Lax Kw’alaams Band

Tsimshian Peninsula

Lax Kw'alaams Community. Photo courtesy of Lax Kw'alaams
Lax Kw'alaams Community. Photo courtesy of Lax Kw’alaams Band
Click to Explore

The Lax Kw’alaams community is located on the Tsimshian Peninsula near Prince Rupert, BC

Lax Kw’alaams Band

Lax Kw’alaams derives its name from Laxlgu’alaams, which means “island of the wild roses.”

In 1834, the Hudson Bay Company made the site a trading post, originally named Fort Simpson and later changed to Port Simpson.

Lax Kw’alaams was the first Aboriginal community in BC to officially change its anglicised name to its Aboriginal name, from Port Simpson to Lax Kw’alaams.

Lax Kw'alaams looking across the bridge to Rose Island. Photo by Edward Dossetter, courtesy of The Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Studies Archive and Lax Kw'alaams
Lax Kw’alaams looking across the bridge to Rose Island. Photo by Edward Dossetter, courtesy of The Bill Reid Centre for Northwest Coast Studies Archive and Lax Kw’alaams

The traditional economy of the Lax Kw’alaams was based on fishing, hunting and trapping with each of the 9 tribes having their own distinct tribal lands.  Each tribe had exclusive use and control of all natural resources within their boundaries. If another Nation wanted to use resources or conduct trade within the area, they had to receive permission from the tribe and often had to pay what amounted to a tax for those privileges.

Marine resources remain at the heart of the Lax Kw’alaams Nation, with Coast Tsimshian Seafood offering full-time employment to over one hundred Lax Kw’alaams members.

The traditional territory of the Nation encompasses part of the Skeena river, which contains important salmon habitat. Protection of marine resources is very important to the Lax Kw’alaams community; the Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries Stewardship Program carries out marine resource monitoring and scientific research that helps to conserve and protect this unique ecosystem.

Lax Kw'alaams Fisheries Stewardship. Photo by Brodie Guy
Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries Stewardship. Photo by Brodie Guy

Online Resources