HE BIG HOUSE – Edith
My family had a house and the house had a name. It was Gox’goku-lege and was in the village of T’saxis which is on Vancouver Island near present day Port Hardy.
In 1849 the Hudson’s Bay Company built Fort Rupert on the land of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of Tsaxis. The Company wanted to mine the coal found in the area and trade with the people who lived in the area for furs.
Life in Gox’gokulege in the mid 1800’s was very busy. Everyone had to work together to make sure they had clothing, blankets, food, dish-es, utensils, boxes for cooking and storing their food and belongings; drums, clappers and whistles to accompany them when they were singing; tools for carving and building.
Before the Fort was built, the Kwagiulth (people of Tsaxis) had always made and prepared everything them-selves that they needed to survive.