Nisg̲a’a Nation

Nass Valley

Raising of Pts'aan (totem pole) in Nisga'a Village of Gitwinksihlkw. Photo by NIsga'a Lisims Government / Gary Fiegehen
Raising of Pts'aan (totem pole) in Nisga'a Village of Gitwinksihlkw. Photo by Gary Fiegehen, courtesy of Nisga'a Lisims Government.
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The Nisg̲a’a Nation’s main communities are located in the Nass Valley, in the villages of Ging̲olx, Gitlaxt’aamiks, Gitwinksihlkw and Laxgalts’ap, on BC’s North Coast

Nisg̲a’a Nation

The Nisga’a people have lived in the Nass Valley since time immemorial, thriving in an area rich with forests, inlets, and sleeping volcanoes.

Today there are four main village sites along the Nass River: Gingolx, Laxgalts’ap, Gitwinksihlkw, and Gitlaxt’aamiks.


Historically the Nass River supported many permanent Nisga’a settlements all along its route, stretching the length of the Northwest Coast and deep in to the interior. The bountiful resources of the Nisga’a territory allowed the Nisga’a people to develop one of the most unique and sophisticated cultures in North America.

Nisga’a legend tells us that as the Wil Ksi-Baxhl Mihl (volcano) erupted in the 1700s:

Gwaaxts’agat (a powerful supernatural being) suddenly emerged to block the lava’s flow. For days, Gwaaxts’agat blew on the lava with its great nose. Finally, the lava cooled and Gwaaxts’agat retreated into the mountain where it remains to this day.

Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a – the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed park, located within the Nisga’a territory, serves as a memorial to the thousands of Nisga’a who lost their lives and also as a reminder “of the importance of kwhlixhoosa’anskw (respect)—for both the natural world and the wisdom of the elders.”

Nisga'a Lava Bed Memorial Park. Photo by Brodie Guy.
Nisga’a Lava Bed Memorial Park. Photo by Brodie Guy

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