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Culture & History

The Nisga’a

The Nisga’a

Unearth The Nisga’a – One Heart, One Nation

The dramatic landscape fused with the rich Nisga’a culture makes the Nass Valley a very unique experience. Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park or Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl Nisga’a offers visitors a chance to explore a volcanic landscape and learn about the culture and legends of the Nisga’a people.  Approximately 250 years ago a volcano erupted consuming thousands of Nisga’a citizens and forcing them to relocate their villages.

Today you can follow a self-drive auto tour that highlights the epic scenery, notable features and stories to educate visitors of the Nisga’a heritage.  Be sure to drop in to the Nisga’a Visitor Centre where you can access information on special events and guided tours to the volcanic crater.

Just outside the park there are four communities - Gitlakdamix (New Aiyansh), Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City), Laxgalts’ap (Greenville), Gingolx (Kincolith).  All communities are road accessible from the park.  You’ll find amenities such as grocery stories, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, gift shops, gas stations and health services. Nass Camp RV Campground has 16 fully serviced RV sites, a sani-dump and a restaurant.

Gitlakdamix (New Aiyansh)

In 2000, a landmark event occurred with the signing of the Nisga’a Treaty, the first modern day land claims agreement in British Columbia.  Since then many provisions have come into effect including the transfer of nearly 2,000 square kilometers of Crown land to the Nisga’a Nation.  Be sure to visit the stunning Nisga’a Lisims Government building. The inner portion is shaped like a lava cone reflecting the volcanic explosion that permanently changed the valley.  There are also many totem poles and traditional paintings that adorn various other buildings including the Gitlakdamix community hall.

Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City)

Perched on the north bank of the Nass River you’ll find Gitwinksihlkw, home of the 400-foot suspension bridge that was once the only access to the village.  Be sure to check out the totem poles on the driving bridge, as well as, take a short stroll along the path to marvel at the massive cottonwoods and catch a glimpse of the fish wheels in motion.

Laxgalts’ap (Greenville)

The small community of Laxgalts’ap was once a critical fishing spot for oolichan.  Surrounded by incredible scenery and staggering mountain vistas, Laxgalts’ap is home to the new Nisga'a Museum - a 10,000 square foot world-class gallery.  The floor plan emulates a traditional feast bowl with the soaring roofline resembling a canoe.

You can also stop in at the local carving shed to watch talented carvers at work while you listen to their stories of the history of the Nisga’a people and their land.

Gingolx (Kincolith)

Situated on the mouth of the Nass River at the ocean’s edge, this is the final stop on the Nisga’a Highway. Once a year this tiny village hosts thousands of visitors to celebrate Crabfest, a two-day music festival that honours the community’s abundance of seafood. Entertainment includes Aboriginal and metis performers as well as big name headliners. The friendly folk and fresh seafood feasts make it a summer highlight.  Meander along the waterfront boardwalk to experience spectacular views of the ocean and soaring eagles.

For more information please visit: http://www.nisgaanation.ca

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