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living the coastal life

West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC

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nuuchahnulth

Potlatch Hangover

Potlatches are an honour to attend.

As part of a policy of assimilation, the Canadian federal government banned the potlatch from 1884 to 1951 in an amendment to the Indian Act.

Yet the tradition survived, carried out in secret and now alive and flourishing again.

There are many reason’s a family may host a potlatch – As a celebration, traditional naming, in thanks, as a celebration of life, and so many more.

Last night I attended a Celebration of Life in Ahousaht. Dinner was served, the dance floor was cleansed and welcoming dances were done. Then tears were put away and the 4 year mourning period concluded and the celebrations for this wonderful lady – wife, mother, aunt, sister and cousin – began in earnest. We laughed, cheered and ate chumas (desserts). And of course, we danced. Visiting Nations brought their dances and songs to perform. Seeing new dances is always one of my favourite parts of a Potlatch. Sometimes I put down my camera and just watch, absolutely entranced.

Dinner started at 5pm. The dancing began by 7pm. Lennie and I finally headed home at midnight, but the party continued to after 5am! I always find that the longer you stay, the more fun and silly the dances are. The most treasured moments happen in the wee hours of the morning, but I can never stay awake, no matter how much coffee and sugar I put into my system!

Making it even worse, I have work today – So I had to minimize my “Potlatch Hangover” by getting some sleep last night!


 

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Neddy’s Grill Opens in Ahousaht!

Today was the grand opening of Neddy’s Grill – A new restaurant based out of a food truck in Ahousaht with a ton of history behind it’s name and location.

Those who were at the opening ceremony were able to meet Neddy herself, meet the cooks and their families, and hear about the man who volunteered to fight in WWII and who was given the land the grill now sits on, as thanks.

It was a special day! The grill gave out free hotdogs and chumas (NuuChahNulth word for dessert/sweet treat) and there was lots of laughter! I am really looking forward to heading back for some popcorn shrimp and zucchini sticks!

We don’t have many restaurant options in Ahousaht. There’s no Boston Pizza or McDonalsds, no Earl’s or Milestone’s…. Just some home based restaurants and take-outs. Between all the options, most hours and food groups are covered – Pizza, hotwings, burgers, poutine and chumas. Neddy’s Grill is bringing an expanded menu, free delivery (Not always available when you do order food here), and is adding many more employment opportunities to our small community. I look forward to continuing to support ALL our local vendors!

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