October 8, 1943 – February 1, 2022
Sunrise: October 8, 1943
Sunset: Feb 1, 2022
Born to: Eli and Mary Gosnell in Greenville, BC (Nass Valley)
Predeceased by her parents Eli and Mary Gosnell, her siblings- George Gosnell 1st, James Gosnell, Emma Nyce, Lena Doolan, Peggy Nyce, May Gosnell, Sadie Gosnell, Benny Gosnell, Joseph Gosnell, Johnny Gosnell, Sarah McMillan, Marjorie Nelson, and her grandson John Southwell.
Survived by her brother Ritchie George Gosnell (Audery), brother-in-law Jacob Nyce, sister-in-law Adele Gosnell, her children- Sandy McMillan, Douglas Gosnell, Daniel Gosnell, and Samantha Birkedal, her grandchildren-Krystal Southwell, Donovan Bugler, Destiny Bugler, Monty Bugler, Jack Gosnell, Natalie Gosnell, Kennedy Gosnell, Lindsay Gosnell, Toby Birkedal and Tyler Birkedal, her great grandchildren-Lakota, Phoenix, Alejandro, Catalina, Anastasia, Susan, Louisa, and Timothy.
Bonnie originates from the Nass Valley and was of Nisga’a descent. The family can trace their history back since time before memory. She spent her early years in Canyon City and attended Indian Day School there, she also participated in the Salvation Army Corp Cadets and was a member of the Majorettes baton twirler group, regularly attended bible study and did community work with Home League.
Bonnie was forced to attend Indian Residential School at Lytton, BC from the age of 8 to 14 years. She contracted TB and was transferred to Coqualeetza TB Hospital in Sardis, BC where she survived TB viral encephalitis. She spent a year there before she was transferred to Miller Bay Indian Hospital for another 2 years. During this time, her parents Eli and Mary moved the family from Canyon City to Old Aiyansh.
After her recovery from TB, Bonnie spent a few years in Old Aiyansh before the family relocated to New Aiyansh in 1964. Following that time, she lived in several places including Terrace, Prince Rupert, and Houston while working at a variety of jobs.
In her later years, she forged many bonds with family and community members in her harvesting of traditional foods. Bonnie shared many memories of berry picking with family in the homelands and along the coast. Nothing pleased Bonnie more than working with fish, where her experience from her earlier years played an important role.
Her adventurous spirit took her on many travels to see her children and grandchildren in Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and Houston. She had an ever-increasing role in the Feast system, where her presence was felt and needed as a Matriarch.
Bonnie loved to travel home to the Nass to reconnect with family and friends, sharing many memories and laughs. Her dimples were a “Gosnell trait”. Bonnie participated in Residential school rallies and walks, as well as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rallies and walks.
Mum enjoyed keeping busy with puzzles, berry picking, visiting/making friends, being independent and taking walks. She often made bread/fried bread and loved to share it with others in Houston. She was a visible part of the community and was often seen “trucking” around with her stroller- no matter the weather. She lived independently in her senior’s home in Houston for 10 years and will be dearly missed by the community of Houston as she touched many hearts there and across the northwest.
In loving memory of our dear Mother, “Bonnie”
Dim huxw ga’ay n’iin’ (I will see you again) There is no word for goodbye in Nisga’aObituary