Nations is a blessing within it self.
    I look forward to Vancouver Ts’amiks 2012 Hobiyee.

  3. Rebecca BollwittThursday, February 2nd, 2012 — 7:39am PST

    Thank you for the responses! I received information that has been clarified: “This is the first Hobiyee ever celebrated publicly on a scale this grand” is the new statement that I have been given.

    Either way, it sounds like a great celebration and I hope that everyone will enjoy!

  4. Michelle OlemanSaturday, February 4th, 2012 — 2:08pm PST

    I am a freelance writer who happens to be Nisga’a woman living in Vancouver for almost all my life. I have heard of the Hobiyee while it was celebrated at the Friendship Center on Hastings, this is the first Hobiyee to be celebrated at the Agrodome, another great venue with even greater capacity for participants and audience alike. It was the first celebration that I’ve witnessed outside of the Recreation Hall in New Aiyansh… they are doing a fabulous job! I will submit an article complete with pictures to my publication this week… thank you for allowing me to express myself informally!

  5. Lorelei ThomasSunday, February 5th, 2012 — 9:19am PST

    Hi Saturday was the first Hobiyee celebration I ever experienced. We were able to share the expeience with grandson. He is learning drumming and singing with afterschool program. This showed him where the people use their skills to share with everyone who want to share. Thank you for sharing with everyone.

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