JUNE 21, 1936


Gosnell, born in the Nisga’a village of New Aiyansh in British Columbia (BC), as a young man worked as a commercial fisherman before entering tribal politics. Gosnell initially served on the local band council and later was chairman of the BC Native Brotherhood. He also served on the Northern Native Fishing Corporation & Pacific Salmon Commission. Chief Gosnell was elected President of the tribal council in 1992, and twice re-elected. He was lead negotiator for the Nisga’a Treaty in 1998. Awards include: The Humanitarian Award, Canadian Labour Congress (1999); Order of BC (1999); Lifetime Achievement Award, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (2000); Order of Canada (2001) and Companion (2006); and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). In 2012, he became the first Visiting Distinguished Indigenous Scholar in Residence at Vancouver School of Theology and in 2019 was sworn in as the University of Northern BC’s 7th Chancellor. Gosnell died August 18, 2020, in Gitlaxt’aamiks, BC.

Sources:  “Joseph Gosnell,” Making History.  Retrieved 11/24/2021, http://www.kermode.net/nisgaa/gosbio.html
Photo:  Government of Canada (Governor General), 2006.  Permissive Use. Source: Joe Gosnell with former Governor General Michaelle Jean in 2006 upon becoming companion of the Order of Canada. Office of Governor General, Joseph A. Gosnell, C.C. | The Governor General of Canada (gg.ca)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: