The BC Historical Federation was saddened to learn of the passing of Neil Sterritt, Indigenous rights activist and award winning author.
In 2017, Neil’s book Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History earned a prize for BC historical writing, which he accepted at our Chilliwack conference.
“Sterritt was born and raised in Gitxsan territory, in Hazelton, B.C., in 1941
Forty years later, he became president of the Gitxsan-Wet’suwet’en Tribal Council. During that period, from 1981 to 1987, he played a key role in the landmark court case Delgamuukw v. B.C., an Indigenous land title case that gave the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en title over 58,000 square kilometres of land in B.C.
He wrote several books over the course of his life, including his latest, Mapping My Way Home: A Gitxsan History, an account of the Skeena and Bulkley Valleys and the relationship between Indigenous communities and newcomers to the area.
“Working with Neil to publish Mapping My Way Home was one of our great pleasures,” wrote publisher Creekstone Press on Facebook. “He knew so much, cared so much and was so generous with both his knowledge and compassion, he will be greatly missed.”