MCCULLAGH, James B.




Author Tags: 1900-1950, Anthropology, First Nations, Religion

Anglican missionary James B. McCullagh was born in County Down in 1854, served in the military until 1883 and came to B.C. as a lay missionary at Metlahkatla. In 1883, he created a village called Aiyansh ("early leaves") near the head of navigation on the Nass River approximately 75 km from its mouth. On the Nass River he learned the Nisga'a language, translating hymns to be sung by the Tsimshian Indians and publishing a Nisga'a primer in 1897. In 1899 he delivered a paper on the Indian potlatch at the annual conference at Metlahkatla. It was published in Toronto by the Woman's Missionary Society of the Methodist Church. Aiyansh was flooded in 1917, sending its population to nearby Gitlakdamiks. McCullagh published Red Indians I Have Known (London: Church Missionary Society, 1919?) with illustrations by H.E. Payne. McCullagh died in 1921. Another flood in 1961 resulted in a new settlement across the river at New Aiyansh.

BOOKS:

Red Indians I Have Known (London: Church Missionary Society, 1919?)

ALSO:

McCullagh of Aiyansh (London: Marshall Brothers, 1923). Biography by Joseph William Wright Moeran

[BCBW 2003] "Anthropology" "Religion" "Missionaries" "1900-1950" "First Nations"