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HUDSON’S HOPE, BC- When Metis Nation BC representative, Valerie Paice, was approved for a portion of BC Hydro’s Traditional Indigenous Use Fund, it only took her an hour to decide it should be put towards building a longhouse. 

“I wanted the children and the people in the community to see our culture,” said Paice. 

“This is what inspired me to do it here.”

Located on Hudson’s Hope School grounds, the longhouse was unveiled and blessed in a ceremony with traditional songs by Doig River First Nation councillor, Garry Oker, and his drumming group. 

Paice, who is also president of the Valley of the Peace Metis Society, contracted Eternity Timbers to build the structure. 

She chose Curtis Dickie, a member of both the Dane-zaa and Kwaikutl First Nations, as Master Carver. 

Dickie began carving four traditional pillars for the longhouse on June 12th and worked long hours and late nights to be able to deliver them by August 12th.

The entire project itself was completed in just 100 days. 

The four traditional pillars featured on the longhouse represent wind, water, fire, and Mother Earth. ( Jordan Prentice, Energeticcity.ca)

According to Dickie, each pillar represents one of four elements: wind, water, fire, and Mother Earth.

Dickie hopes the space is used to share Indigenous people’s stories. 

“I think in this day and era of reconciliation, it is key to break down those walls and say, hey, we’re still here,” said Dickie. 

“A lot of our teachings are relevant to the modern-day world that we live in now.”

The longhouse roof represents the shell of a turtle, and the tipi in the centre doubles as the protective head of an eagle. Underneath the eagle’s head is a dreamcatcher. 

The longhouse was built entirely of fir wood. ( Jordan Prentice, Energeticcity.ca )

Eventually, a firepit will be installed in the middle. 

Paice hopes that one day, there will be a longhouse in each community in the surrounding areas. 

“It doesn’t take long, just one hundred days,” laughed Paice.

Visitors are welcome and encouraged to head to Hudson’s Hope to see the new longhouse. 

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Jordan Prentice is a multimedia reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of BCIT’s Broadcast and Online Journalism program. Born and raised in Vancouver, Jordan’s passion for broadcast and journalism began with her dream of becoming a hockey journalist and play-by-play commentator. During her schooling, Jordan discovered a deep passion for reporting on Indigenous issues, culture and affairs. Jordan is also passionate about connecting with and listening to stories from people...