A vehicle procession was held on Friday, Aug. 21, at 11 a.m. in Terrace to honour the late Nisga’a Nation leader Dr. Joseph Gosnell.
The procession started at MacKay’s Funeral Home, passing by City Hall before turning right on Hwy 16 and taking the Nisga’a Hwy toward the Nass Valley.
Various dignitaries, including members of Terrace City Council and local Indigenous leaders, watched the procession of several dozen vehicles as it passed City Hall. The City flew its flags at half-mast.
The Terrace RCMP detachment closed at 10:55 a.m. to pay respects to the Nisga’a community, and the City of Terrace closed the southbound lane at the Eby/Lazelle intersection. Northbound traffic was diverted right onto Lakelse Ave. to minimize congestion at the intersection.
As President of the Nisga’a Tribal Council, Gosnell was among a core group of Nisga’a leaders who negotiated the first modern treaty in British Columbia, which came into effect in 2000. He was then elected as the first president of the Nisga’a Lisims Government.
Gosnell was recognized for his achievements by being named as a Companion of the Order of Canada, receiving the Order of British Columbia and four Honourary Doctorate of Laws degrees. In 2019, he was sworn in as the Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia.
Dr. Joseph Gosnell passed away at his home in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh) in the Nass Valley after a long battle with cancer, the Nisga’a Nation reported Aug. 18. He was 84 years old.
A memorial service at the New Aiyansh Recreation Centre was held on Aug. 24, followed by a funeral service at the Holy Trinity Church today.