Kitselas Nation

Terrace

Kitselas Totem Poles. Photo by Meaghan Hume
Kitselas Totem Poles. Photo by Meaghan Hume
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The Kitselas Nation’s main community is located in Terrace on BC’s North Coast

Kitselas Nation

The Kitselas Nation is a member of the Tsimshian group of nations.

Archaeological and ethnographic evidence suggests people have lived in the Kitselas Canyon area for over 5000 years, a location that provided food, transportation and the opportunity to trade with other Nations.

Kitselas Canyon. Photo by Meaghan Hume
Kitselas Canyon. Photo by Meaghan Hume

There are five known traditional village sites, many of which were abandoned due to smallpox epidemics. Today the Kitselas Nation has its two main communities in the villages of Gitaus (Git’aws) and Kulspai (Gn spa).

Kitselas Canyon – National Historic Site Area. Courtesy of Kitselas Nation
Kitselas Canyon – National Historic Site Area. Courtesy of Kitselas Nation

Archeological surveys suggest that the Kitselas Canyon site is a heritage site of national importance. There are a number of important petroglyphs on Dry Island and Ringbolt Island, the largest of which is 2.1m x 1.8m. One notable glyph “represents two human figures shown in frontal view and at least two animal figures in profile. Both of these human figures are wearing headdresses that may indicate shamanic activity.”

The Main Petroglyph on Ringbolt Island. Photo courtesy of The Bill Reid Centre - SFU
The Main Petroglyph on Ringbolt Island. Photo courtesy of The Bill Reid Centre at SFU Digitized Collections

Online Resources

Related Protected Areas