As we made our way down the Skeena River through some of the rivers most notorious rapids like ‘the “Hornets Nest” and “Beaver Dam” we rounded a bend on the river and through one last set of rapids as the jet boat rolled it’s way through the last set prior to our visit with the local First Nations the Gitsegukla. The name Gitsegukla means ‘People of Segukla’. Segukla or ‘sharp-pointed’ being the name of a nearby mountain. There are no shortage of Segukla’s in this part of the world.
As I backed off the throttle and glided out way to shore the first glimpse of the local community was evident. A couple rows of children were there to greet us as well as many other community members dressed in their traditional regalia. Our guests were not sure what to expect as was I before we arrived but we were all a little overwhelmed at the greeting. We were directed where to put the boat into shore by one of the elders and as soon as the anchor was secured I began my exit of the boat but was quickly motioned to remain aboard ( Maybe the captain should be the last leave). Elder Vern Milton greeted us and asked us to remain aboard until the “Welcome Prayer” and Songs were performed. Vern’s prayer was followed up by the children singing and elders dancing. Our guests were then allowed to depart the boat as we made our way through rows of children singing one by one.