Ways of Life

Marriage

Traditionally, Nisg̱a’a marriages were entirely “arranged” by the parents of the bride and groom. It was irrelevant whether or not the bride and groom knew each other prior to their marriage. The parents carefully selected husbands and wives for their children, choosing marital partners on the basis of wealth, title and status.

When a male child was born, the parents and families began to make arrangements for whom he was going to marry once he was old enough. As he grew, his father and grandfather or uncle would teach him to work, hunt and fish to ensure he would become a good husband.

Daughters were kept strictly at home once they entered adolescence, and they were taught skills needed to become good wives. They were no longer permitted to play outside like children, and they weren’t allowed to marry anyone they wanted.