Gitanyow Nation

Gitanyow and Meziadin

Pole raising at Gitanyow. Photo courtesy of Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs
Pole raising at Gitanyow. Photo courtesy of Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs
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The Gitanyow Nation’s main community is located at Gitanyow, on BC’s North Coast

Gitanyow Nation

Traditionally, the Gitanyow had a single winter village located north of the euchelon oil trade routes to the Nass River. This gave the Nation a unique position along the trade routes with the modern-day village of Gitanyow occupying the same location.

The traditional village of Gitanyow was formerly known as Kitwancool. The Nation changed its name from Kitwancool to Gitanyow in 1991 and following a special resolution in 1994, the Hereditary Chiefs also changed the geographical name to Gitanyow.

Gitanyow. Photo courtesy of SFU Northwest Coast Village Project
Gitanyow. Photo courtesy of The Bill Reid Centre at SFU Northwest Coast Village Project

The Gitanyow Nation is made up of two Pdeeks (or Clans) which are organized in to eight Wilps (or Houses) – Wilp Lax Gibuu of Gwass Hlaam, Wii Litsxw, Malii, and Haizimsque and the Wilp Lax Ganeda of Gamlakyeltxw, Gwinuu, Luuxhon and Watakhayetsxw. Each Wilp (House) owns and has authority over its respective territory, collectively known as the Gitanyow Territory.

Gitanyow Territory Map. Courtesy of Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs
Gitanyow Territory Map. Courtesy of Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs

The Gitanyow Ayookxw is the supreme law of the Gitanyow Nation and for the Gitanyow People. It is the foundation for the relationships we live by… It is founded on knowledge, experience and practices which are thousands of years old.

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