Gitselasu – The People of the Kitselas Canyon
Twenty minutes east of town is the Kitselas Canyon, a narrow passage of the Skeena River defined by tumultuous water and jagged cliffs. The canyon is home to the Gitselasu, otherwise known as the Kitselas people. The Kitselas are one of seven Tsimshian First Nations communities in Northwestern B.C. Some remnants and residuum discovered through Archaeological research and excavations at the Kitselas Canyon have been carbon-dated to 5,000+ years, thus confirming occupancy of the Kitselas Canyon area for at least that many years.
The language used in the Kitselas Nation is Tsimshian (symalgyax). The coastal and inland dialects of the language differed only in the use of a few words. There are four main clans. They are:
• Gispudwada (Killerwhale)
• Laxgiboo (Wolf)
• Laxsgiik (Eagle)
• Ganhada (Raven)
The original villages in this area have long since been abandoned but in recent years, the Gitselasu have developed the award-winning Kitselas Canyon National Historic Site. Visitors can wander through four thematic longhouse displays, a carving shed and gift shop as well as participate in traditional ceremonies and outdoor activities such as an interpretive nature trail that leads to the canyon, petroglyphs and Ringbolt Island.
Call in advance to confirm hours of operation and make a reservation: 250.635.8882 x231 more information please visit: http://www.kitselas.com