A highlight was the traditional exchange of gifts. The Reverend Michael Batten presented Nisga’a Ts’amiks Society President Clifford Azak with a wooden eagle carved in the Coast Salish style. Later in the celebration Rev. Batten received on behalf of the parish, a gift from the Nisga’a people, a beautiful mask, carved by Mike D’angeli (grandson of Bishop John Hannen) the leader that day of the Nisga’a traditional performers. Before the unveiling of the mask Mike told the story of how he felt during the time he was creating this piece of art.
He revealed that he was going through some tough emotional times where his identity as a Nisga’a had been challenged by others which led to a growing anger within him, an anger that he channeled into the creative process of crafting this magnificent mask which represents bringing together the spirituality of separate cultures in one unified image.
The worship portion of the celebration concluded in the new offices of the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Vancouver Society with Archbishop Douglas’ blessing and then it was off down the hall for a community meal, more stories and celebrations.
This specific shared ministry connects directly to three of the Diocesan Plan 2018 priorities for the next decade as St David of Wales is: Cultivating Interfaith Understanding by the inclusion of First Nations Spirituality in worship, Participating in Local Communities by fostering a relationship with the urban Vancouver Nisga’a many who make their homes in East Vancouver and Nurturing Parish Communities by welcoming the Nisga’a, friends and extended families into participation with the faith community of St. David of Wales.